FOURTH SESSION OF THE GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FORUM: The fourth session of the Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF) convened at the Palais des Congres on 31 August and 1 September. The GBF provides an independent, open process to foster analysis and dialogue among parties interested in the development and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
At the opening Plenary, SBSTTA-2 Chair, Peter Johan Schei (Norway), welcomed the horizontal dialogue promoted by the GBF and challenged the organizers to invite the non-converted. He also noted the importance of the development of the CBDs role in agricultural biodiversity and its cooperation with the FAO on this issue.
Four parallel workshops discussed recommendations to SBSTTA-2:
Forests and Biodiversity: Participants discussed elements for a framework for implementing the CBD in relation to forests, specifically a proposal that SBSTTA-2 provide advice for the COP on a work programme on forests and a statement to the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.
Marine and Coastal Biodiversity: Participants endorsed the CBD ecosystem management approach. They also agreed on the need for marine ecosystem classification and a user-friendly assessment of marine and coastal biodiversity.
Economic Incentives for Biodiversity: Participants discussed incentives for conservation, including perverse or negative incentives; elimination of damaging subsidies; decentralization; and local tenure rights.
Protected Areas: Participants discussed, inter alia, a recommendation that SBSTTA-2 and the COP prepare guidelines on form and substance of national systems plans, recognizing that they cannot be completed on government lands alone; bioregional approaches; standing conflict resolution mechanisms to deal with interests opposed to biodiversity needs; and IUCN categories of land and people.
NORWAY/UN CONFERENCE ON ALIEN SPECIES: The Norway/UN Conference on Alien Species, held in Trondheim, Norway from 1-5 July 1996, sought to contribute to the development of a scientific knowledge base on issues related to alien species and also to provide a forum for cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary dialogue between scientists and policy makers. The conclusions and recommendations note, inter alia, that problems resulting from invasive species need to be addressed at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels and that all sectors must have a role in implementing preventative and corrective action. For information contact: Odd Terje Sandlund, NINA, Tungasletta 2, N-7005 Trondheim, Norway, tel: +47 73 58 05 00; fax: +47 73 58 06 70; e-mail: email@example.com.
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