COP 2 Decision II/17
Retired sections: paragraphs 4, 5, 9, 11.


The Conference of the Parties,

1. Takes note of the note prepared by the Secretariat on form and intervals of national reports by Parties, document UNEP/CBD/COP/2/14;

2. Endorses recommendation I/5 on "Scientific and Technical Information to be contained in the national reports", adopted by the first meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

3. Decides that the first national reports by Parties will focus in so far as possible on the measures taken for the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention, "General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use", as well as the information available in national country studies on biological diversity, using as a guide the annex to this decision;

4. Decides that the first national reports will be due at the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 1997;

5. Decides that, at its fourth meeting in 1997, the Conference of the Parties will determine the intervals and form of subsequent national reports. This determination will be based on the experience of Parties in preparing their first national reports and taking into account the state of implementation of the Convention;

6. Decides that Parties shall submit their national reports in one of the working languages of the Conference of the Parties and, for the benefit of others, encourages Parties to also make available their reports electronically and, where possible, on the Internet;

7. Decides that national reports submitted by Parties will not be distributed as official documents of the Conference of the Parties, but will be made available to Parties, upon request, and in the language of submission;

8. Requests that the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice instruct any technical panels that it may establish on topical issues to comment on the feasibility and practicalities of developing technical guidelines for national reporting on the subject matter being considered by the panels, and report to the meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 1997;

9. Requests the Executive Secretary to prepare a report based on the synthesis of information contained in national reports and other relevant information and containing also suggested next steps, for consideration by the Conference of the Parties;

10. Requests also the Executive Secretary to make available to Parties, through the clearing-house mechanism for technical and scientific cooperation, relevant information contained in national reports submitted by Parties in accordance with Article 26 of the Convention;

11. Urges all Parties to submit their first national reports to the Secretariat no later than 30 June 1997 to allow consideration of this item by the Conference of the Parties at its fourth meeting;

12. Urges the financial mechanism under the Convention to make available financial resources to developing country Parties to assist in the preparation of their national reports;

13. Commends the guidance provided in the document "Guidelines for Preparation of Biodiversity Country Studies", prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme, and the document "National Biodiversity Planning: Guidelines Based on Early Country Experiences", prepared by the World Resources Institute, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and its relevance in assisting Parties to implement Article 6 of the Convention and in the preparation of national reports.

Annex to decision II/17


    (a) Executive summary: a brief summary of the action plan report, stating succinctly the importance of biodiversity, the commitment to the Convention, the mandate, the participants list, the biotic wealth and national capacity, the goals and gaps, strategic recommendations and characteristics of the action (who will do what, when, where, with what means and funding).
    (b) Introduction: describe why biodiversity is important to the country and its local communities. Explain the Convention and the nation's commitment to its provisions. Present the aim of the national biodiversity action plan and specify to whom it is directed.
    (c) Background: describe the legal and policy framework that provides the mandate and instructions for preparing the action plan report. Provide a short summary of the nation's biotic assets, capacity (human resources, institutions, facilities, and funding) and ongoing programmes. Explain the institutional arrangements and responsibilities, with a view to informing people of the manner in which the strategic recommendations will be implemented.
    (d) Goals and objectives: state the vision for biodiversity and its place in the society, focusing on its protection, scientific understanding, sustainable use, and on the equitable sharing of its benefits and costs. The specific targets to meet the local, national, and international goals in terms of protecting, assessing, utilizing, and benefiting from biodiversity and its components need to be determined.
    (e) Strategy: summarize the gaps between the current situation in the country and the stated vision, goals and objectives. Summarize the strategic recommendations, including the activities, policies, and tasks that have been selected for implementation to cover the gaps. Assign relative priorities to each.
    (f) Partners: describe the public and private entities, communities and industries that have participated in the process and have agreed to be responsible for particular activities and investments.
    (g) Action: present the detailed activities, tasks and policies to be implemented. Explain which partner (Ministry, industry, indigenous group, NGO, or university) will implement each item, where, and what measures the partners will employ.
    (h) Schedule: present a timetable for the implementation of the various tasks, reflecting the priorities that have been assigned. Note signposts to help signal progress or delay.
    (i) Budget: provide the budget for the plan of action, showing funding requirements for operating expenses, capital purchases, transport, field costs, etc. List the personnel needed by category of skill or background, the facilities and services required, and possible international technical and financial cooperation.
    (j) Monitoring and evaluation: explain the measures to be used for tracking the results of the action plan and for monitoring changes in the economy, environment and society. Give the indicators that will be used. Present the individuals and organizations who will carry these responsibilities and how they were selected. Note the audience for the reports, along with the document's content and timing of implementation.
    (k) Sharing of national experience: present information and case studies which reflect the range of experiences of countries encountered in the implementation of Article 6, taking into account local and external factors.