African Regional Consultation of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) 

1-3 March 2007 | Yaoundé, Cameroon

Daily highlights
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Daily highlights:
Thursday, 1 March - Friday, 2 March - Saturday, 3 March

Highlights for Thursday, 1 March 2007

The African Regional Consultation of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) opened on 1 March 2007, at the Palais de Congrés, in Yaoundé, Cameroon. More than 70 experts and officials from the African region, and delegates from donor countries, international organizations and the science community attended the first day of the meeting. The opening session, chaired by Madeleine Tchuente, Minister for Scientific Research and Innovation, Cameroon, consisted of a panel of Amb. Georges Serre (France), Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, Minister for Fauna and Flora, Cameroon, and Jo Mulongoy, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat. In his opening address, Mulongoy reflected on how an IMoSEB mechanism can contribute towards achieving the 2010 challenge of significantly reducing biodiversity loss through the provision of appropriate information to facilitate policy formulation and decision-making. Participants met in a plenary roundtable session chaired by Chimère Diaw, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), throughout the day. During the roundtable discussions, participants heard presentations on the IMoSEB Consultative Process from Jaques Weber, IMoSEB Consultative Process Executive Committee and Didier Babin, Executive Secretary of the IMoSEB Consultative Process and France’s National Focal Point for the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), and made preliminary comments on the process.

Presentations were made on decision-making on biodiversity in Africa by Felix Dakouo, Mali Ministry for the Environment and Sanitation, and Jean-Claude Nguinguiri, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Gabon. Following further roundtable discussion, a final presentation was made by Chimère Diaw on the recommendations made by the participants of a workshop on the “Design of science-policy interfaces for global biodiversity governance” held in Liepzig, Germany. Chair Diaw concluded by explaining that participants would convene in three working groups on Friday morning, to consider the following themes: needs and options for an IMoSEB; African expertise/regional identity; and potential end-users.

Delegates in the African Regional Consultation of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB).
Jo Mulongoy, CBD, welcomed participants to the workshop, underscoring the value of biological diversity as “one of the pillars of development” in terms of provision of life goods, regulatory services, cultural and support values.
Madeleine Tchuente, Minister for Scientific Research and Innovation, Cameroon, underscored the complexity of biodiversity, and urged participants to focus on how scientific knowledge is used in decisions on biodiversity, ecosystems and human wellbeing.
Jacques Weber, IMoSEB Consultative Process Executive Committee
Didier Babin, Executive Secretary of the IMoSEB Consultative Process and France’s National Focal Point for the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA).
L-R: Jacques Weber, IMoSEB Consultative Process Executive Committee and Jo Mulongoy, CBD.
Roundtable Discussion
Ivar Baste, UNEP, stressed that efforts to address biodiversity loss need to be knowledge intensive, calling for collective intelligence in relation to information sharing.
Debalken Berhe, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Djibouti, lamented the lack of capacity in relation to public sector institutions saying that existing mechanisms are not effective because they lacked independence.

Béatrice Khayota, Center for Biodiversity / National Museums of Kenya, suggested packaging scientific information to make it more pertinent for decision makers, such as in linking climate change to the loss of snow cover on Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro.

Nouhou Ndam, Living Earth Foundation, Cameroon, lamented the lack of Central African representation on the IMoSEB steering committee.
Chair Chimère Diaw, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Cameroon.
Felix Dakouo, Mali Ministry for the Environment and Sanitation.
Jean-Claude Nguinguiri, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Gabon, discussed biodiversity decision-making in Africa.
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