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Fourth Meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-4)
21-25 June 1999
First Intersessional Meeting on the Operations of the Convention
28-30 June 1999 - Montréal, Canada

Daily coverage
5 July
Summary
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30 June HTML TEXT PDF
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21 June
Curtain-raiser
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Our complete selection of images and RealAudio:

29 June
28 June 25 June
24 June 23 June
22 June 21 June

Final briefing: 30 June

The fourth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-4) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in Montreal, Canada, from 21-25  June 1999. The first Intersessional meeting on the Operations of  the Convention (ISOC) convened in Montreal from 28-30 June 1999. 

SBSTTA-4 delegates met in two working groups. The first considered  developing a work programme on dryland ecosystems, principles for  the prevention of impacts of alien species, and further  advancement of the Global Taxonomy Initiative. Working Group II  discussed: new plant technology for the control of plant gene  expression; sustainable use of biological resources, including  tourism; and incorporation of biological diversity considerations  into environmental impact assessments. Delegates also discussed  the SBSTTA work programme, cooperation with other bodies and  progress on thematic areas. They considered the terms of reference  of ad hoc technical expert groups, but deferred making a decision  to SBSTTA-5.

ISOC was convened based on COP-4 Decision IV/16, which called for  an open-ended meeting to consider possible arrangements to improve preparations for and conduct of the meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP). ISOC also held preparatory discussions on the COP-5 agenda item on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, focusing on the upcoming Experts Panel on Access and Benefit Sharing, which will meet in October 1999 in Costa Rica, ex situ collections that were acquired prior to the Convention's entry into force and the relationship between intellectual property rights and the relevant provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the CBD.

Most delegates were pleased with the progress made during the two meetings, highlighting decisions to improve the scientific input  prior to SBSTTA meetings and the sound basis provided for COP-5 discussions on operations of the Convention. Discussions over genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs), a possible new subsidiary body on implementation and retroactive application of the Convention on ex situ collections evoked the greatest amount of contention among delegates. Most delegates agreed that the most important step remains — COP-5 action to implement and further clarify the intersessional decisions.

 

Photos and RealAudio for 30 June

CANADA commented on the scope of the Clearing House Mechamisms
CHINA called on the Executive Secretary to nominate a theme for International Biodiversity Day.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION sought assurance that the agenda for COP-5 would include financial considerations
The Acting Executive Secretary informed delegates that negotiations with Kenya, the host government for COP-5, are proceding. He also urged all Parties that had not yet done so to nominate experts to the panel on access and benefit sharing by 15 July 1999.
Chair Miklós noted that the meetings' recommendations will help COP-5 focus its work and he expressed hope that COP-5 would be able to adopt decisions that will improve the operations of the Convention. He said the format of ISOC-1, a three day intersessional, also provides an important contribution to the Convention. At 5:59 pm, "almost midnight in Central Europe," Chair Miklós closed ISOC-1.
View of the Plenary

Biodiversity-related sites

bullet Linkages biodiversity page

bullet ENB coverage of the SBSTTA-3, Montreal

bullet ENB Archives: volume 9 (Biodiversity)

bullet Introduction to the CBD

bullet ENB coverage of the BSWG-6, Cartagena

bullet CBD Secretariat page for SBSTTA-4, including documents for the meeting

bullet ENB coverage of CBD COP-4, Bratislava

bullet CBD Secretariat web site


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