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INTERNATIONAL PANEL OF EXPERTS:

The International Panel of Experts on Desertification will probably meet in Geneva in late November or early December. The Panel will most likely focus on some of the key technical issues such as desertification linkages to biodiversity, alternative energy, and socio-economic factors. The Panel has been organized into sub-groups to address these issues. It is expected that the Panel will submit recommendations based on this meeting to the Secretariat to aid in the preparation of the consolidated text, which will serve as the basis of negotiation in January. Some delegations have expressed concern regarding the representativity and transparency of the Panel. Although the experts were chosen directly by the Secretariat on the basis of their expertise, some delegates suggested that the Biodiversity Expert Panel is a better model since it provides for two representatives per region.