Global Biodiversity Forum 13 to precede Ramsar COP7
Preliminary Information and Consultation Announcement
13th Session of the
GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FORUM
7- 9 May 1999
San José, Costa Rica
IUCN - The World Conservation Union
World Resources Institute (WRI)
African Centre for Technological Studies (ACTS)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Biodiversity Action Network (BIONET)
Indigenous Peoples Biodiversity Network (IPBN)
The Bureau of the Ramsar Convention
in collaboration with the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)
The 13th session of the Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF13 - San José) will be convened in San José, Costa Rica on 7-9 May 1999, immediately prior to the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (or Ramsar Convention, 1971), which meets on 10-18 May 1999.
Interested institutions and individuals from all sectors are invited to contact the GBF13 Co-ordinator to indicate their interest including co-organising a workshop in one, or several of the above themes and/or to propose new themes (the deadline for submitting new themes is October 16, 1998).
The five proposed themes have been selected to avoid duplication with the five official COP workshops (Ramsar and water; national planning for wetland conservation and wise use; involving local people at all levels; tools for assessing and recognising wetland values; the frameworks for regional and international co-operation), during which experts from governmental and non-governmental institutions will be given ample opportunities to exchange views and to provide input into a number of major COP documents and recommendations.
Themes currently proposed by the traditional NGO partners of the Ramsar Convention (BirdLife, IUCN, Wetlands International, WWF) include:
1) The private sector and wetlands:
This workshop would examine the sometimes competing private sector interests operating in and around wetlands, with special reference to the transport, fishery and tourism sectors.
2) Responding to the threat of invasive species to wetland ecosystems:
This workshop would discuss the global responses being mobilised to address the growing threat of invasive species. This same topic is the subject of a keynote presentation in the COP.
3) Restoration of wetlands, protect or repair?
This workshop would discuss the current state of the science of wetland restoration, to examine the costs of restoration and possibly review the documentation which the Ramsar STRP has prepared for consideration by the COP.
4) Global action to conserve peatlands and mires:
This workshop would discuss a draft Global Action Plan for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Peatlands and Mires, which would be proposed for consideration at the COP by one or several of the Contracting Parties.
5) Defining a "vision" for the List of Wetlands of International Importance:
This workshop would discuss the Conference documentation prepared by the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) and Bureau relating to the criteria for determining Ramsar sites, the guidelines for interpreting these criteria and draft "vision" statements and targets for each criteria.
The next GBF13 announcement and call for papers will be distributed in November 1998, and will include the list of forum workshops, their organisers and other important information about the forum.
THE PURPOSE OF THE GBF
The Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF) provides for an independent, open and strategic mechanism to foster analysis and unencumbered dialogue and debate among all interested parties to address priority ecological, economic, institutional and social issues related to the options for action to conserve biodiversity, and use biological resources sustainably and equitably. It is designed to contribute to the further development and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other biodiversity-related instruments at the international, regional and national levels. It complements intergovernmental processes by: 1) providing a broad spectrum of perspectives, proposals and experiences from all stakeholders; 2) building diverse partnerships among stakeholders (including governments, indigenous groups, local communities, NGOs and the private sector); and 3) providing an impetus to key issues and areas that require further development and attention.
BACKGROUND TO THE GBF
GBF13 - San José is part of a series of fora that have been held to assist in the evolution and effective implementation of the CBD and other environmental instruments. The Forum concept was initially proposed by the WRI-IUCN-UNEP 1992 Global Biodiversity Strategy. The first formal test of the Forum concept was hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi in January 1993. Since then the following sessions of the Forum have been held:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
GBF13 Coordinator, Nadene Canning Wacker
IUCN Wetlands and Water Resources Programme
Global Biodiversity Forum 13 - San José
IUCN-The World Conservation Union,
28 Rue Mauverney, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: (41) 22 999 00 01; Fax: (41) 22 999 00 25; email: GBF13@ramsar.org