COP 4 Decision IV/14
Retired sections: paragraphs 1 to 3.

National reports by Parties

The Conference of the Parties,

Recalling Article 26 and Article 23, paragraph 4 (a) of the Convention,

Recalling further decision II/17 on the form and intervals of national reports,

Noting the difficulty experienced by Parties in preparing their national reports and that the first national reports varied in length and scope and that further guidelines are needed to simplify and streamline the national reporting process,

Welcoming the number of first national reports received by the Executive Secretary,

1. Encourages those Parties that have submitted interim reports to submit a full report as soon as they are in a position to do so, and urges those that have yet to submit their first national report to do so as soon as they can and, in any event, no later than 31 December 1998;

2. Requests the Executive Secretary to prepare, in time for the fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, a revised version of the report referred to in decision II/17 on the basis of the national reports received and other relevant information;

3. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, at its fourth meeting, to consider the report of the Executive Secretary and to provide the Conference of the Parties, at its fifth meeting, with advice on the intervals and form of future national reports, taking into account the elements contained in the Annex to the present decision. This advice should cover the nature of the information needed from Parties in order to assess the state of implementation of the Convention; recommendations on improving the reporting process, through guidelines on format, style, length and treatment with a view to ensuring comparability between national reports; and identification of ways and means to further facilitate national implementation of the Convention;

4. Urges developed country Parties to include in their national reports information, in a standardized form, on their financial support for the objectives of the Convention;

5. Requests the Global Environment Facility, as the operating entity of the financial mechanism, to continue to provide financial assistance for the preparation of national reports, having regard to the constraints and needs identified by Parties in their first national reports.



1. A standard format should be developed which would allow comparability, but provide enough flexibility to give appropriate scope to reflect national conditions and capacities.

2. The focus of subsequent national reports should be consistent with the work programme of the Convention, taking into account decisions of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

3. Information contained in national reports should include, insofar as possible, a report on the progress of the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans, and on lessons learned, including identification of gaps in national capacity for policy research and analysis, along with technical and financial requirements for meeting needs identified in the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans and the possible use of nationally developed indicators.

4. Parties are encouraged to consider the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the preparation and use of national reports.