Vol. 132 No. 5
SUMMARY OF THE IMOSEB SOUTH AMERICAN REGIONAL
The South American Regional Consultation of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) was held from 2-3 October 2007, in Bariloche, Argentina. The fifth in a series of regional meetings planned for the IMoSEB process, the Bariloche meeting was attended by five IMoSEB representatives and 19 experts from 9 Latin American countries, including representatives of international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientific research institutions, universities and governments.
Participants heard presentations, exchanged views and discussed various options for a possible IMoSEB, its structure and governance, and issues relevant to the Latin American region, in the context of the science-policy interface. Discussions were held in plenary sessions and in two working groups. Participants reached broad agreement on the needs for an IMoSEB, and put forward two options for such a mechanism. The first option would consist of an international panel of scientists, political figures and other biodiversity actors, supported by a “network of networks” for exchanging and building scientific information. The second option would strengthen existing scientific information networks and mechanisms, with a focus on enhancing national and regional-level decision-making on biodiversity issues. The meeting also reached agreement on the specific needs and challenges of the Latin American region, the relationship of an IMoSEB to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other biodiversity-related conventions, and the role of the private sector and indigenous communities.
The proposal for a Consultative Process Towards an IMoSEB was initiated at the Paris Conference on Biodiversity, Science and Governance, held in January 2005 (see IISD Reporting Services’ report: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/icb/). The proposal focused on a consultation to assess the need, scope and possible form of an international mechanism of scientific expertise on biodiversity. The proposal received political support from French President Jacques Chirac and the French Government.
A consultative process was launched, with an International Steering Committee, an Executive Committee and an Executive Secretariat entrusted to the Institut Français de la Biodiversité, established to support and facilitate discussions. The International Steering Committee is an open group composed of around 90 members, including scientists, government representatives, intergovernmental, international and non-governmental organizations and indigenous and local community representatives.
The International Steering Committee met for the first time in Paris, France, from 21-22 February 2006. Participants agreed that the current system for bridging the gap between science and policy in the area of biodiversity needs further improvement, and that a consultation should identify gaps and needs at the science-policy interface, if any, in the existing processes and formulate appropriate steps forward. It tasked the Executive Committee to propose a plan of action for the consultation phase. It was decided that the consultation should begin with the development of relevant case studies and feedback, and be followed by a broader consultation.
A number of case studies were developed in 2006, while the idea for an IMoSEB was also discussed at a number of events, including the eighth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD COP-8) in March 2006, and a workshop on “International Science-Policy Interfaces for Biodiversity Governance,” held in Leipzig, Germany, from 2-4 October 2006.
At its second meeting in December 2006, the Executive Committee discussed the results of the case studies, and paved the way for wider consultations on any IMoSEB that might be considered by identifying a series of “needs and options.” These needs and options were circulated to members of the International Steering Committee for their input, and a document outlining the ideas, entitled “International Steering Committee Members’ Responses: ‘Needs and Options’ Document,” was prepared by the IMoSEB Consultative Process Executive Secretariat and distributed in January 2007. The document was designed to assist participants during a series of regional consultations in 2007.
REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS: The IMoSEB North American Regional Consultation was held in Montreal, Canada, from 30-31 January 2007. Participants heard presentations, exchanged views and discussed various options for a possible IMoSEB in plenary sessions and in three working groups. The meeting did not result in consensus on a new mechanism. However, a number of views and proposals were generated that formed the basis of subsequent discussions.
The African Regional Consultation was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 1-3 March 2007. In addition to discussing options for a possible IMoSEB, participants considered expertise for Africa and potential users of an IMoSEB, as well as institutional and financial aspects of an IMoSEB. There was general consensus on the need for an IMoSEB, with a range of views and proposals expressed as to how to make progress. Specific recommendations contained in the meeting report included: making the assessment of past or ongoing activities a usable knowledge tool; exploring the possibility of establishing a pilot project in Africa; and including traditional knowledge and socioeconomic aspects to ensure sustainable development of biodiversity while complying with local and national legislative structures.
The European Regional Consultative process was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26-28 April 2007. Participants identified ten needs for an IMoSEB, a possible structure of an IMoSEB to meet these needs and goals and guiding principles for a strategy to communicate scientific information on biodiversity.
The Asian Regional Consultation of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) was held from 24-25 September 2007, in Beijing, China. Participants discussed various options for a possible IMoSEB, its structure and governance, and issues relevant to the Asian region, in the context of the science-policy interface. Participants agreed on an IMoSEB in the form of an independent intergovernmental panel serving the five biodiversity-related conventions including a multi-stakeholder component affiliated to a UN body.
A further regional meeting will also be held in Oceania, and the outcomes of the consultations will be taken up by the International Steering Committee in Montpellier, France, from 15-17 November 2007, when the Committee is expected to produce recommendations for consideration at the thirteenth meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), to be held in Rome, Italy, from 11-22 February 2008, and CBD COP-9, to be held in Bonn, Germany, from 19-30 May 2008.
IISD Reporting Services Reports from the consultations held to date can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/process/biodiv_wildlife.htm#imoseb. Additional information is also available at http://www.imoseb.net
Didier Babin, Executive Secretary of the Consultative Process Towards an IMoSEB, opened the meeting, highlighting its open and inclusive nature and noting that Latin American scientists and governments are involved in the International Steering Committee of the Consultative Process.
Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of IMoSEB, described the Consultative Process as an effort to work towards a more common interface between scientific knowledge and decision-making relating to biodiversity. He explained that an IMoSEB could include information from many sources and would be available for assisting decision-making from the local to the global level.
On Tuesday morning, participants heard a presentation on biodiversity and the media, and held a roundtable discussion on needs and options identified by the IMoSEB Executive Committee. On Tuesday afternoon and throughout Wednesday, participants divided into two working groups to consider issues including: potential options for an IMoSEB; how to apply the chosen option at a local scale; and the particular needs of Latin America. Discussion also focused on possible options for the structure and governance of the preferred option, and the role of the media, private sector and local communities. On Wednesday afternoon, participants convened in a plenary session to review and finalize the outcomes of the meeting. The following report summarizes the major discussions and issues analyzed during the consultation.
On Tuesday, 2 October, media consultant Tim Hirsch presented on “Biodiversity and the Media,” and emphasized the importance of improving communication on biodiversity-related issues.
Explaining that political action often stems from public concern, he suggested strategies for raising public awareness of the “real world” relevance of biodiversity issues, including: reporting “good news stories” as well as crises; ensuring that information is not overly technical; and highlighting the biodiversity aspects of “mainstream” news events such as industrial development, natural disasters or famines. He added that having an internationally-recognized scientific body with national government endorsement, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), can help ensure balanced reporting of environmental issues. He concluded by suggesting that an IMoSEB should give prominence to communication techniques and resources, but should not expect journalists to be “evangelists” for a cause.
In the discussion, many participants noted that the general public often does not recognize the value of ecosystem services, or the real cost of biodiversity loss. Hirsch noted that “benefits” are perceived differently by different groups, and that many issues have no clear “right” and “wrong” answers, but that better and more balanced information would assist the debate. Participants also stated: that biodiversity loss can be easy to demonstrate; that vested interests are often opposed to exposing the causes of biodiversity loss; that anthropocentric attitudes can cause humans to feel “separated” from nature; and that authoritative publications such as the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List can assist in raising awareness.
In discussions on communication and the potential role of the media in an IMoSEB, Hirsch highlighted that the communication strategy of an IMoSEB could follow its organizational pattern, and that a “network of networks” would be best served by a decentralized communication strategy drawing upon the experience of different countries in dealing with their media.
Oteng-Yeboah facilitated the roundtable discussion on needs and options, outlining three broad needs identified for an IMoSEB, namely: independent scientific expertise; enhanced capacity; and communication and accessibility of information. He also explained three guiding principles for an IMoSEB: scientific credibility; political legitimacy; and accessibility for users.
Babin highlighted the results of other regional consultations and Executive Committee discussions, and stated that two potential options had emerged: an intergovernmental panel mechanism; or a “meta-network” of biodiversity-related conventions and stakeholders, including a governing board and a larger advisory group.
In the ensuing discussion, a number of participants requested further information on the process to date and the views of Latin American governments. Maxime Thibon, IMoSEB Secretariat, reported that a number of countries in the region, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, were still considering their positions on an IMoSEB.
Discussion: One participant noted the need to take legal, economic and social considerations into account when making biodiversity-management decisions. Oteng-Yeboah responded that bodies such as CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) are dominated by political issues, and that an IMoSEB would aim to provide a consolidated source of purely scientific information not influenced by politics. Babin added that decision-making is currently not always in line with scientific data, and emphasized the need to focus on what information decision-makers need.
Many participants highlighted the value of national and sub-regional systems, and asked how IMoSEB might interact with processes already underway, such as SBSTTA. Oteng-Yeboah agreed that an IMoSEB should be applicable to different scales of decision-making and provide examples to decision-makers of similar considerations in other parts of the world. He added that the CBD has no “herald” organization such as the IPCC to capture the attention of governments and the public, and that such a body could also embrace other biodiversity-related conventions such as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Other points raised by participants included: the utility of local-scale approaches in many Latin American countries; the value of biodiversity indicators to help decision-makers analyse trade-offs; the difficulty in obtaining reliable scientific information at the speed required by policy makers; and issues surrounding the coordination, identification, sharing, and ownership of data.
On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, two working groups convened in parallel sessions to discuss the options for a potential IMoSEB. Oteng-Yeboah also challenged participants to consider: the potential role of the media, the private sector and local communities; how to apply the preferred option at a local scale; the particular needs of Latin America; whether IMoSEB should treat every subject, or focus on requests from decision-makers; the structure and governance of the preferred option; and possible options for financing IMoSEB in the region.
Group discussions followed an informal format, and many group members contributed to reporting the results of discussions back to plenary after each session.
WORKING GROUP ONE: Noting that the biodiversity-related conventions already have scientific expert bodies, the group preferred that IMoSEB resemble a “meta-network” (network of networks) rather than a new panel. Participants felt that a panel could become politicized, and might struggle to achieve broad sectoral and regional representation. Group members therefore preferred to discuss methods of strengthening existing national and regional biodiversity networks. Participants also noted that biodiversity information is very diverse, often regionally-specific and can be difficult to integrate.
The working group saw a role for government in supplying information to, as well as receiving information from, an IMoSEB, underscoring the need for reliable and legitimate data and the importance of respecting national sovereignty.
On the structure of an IMoSEB, the group suggested ad hoc committees be formed on specific issues, and that they should include scientists and other information-providers such as local communities and owners of traditional knowledge. A mechanism to integrate existing information and the results of consultations, translating information into a usable form for decision-makers and the media, was seen as a key feature.
On the specific characteristics and needs of Latin America, the group highlighted the significant diversity and variability of the region, both in terms of biodiversity distribution, and in terms of languages, governmental systems, and the sophistication of the scientific and technical systems in place. The value of traditional and indigenous knowledge in the region was also underlined.
Given these characteristics, the group strongly emphasized the need for financing to sustain both the system’s structure and its information gathering and dissemination activities, highlighting a past example of an IUCN-managed biodiversity network that functioned well while funding was maintained. Participants called for an inventory of existing information networks, and information access for local communities, noting the language and geographical barriers existing in many parts of the region. Group members also underlined the need for bottom-up decision making, national-level consensus, and respect for sensitive issues such as phytosanitary and trade data.
On funding for an IMoSEB, the group did not reach any firm conclusions, but suggested that core financing would be required at the global level, and that each region and national area would also need to seek or be provided with additional funding according to the ad hoc needs of research and networking on each issue.
WORKING GROUP TWO: The working group proposed two possible options for an IMoSEB: a new option combining science and technical networks headed by a political body to give authority and legitimacy; or a meta-network. In the “new option” case, the group suggested that networks should work on issues by geographic region, in ad hoc teams depending upon the regions affected or scientific disciplines relevant to each issue. Many participants approved of aspects of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment model, such as the independence of scientific advice. One participant noted that such an option should not duplicate existing structures such as SBSTTA. Members of the group also started designing a structure for the “new” option, which was further refined in plenary.
In the option for a meta-network, the group supported strengthening existing local, national and regional mechanisms, with IMoSEB coordinating such networks with the work of technical groups. Such groups would involve all sectors, including indigenous groups and industry, and would also incorporate economic and social factors.
In either case, participants envisaged that governments should work closely with IMoSEB members, noting that science must be used to help decision-makers move from short- to long-term thinking, and adding that current scientific research is often driven by the debates of the day, rather than the other way around. The group also agreed that a major communication and education strategy should be a fundamental part of IMoSEB.
On the specific needs of Latin America, the group highlighted the need to systematize and organize existing information, and called for an analysis of existing systems, how well they function, and where improvements can be made in information sharing, particularly between research bodies. Participants also underscored the conflict that can arise between political decisions and scientific advice, and underscored that formal validation of an IMoSEB would be needed at country level, to ensure the body has political relevance. In this regard, the group recommended that an IMoSEB Secretariat should include people charged with keeping countries and IMoSEB in close contact, and ensuring that IMoSEB outcomes are in touch with “national realities” in the region.
On financing for an IMoSEB, the working group highlighted that as well as funding an IMoSEB Secretariat, it would be necessary to fund local information networks and information generation.
On Wednesday afternoon, participants convened in a plenary session to review and finalize the outcomes of the roundtable and working group discussions on options and needs, working from a draft “Summary of Discussions” prepared by the Secretariat. During the course of discussion, this document was finalized and approved and will be reflected in the final report of the South American Regional Consultation.
OPTIONS AND NEEDS FOR AN IMOSEB: Opening the discussion, Thibon presented a statement from DIVERSITAS Argentina, which: stated agreement with the needs identified by the IMoSEB Executive Committee in the “Needs and Options” paper; and encouraged the meeting to work towards an IMoSEB including an intergovernmental panel, but also taking into account the benefits of a meta-network, and promoting close links with governments and the biodiversity-related conventions.
The meeting agreed that neither of the two options for an IMoSEB originally put forward by the IMoSEB Executive Committee was entirely sufficient, and instead proposed two new options for an IMoSEB.
The first option was the “new” option proposed in Working Group Two, consisting of an international panel of scientists, political figures and other biodiversity actors to give legitimacy to the organization, supported by a “network of networks” for exchanging, systematizing and building scientific information. A third feature of the option would be IMoSEB-appointed personnel who would maintain close contact with, and participate in, national processes relating to biodiversity. Participants considered that this model represented a combination of the two original IMoSEB Executive Committee options. The meeting also considered the draft design of a structure for this option, while acknowledging that the structure would require further work and consultation within the region. A draft structure diagram was prepared, including features such as national IMoSEB nodes or focal points, and with allowance for the biodiversity-related conventions to be represented on the Intergovernmental Panel. The Secretariat indicated that the draft structure diagram would be included in the final report of the Consultation.
The second option was proposed in both working groups, and aimed to build upon existing scientific information networks and mechanisms and enhance national and regional-level decision-making on biodiversity issues. The model also proposed technical groups involving all biodiversity users to analyze scientific information and put it into socio-economic and cultural context. A further feature would be formal agreements with national governments to add authority to the work of the technical groups. In discussions on this model, some participants stated that national decisions, not global ones, are mostly responsible for impacts on biodiversity, and that IMoSEB should give priority to work at the national level. Other participants observed that decisions and developments at all levels from global to local are affecting biodiversity.
Many participants emphasized that both options sought to respect national governments’ interests and ensure the cooperative involvement of governments in IMoSEB processes. In this regard, attendees discussed how to reflect in the summary of discussions the low level of official government representation at the Consultation. One participant considered the poor national representation to reflect the level of attention paid to biodiversity research in the region. Noting that the meeting had been arranged at short notice, the Secretariat explained that some countries which had not attended had nonetheless stated their intention to provide views at a later date.
Final outcome: The Summary of Discussions addresses the discussions on needs and options. The preambular text, inter alia:
The text then outlines the two options identified for such a mechanism. The first option would consist of:
The second option features:
SPECIFIC NEEDS OF LATIN AMERICA: Participants discussed the specific features of the Latin American region and the particular needs that an IMoSEB would need to address in order to be effective in the region.
Commenting on the biodiversity of the region, participants noted that the ecosystems of Central and South America and the Caribbean islands are closely linked, with some countries being mega-diverse and with all countries containing valuable ecosystems, often featuring high levels of endemism. However, many participants agreed that Latin America could be seen as a “series of islands” in terms of research and information systems, with the sophistication and operation of scientific and technical systems varying greatly throughout the region. The meeting concluded that an IMoSEB would need to find ways to overcome this fragmentation in order to achieve effective networking and cooperation, with some suggesting incentives for such action such as those that exist in projects funded by the Organization of American States.
Final outcome: The Summary of Discussions outlines specific needs and challenges for Latin America, including:
RELATIONSHIP WITH BIODIVERSITY-RELATED CONVENTIONS: Participants agreed that a close relationship should exist between IMoSEB and CBD, with IMoSEB also acting as a “bridge” to other biodiversity-related conventions to ensure that biodiversity issues are not addressed “piecemeal” but rather through integrated solutions. While some attendees suggested that IMoSEB should focus on helping achieve CBD objectives, one participant highlighted that IMoSEB need not be purely tied to the CBD agenda.
Final outcome: The Summary of Discussions text on the relationship between an IMoSEB and biodiversity-related conventions including the CBD, CMS, CITES and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, states that an IMoSEB should interact closely with CBD, and work in cooperation with the subsidiary scientific bodies of the biodiversity-related conventions and other existing scientific networks, including IUCN.
ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR: The potential role of the private sector in an IMoSEB was extensively debated. Some participants advocated the involvement of the private sector, which they described as important biodiversity users and potential funding partners. Others warned that private sector involvement may lead to pressure, or the perception of pressure, from commercial interests, and could thereby compromise the scientific credibility of an IMoSEB or reduce the willingness of some indigenous groups to take part in the process. One attendee noted that many public-private partnerships have been successful in protecting biodiversity in the region, and pointed out that large philanthropic organizations are among the biggest funders of biodiversity conservation on the continent. Participants eventually agreed that the private sector is a major biodiversity user and must participate in some way, but that financial support from the private sector must be approached in a prudent manner.
Final outcome: The Summary of Discussions states that the private sector is a major biodiversity user and can contribute to identifying themes related to the science-policy interface, and that potential financial assistance from the private sector should reflect action “in favor of biodiversity.”
ROLE OF LOCAL AND INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES: Oteng-Yeboah noted that indigenous people often manage and live in biodiversity-rich areas, and are directly impacted by changes in biodiversity. Many participants agreed that indigenous people must be involved in IMoSEB, like all biodiversity users, and that efforts should be made to demonstrate to indigenous people the benefits of involvement, and to ensure that information “flows both ways.” One participant added that indigenous communities do not always think about “nature conservation” in the same way as Westerners, who may be inclined to see nature as separate from humans. Another added that indigenous people control a lot of biodiversity, and urged recognition of the nexus between national parks and indigenous people. One attendee pointed out that indigenous communities have different decision-making structures and limited logistical and communication systems, posing particular challenges for fitting such people and their knowledge into an IMoSEB.
Oteng-Yebaoh stated that CBD objectives include both conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and make special reference to indigenous people. He suggested that an IMoSEB could also consider the science of the social and economic aspects of indigenous people’s use of biodiversity. Some participants also stressed the need to include indigenous people’s traditional knowledge in an IMoSEB, pointing out that decision-makers as well as scientists can benefit from such knowledge.
Final outcome: The Summary of Discussions recognizes the important role of local and indigenous communities in managing and conserving biodiversity in the region, and highlights the importance of evaluating and including traditional knowledge, and working with sensitivity to cross-cultural issues.
In the final plenary discussion, participants reflected upon the nature of an IMoSEB. One participant stated that a successful IMoSEB would depend upon country actions and funding, but that a learning process was underway. Another noted that while better scientific information is the stated goal of IMoSEB, science is not always “pure,” and views on where the threshold lies between conservation and development can differ. Oteng-Yeboah remarked that while a body such as the IPCC can produce peer-reviewed, standardized data, how that information is used is “the other half of the story.”
Participants also debated the eventual name of an IMoSEB. Several attendees emphasized the need for a simpler name that would catch the imagination of the public and the media. Oteng-Yeboah confirmed that the Asian Regional Consultation had also expressed the desire to change the name, and Babin added that “IMoSEB” was simply a label for use during the consultative process. A large number of suggested names were put forward, with a few attendees voicing support for “Knowledge Network for Life on Earth” or “Bio-Decision.” Oteng-Yeboah requested attendees to submit further suggestions to the Secretariat.
Participants expressed their appreciation to the IMoSEB Executive Secretariat for hosting and organizing the meeting. Babin thanked host country Argentina, the Second Latin American Congress of National Parks and Other Protected Areas, and the Latin American Committee of IUCN. Oteng-Yeboah congratulated participants for producing detailed, “on-the-ground” results, and noted that the outcomes of the consultation would be added to those from the other regions for final consideration. He closed the meeting at 5:11 pm.
FIFTH MEETING OF THE CBD AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: The meeting, organized by the CBD Secretariat, will take place from 8-12 October 2007, in Montreal, Canada. The meeting will continue CBD’s work on aspects of an international regime on access and benefit-sharing, including access to genetic resources, prior informed consent and traditional knowledge. For more information contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: ; internet:
FIFTH MEETING OF THE CBD AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(j) AND RELATED PROVISIONS: The meeting is organized by the CBD Secretariat, from 15-19 October 2007, in Montreal, Canada, and will consider a progress report on the programme of work for Article 8(j), as well as a plan of action for retention of traditional knowledge, innovation and practices. For more information contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: ; internet:
IMOSEB OCEANIA REGIONAL CONSULTATION: The Oceania Regional Consultation of the IMoSEB process will take place on 19-20 October 2007, in Alotau, Papua New Guinea, before the 8th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas. For more information, contact the IMoSEB Executive Secretariat; e-mail: ; internet:
THIRD MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO ACCOBAMS: This meeting is organized by the Secretariat to the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area, from 22-25 October 2007, in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It is scheduled to look into the synthesis of the national implementation reports of the parties and will also appoint the members of the scientific committee. For more information contact: ACCOBAMS Secretariat, tel: +377-93152078; fax: +377-93154208; e-mail:; internet:
FIFTH TRONDHEIM CONFERENCE ON BIODIVERSITY: The Trondheim Conference will be held from 29 October 2007 - 2 November 2007, in Trondheim, Norway. Hosted by the Norwegian Government in cooperation with UNEP, this conference aims to provide input to the CBD and its preparations for COP-9, to be held in Germany in 2008. For more information contact: Norway’s Directorate for Nature Management; e-mail:; internet:
SECOND SESSION OF THE ITPGR GOVERNING BODY: The second session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), from 29 October 2007 - 2 November 2007, in Rome, Italy. The meeting will look into the Global Crop Diversity Trust as well as the implementation of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-Sharing. For more information contact: Shakeel Bhatti, ITPGR Secretary; tel: +39-06-570-53057; fax: +39-06-570-56347; e-mail:; internet:
IMOSEB INTERNATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE: The Final International Steering Committee of the Consultative Process Towards an IMoSEB will be held from 15-17 November 2007, in Montpellier, France. It will seek to finalize the recommendations and proposals based on input from the consultations, with a view to submitting recommendations for consideration by CBD COP-9 in May 2008. For more information, contact the IMoSEB Executive Secretariat; e-mail:; internet: