The Sub-Committee on Trade and Environment of Preparatory Committee to the World Trade Organization met for one day on 12 July 1994 in Geneva. The issues discussed in this Committee were a continuation of those dealt with by the recently revived, but now defunct, Group on Environmental Measures and International Trade. This meeting addressed those issues to which governments have assigned priority, building on discussions held within the GATT. THE FIRST SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT WORKSHOP ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES ON THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY TO THE 1995 SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The Government of Spain convened this experts group meeting in Madrid from 11-14 October 1994. Experts from 22 countries, the European Commission, UNEP, FAO and the UN Secretariat and six NGOs attended. The key conclusions included: the need to address biodiversity in both sustainable development and sectoral plans; the need for closer coordination and integration between the Biodiversity Convention and the Agenda 21; and the importance for all CSD member states to ratify the Convention. LATIN AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: This Conference was held in Lima, Peru, from 7-8 November 1994 to enable Latin American and Caribbean countries to develop a common position for the first COP. Some of their key recommendations include: annual meetings of the COP; adoption of the GEF as an interim institutional structure; the need for consistency between projects that are financed through the Conventions financial mechanisms and national development priorities; full participation in all subsidiary bodies; and fair and equitable access to and transfer of technology. INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY: UNESCO, in cooperation with the International Union of Biological Sciences, the International Council of Scientific Unions and the French Government, hosted this international forum in Paris from 5-9 September 1994. Over 200 scientists, industry representatives, NGOs and policymakers attended. The Forum consisted of three panels on scientific issues, one on in situ<D> and ex situ<D> conservation, three panels on the economics of biodiversity, one on the importance of the urban environment and one on the ethical, cultural and educational aspects of biodiversity. WORKSHOP ON POLICIES, STRATEGIES, PROGRAMME PRIORITIES AND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR ACCESS TO AND UTILIZATION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES: The Government of Germany hosted this meeting in Vilm, Germany on 20-21 October 1994. Representatives from 12 countries, 4 NGOs, several IGOs, the Biodiversity Interim Secretariat, the European Commission, the GEF and UNEP discussed priority-setting for the financial mechanism under the Biodiversity Convention. The primary objective was to identify convergent and divergent views around Article 22 with a view to facilitating further work on financial issues within the first COP. WORKSHOP ON THE CLEARING-HOUSE MECHANISM: The Governments of Bahamas and Sweden co-hosted an informal workshop in the Bahamas last week. The workshop addressed the study that was carried out by the Stockholm Environment Institute on the aims, scope, functions and governance of a broad-based clearing-house mechanism under the Biodiversity Convention. GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FORUM: IUCN, WRI and UNEP sponsored a second Global Biodiversity Forum that was held in Nassau on 26-27 November, 1994. The Forum brought together NGOs, government representatives and UN officials to address: priority-setting in the context of the Convention; country experiences and institutional perspectives in priority-setting; and the importance of coastal/marine biodiversity. INTERSESSIONAL CONSULTATIONS: It was agreed at the second ICCBD session that intersessional consultations would be held to address unresolved issues and to attempt to lighten the over-burdened agenda of the first COP. Some of the issues that were addressed during the two days preceding the COP included: the periodicity of COP meetings; the decision-making process governing the choice of the financial mechanism; the election of the Chair of the SBSTTA; Bureau size and composition; voting procedures; the Chair of the Plenary and the Committee of the Whole; the number of working languages; and the location of the Secretariat. By early Sunday evening, delegates had agreed to a 10 member Bureau.
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