CBD's SBSTTA 12, Paris, France, 2-6 July 2007


Ramsar at CBD SBSTTA

Ramsar's Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Heather MacKay, Chair of the Scientific & Technical Review Panel participated in the 12th meeting of the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), hosted by UNESCO in Paris (2-6 July 2007). Amongst topics under discussion were several of high relevance to the implementation of collaboration between the Ramsar Convention and CBD through our 4th Joint Work Plan. These included the implications of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), biodiversity and climate change, biofuels, and an in-depth review of the CBD's ecosystem approach (see the Secretary General's intervention on this topic here (PDF)). During the SBSTTA discussions on biodiversity and climate change significant recognition of the importance of wetlands in mitigating for and adapting to climate change was given, and in particular the increasingly recognised importance of peatlands, especially tropical peatswamp forests, in the global carbon cycle.

The CBD and Ramsar Secretariats and Wetlands International held a joint side event on "Wetlands, biodiversity and climate change" in which the key findings of the March 2007 joint Ramsar/CBD expert workshop on Water, wetlands, biodiversity and climate change were profiled and with a post of key messages from the workshop launched, as well as presentations from wetlands International on C02 and tropical peatswamp forests and the Global Environment Centre on biofuels.

On the day before SBSTTA, the CBD Secretariat convened a first meeting of the chairs of the scientific subsidiary bodies of the biodiversity conventions, to examine common issues on future implementation, focusing on issues concerning assessing and reporting on the 2010 biodiversity target and on climate change. The STRP was represented by its Chair, Heather MacKay, and in addition to the chairs and secretariats of the biodiversity cluster of conventions, the meeting benefited from participation by UNFCCC SBSTA, the Berne Convention and the GEF Scientific and Technical Panel (STAP). A report of the meeting is in preparation, and it is anticipated that a further such meeting will be convened at CBD SBSTTA13 in February 2008.

-- Nick Davidson,
Deputy Secretary General

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