The second session of the SBSTTA was opened on Monday, 2 September, by J. H. Seyani (Malawi), the Chair of SBSTTA-1. He noted that the work of SBSTTA is recognized and valued by the COP. Peter Johan Schei (Norway), SBSTTA-2 Chair, noted that SBSTTA is neither a mini-COP nor a drafting group, and highlighted the importance of scientific integrity. Speaking on behalf of UNEP Executive Director Elizabeth Dowdeswell, 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 requested by COP-2. The Plenary then adopted the agenda.
The Chair invited Bureau nominations from each regional group. Several names were put forward, although the process was not completed until a brief Plenary session the following day. The SBSTTA Bureau is constituted as follows: the African Group nominated Zeineb Belkhir (Tunisia) and Mr. Vilakati (Swaziland); the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) nominated Francesco Mauro (Italy) and Peter Johan Schei (Norway); the Asian Group nominated Mick Raga (Papua New Guinea) and Setijati Sastrapradja (Indonesia); the Eastern Europe Group nominated Gabor Nechay (Hungary) and Issa Omarovich Baitulin (Kazakstan); and the Latin American and Caribbean Group nominated Braulio Da Souza Dias (Brazil) and Edgar Espeleta-Guttierrez (Costa Rica).
The Plenary then adopted the organization of work. The Chair urged the Working Groups to return to the final Plenary with agreed recommendations to avoid further substantial discussion. He also urged participants to consider ways to consult with the scientific community rather than creating new subsidiary bodies. The Chair then announced the appointments of Rapporteurs: Setijati Sastrapradja (Plenary); Zeineb Belkhir (Working Group 1); and Gabor Nechay (Working Group 2).
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