APPENDIX III:

Modus Operandi of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity

  1. Functions

  1. The functions of the SBSTTA are those contained in Article 25 of the Convention. Accordingly, the SBSTTA will fulfil its mandate under the authority of, and in accordance with, guidance laid down by the Conference of the Parties, and upon its request.

  2. Pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 3, the functions, terms of reference, organization and operation of the SBSTTA may be further elaborated, for approval by the Conference of the Parties.

  1. Rules of procedure

  1. The rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity shall apply, in accordance with rule 26, paragraph 5, mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of the SBSTTA. Therefore, rule 18 on credentials will not apply.

  2. In accordance with rule 52, the official and working languages of the SBSTTA will be those of the United Nations Organization. The proceedings of the SBSTTA will be carried out in the working languages of the Conference of the Parties.

  3. In order to facilitate continuity in the work of SBSTTA and taking into account the technical and scientific character of the input of SBSTTA, the terms of office of members of the Bureau of SBSTTA will be two years. At each meeting of the SBSTTA one of the two regional representatives shall be elected in order to achieve staggered terms of office. The members of the Bureau of SBSTTA will take office at the end of the meeting at which they are elected.

  4. The Chairman of the SBSTTA, elected at an ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties, shall take office from the beginning of the next ordinary meeting of the SBSTTA and remain in office until the beginning of the following meeting of the SBSTTA.



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Knowledge & Diplomacy: Science Advice in the United Nations System APPENDIX III: Modus Operandi of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity Functions The functions of the SBSTTA are those contained in Article 25 of the Convention. Accordingly, the SBSTTA will fulfil its mandate under the authority of, and in accordance with, guidance laid down by the Conference of the Parties, and upon its request. Pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 3, the functions, terms of reference, organization and operation of the SBSTTA may be further elaborated, for approval by the Conference of the Parties. Rules of procedure The rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity shall apply, in accordance with rule 26, paragraph 5, mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of the SBSTTA. Therefore, rule 18 on credentials will not apply. In accordance with rule 52, the official and working languages of the SBSTTA will be those of the United Nations Organization. The proceedings of the SBSTTA will be carried out in the working languages of the Conference of the Parties. In order to facilitate continuity in the work of SBSTTA and taking into account the technical and scientific character of the input of SBSTTA, the terms of office of members of the Bureau of SBSTTA will be two years. At each meeting of the SBSTTA one of the two regional representatives shall be elected in order to achieve staggered terms of office. The members of the Bureau of SBSTTA will take office at the end of the meeting at which they are elected. The Chairman of the SBSTTA, elected at an ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties, shall take office from the beginning of the next ordinary meeting of the SBSTTA and remain in office until the beginning of the following meeting of the SBSTTA.

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Knowledge & Diplomacy: Science Advice in the United Nations System Frequency and timing of the SBSTTA The SBSTTA shall meet annually and sufficiently in advance of each regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties, for a duration to be determined by the Conference of the Parties which should not normally exceed five days. The number and length of the meetings and activities of the SBSTTA and its organs should be reflected in the budget adopted by the Conference of the Parties or other sources of extra-budgetary funding. Documentation The documentation prepared for meetings will be distributed six weeks before the meeting in the working languages of the SBSTTA, will be concrete, focused draft technical reports and will include proposed conclusions and recommendations for consideration of the SBSTTA. To facilitate the preparation of documentation, and in order to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure the use of available scientific, technical and technological competence available within international and regional organizations, including nongovernmental organizations and scientific unions and societies, qualified in fields relating to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, the Executive Secretary may establish, in consultation with the Chairman and the other members of the Bureau of the SBSTTA, liaison groups, as appropriate. Such liaison groups will depend on the resources available. Organization of work during the meetings Each meeting of the SBSTTA will propose to the Conference of the Parties, in light of the programme of work for the Conference of the Parties and the SBSTTA, a particular theme as the focus of work for the following meeting of the SBSTTA. Two open-ended sessional working groups of the SBSTTA could be established and operate simultaneously during meetings of the SBSTTA. They shall be established on the basis of well-defined terms of reference, and will be open to all Parties and observers. The financial implications of these arrangements should be reflected in the budget of the Convention.

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Knowledge & Diplomacy: Science Advice in the United Nations System Ad hoc technical expert group meetings A limited number of ad hoc technical expert groups on specific priority issues on the programme of work of the SBSTTA may be established, as required, for a limited duration. The establishment of such ad hoc technical expert groups would be guided by the following elements: The ad hoc technical expert groups should draw on the existing knowledge and competence available within, and liaise with, international, regional and national organizations, including non-governmental organizations and the scientific community in fields relevant to this Convention; The ad hoc technical expert groups shall be composed of no more than fifteen experts competent in the relevant field of expertise, with due regard to geographical representation and to the special conditions of least-developed countries and small island developing States; The SBSTTA will recommend the exact duration and specific terms of reference, when establishing such expert groups for the approval of the Conference of the Parties; Expert groups will be encouraged to use innovative means of communication and to minimize the need for face-to-face meetings; The ad hoc technical expert groups may also convene meetings parallel to the proceedings of the SBSTTA; All efforts will be made to provide adequate voluntary financial assistance for the participation of experts in the expert groups from developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties; and The number of ad hoc technical expert groups active each year will be limited to a maximum of three and will depend on the amount of resources designated to the SBSTTA by the Conference of the Parties in its budget or on the availability of extra-budgetary resources.

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Knowledge & Diplomacy: Science Advice in the United Nations System Contribution of non-governmental organizations The scientific and technical contribution of non-governmental organizations to the fulfilment of the mandate of the SBSTTA will be strongly encouraged in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention and the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties. . Cooperation with other relevant bodies The SBSTTA shall cooperate with other relevant international, regional and national organizations, under the guidance of the Convention of the Parties, thus building upon the vast experience and knowledge available. In this context, the SBSTTA emphasizes the importance of research to further increase available knowledge and reduce uncertainties, and recommends that the Conference of the Parties consider this issue in relation to the financial resources required for the effective implementation of the Convention. Regional and subregional preparatory meetings Regional and subregional meetings for the preparation of regular meetings of the SBSTTA may be organized as appropriate for specific items. The possibility of combining such meetings with other scientific regional meetings, in order to make maximum use of available resources, should be considered. The convening of such regional and subregional meetings will be subject to the availability of voluntary financial contributions. The SBSTTA should, in the fulfilment of its mandate, draw upon the contributions of the existing regional and subregional intergovernmental organizations or initiatives.

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Knowledge & Diplomacy: Science Advice in the United Nations System Focal points A list of focal points and focal persons to the SBSTTA shall be established and regularly updated by the Secretariat, on the basis of information provided by Parties and other relevant regional, subregional and intergovernmental organizations. Roster of experts A roster of experts, in the relevant fields of the Convention, will be compiled by the Secretariat on the basis of input from all Parties and, as appropriate, from other countries and relevant bodies. The roster of experts will be regularly updated and will be made accessible through the clearing house mechanism. The ad hoc technical expert groups and liaison groups referred to above as well as the Secretariat should make full use of such a roster of experts, inter alia, through scientific peer review processes.