The meeting was opened by J. H. Seyani (Malawi), the SBSTTA-1 Chair. He noted that the work of SBSTTA is recognized and valued by the Conference of the Parties (COP). Peter Johan Schei (Norway), SBSTTA-2 Chair, noted that SBSTTA is neither a mini- COP nor a drafting group, and he highlighted the importance of scientific integrity. Speaking on behalf of UNEPs Executive Director, Jorge Illueca, Assistant Executive Director, noted that the CBD can only succeed if it is built on a sound scientific foundation. Calestous Juma, Executive Secretary of the CBD Secretariat, stated that he looked forward to working closely with the SBSTTA Bureau.
The Secretariat introduced the provisional agenda (UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/2/1/Rev.1 and SBSTTA/2/1/Add.1/Rev.2). He noted that the Bureau had agreed to delete Agenda Item 3.12.2 (bio-prospecting of the deep sea bed) because the Secretariat had not had time to consult with the Secretariat of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as required by COP-2. The Plenary then adopted the Agenda.
The CHAIR invited Bureau nominations from regional groups. The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) nominated Francesco Mauro (Italy) and Peter Johan Schei (Norway), and the African Region nominated a representative from Swaziland and Zeineb Belkhir (Tunisia). The Plenary will reconvene briefly on Tuesday to complete the election of officers. The Plenary then adopted the organization of work. The CHAIR urged Working Groups to return to the final Plenary with agreed recommendations to avoid further substantial discussion. He also urged participants to consider ways of making use of the existing scientific community to limit the creation of new subsidiary bodies. The CHAIR then announced the appointments of rapporteurs: Zeineb Belkhir (Tunisia), Working Group 1; Gabor Nechay (Hungary), Working Group 2; and Setijati Sastrapradja (Indonesia), Plenary.