Canada, supported by the US, the EU and India, suggested that the Secretariat could combine comments on its document with the informal paper the OECD scientific advisers have produced under Canada's guidance. The Committee on Science and Technology (CST) should provide advice, evaluate institutions and networks, recommend areas of research appropriate to support the CCD and evaluate the scientific aspects of implementation. Although open to all, the CST needs a smaller Bureau or core group to direct its operation. The COP should specify criteria for the roster of experts, possibly including membership in international scientific associations, degrees, and field experience.
India suggested various topics for CST consideration, including integrated land use planning, improved rangeland management, improved dryland farming techniques and sand dune stabilization.
The US said the CST should not conduct or fund new research. It should provide advice to the COP and distribute information based on the past 20 years of research. The CST should be multidisciplinary and diverse, but its size and cost should be kept to a minimum; one member per Party.
Australia said at the request of the COP, the CST could commission specialized research to identify special scientific approaches. It should not have its own scientific agenda.
Kenya said the first meeting of the CST should take a multidisciplinary approach to capacity building, institutional strengthening, technology and information transfer, and financial support to affected countries.
Benin, supported by Tunisia, said delegates cannot speak of reduction or limitation of CST membership. It must be open and multidisciplinary. Requiring international scientific membership would be discriminatory to developing country scientists.
Colombia, speaking in behalf of G-77 and China, said the Group will submit a written proposal later.
Regarding the number of experts on the roster, Switzerland agreed with Canada that it should be limited. Norway concurred, adding that the roster should make available a list of developing countries experts, to avoid using foreign expertise. Kenya said the roster should be organized in subregions. Spain, on behalf of the EU, said that experts with a holistic approach should be included.
France said the role of the CST is to answer questions from the COP; not to create knowledge but to assemble it. Brazil said the CST should be free to take initiatives with the permission of the COP. The NGO network RIOD emphasized the innovative approach in the CCD and said the CST should include indigenous knowledge and capacities.
Japan recommended that a small, informal experts group should discuss CST member qualifications before COP-1. Benin, supported by France and WMO, suggested that a small group of 10 experts , two from every geographic region, should meet to consider the proposals on the CST. Iran, Senegal and Canada suggested different numbers for a possible group. The Secretariat could compile the views into a document for consideration Tuesday. The Chair agreed to meet representatives of the regional groups in an informal meeting on Monday to decide on the matter.
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