TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE ADVISORY GROUP ON CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (AG CBD)
The Advisory Group on Conservation of Biological Diversity provides the Black Sea Commission "with the best possible advice and information on state of biological diversity in the Black Sea and propose measures for its protection, conservation and sustainable use of its components as it deems necessary for the implementation of the Bucharest Convention, its Protocols, and the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan." (Annex I, BS SAP, 1996).
Legal Status and Institutional Structure
The Advisory Group on Conservation of Biological Diversity (AG CBD) is an integral part of the Black Sea Commission institutional structure and constitutes its subsidiary body:
a) The AG CBD is comprised of the national focal points nominated by the member of the Black Sea Commission and is responsible for facilitation of links between the Black Sea Commission, the relevant national authorities and regional and national scientific expertise; the national focal points are responsible for the accurate and timely delivered national information on the conservation of biological diversity as it deems necessary for the Black Sea Commission;
b) The Advisory Group on Conservation of Biological Diversity is supported by Activity Center on Conservation of Biological Diversity, Batumi , Georgia , which coordinates the necessary programmatic support and provisions of practical technical support for its work. The Activity Center is based upon the one created following the resolution of Bucharest Diplomatic Conference 1992 and with the assistance of BSEP and shall function with in-kind contribution by the Government of Georgia with additional financial assistance from donors where possible and necessary. The members of the Advisory Group shall elect its chairperson among themselves for two years;
c) Following the Rules of Procedure of the BSC the AG CBD may propose that any individual able to provide expertise related to the biological diversity and assist in producing the recommendations required by the Black Sea Commission as well as assist the training activities within the work program of the Group will be invited to the events within the working plan of the Group.
The AG CBD acts in advisory, coordinating, and information capacities for the regional purposes of the Black Sea Commission including but not limited:
1. drafting recommendations and draft documents upon the request of the Black Sea Commission in order to:
a. formulate or propose regional policies, regional strategies and actions for Conservation of Biological Diversity ;
b. strengthen relationships between national and international environmental authorities, relevant institutions and governmental bodies and international organizations and with all stakeholders, including the private sector (fisheries, shipping, oil and gas industries, land-based sources);
c. assist the Contracting Parties in implementing regionally relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES, ACCOBAMS and other conventions relevant to the above issues ;
2. acting as a regional consulting body for regionally important activities related to conservation of biological diversity for the Black Sea countries in close collaboration with other national and international organizations taking into consideration landscape issues as deems necessary;
3. coordinating the regional trainings in conservation and protection of biological and landscape diversity as it deems necessary;
4. drafting proposals and attracting the international financial assistance for solving regionally important environmental problems related to the conservation of biological and landscape diversity;
5. coordinating and maintaining the regional database on the conservation of biological and landscape diversity as an integral part of the Black Sea Information System.
Specifically, the Advisory Group on Conservation of Biological Diversity is responsible for preparation of the recommendations and documents to be considered by the Black Sea Commission and the regional coordination of following tasks:
1. propose a revision of the Black Sea Protocol on Biological and Landscape Diversity Conservation and its annexes as it deems necessary;
2. regional activities for conservation of biological diversity, including:
a) methodological and technical support for actions taken to protect biological diversity in the Black Sea according to the provisions of the Bucharest Convention, the Odesa Declaration, the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Pan-European Strategy on Biological and Landscape Diversity, Bonn Convention on Protection of the Migratory Species, ACCOBAMS and other relevant conventions, agreements and programs;
b) a preparation of regional inventories of the biological and habitat diversity and their update on the five years basis in order to evaluate the trends and to recommend remedial actions;
c) compiling the information on conservation status of the Black Sea species and their habitats;
d) gathering of historical records of changes in biological diversity;
e) elaboration of the draft Regional Biological Diversity Conservation Strategy as well as Regional Biodiversity Conservation Action Plan to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and its revision as it deems necessary.
3. development of criteria/guidelines for identifying areas of coastal or marine ecosystems that require the conservation and protection measures in accordance with the Protocol on Biological and Landscape Diversity to the Bucharest Convention. The AG CBD shall compile the list of such areas and ecosystems that meet these criteria;
4. revision, maintenance and update the Black Sea Red Data Book on the rare and endangered species;
5. development and regular update of the List of Species of the Black Sea Importance;
6. The List of Species Whose Exploitation Should Be Regulatedshould be prepared and regularly updated by AG CBD and AG FOMLR in order to ensure that use of these species areas is sustainable.
Interaction within the Black SeaCommission Institutional Structure
The AG CBD is directly subordinated to and supported by the Black Sea Commission and its Permanent Secretariat and shall report to the Black Sea Commission on annual basis. The general coordination for the AG CBD is assigned by the Commission to the appropriate officer of its Permanent Secretariat and supported by the Coordinator of the Activity Center on Conservation of Biological Diversity in Batumi, Georgia .
The AG CBD shall closely cooperate with the other advisory groups of the Black Sea Commission in order to propose the coherent and cost effective measures for the protection and rehabilitation of the Black Sea ecosystem, namely:
a) with the Advisory Group on Pollution Monitoring and Assessment in order to develop the set of biological indicators on the state of environment to be used by the Commission in formulating environmental policies and decision making process where appropriate.
b) with the Advisory Group on Environmental Safety Aspects of Shipping in developing measures to prevent the invasion of the alien species in the Black Sea and recommendations on the control and regulation of ballast water discharges.
c) with the Advisory Group on the Development of the Common Methodology for the Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the establishing coastal protected areas, landscape conservation, and development criteria for ecologically sustainable development of the human activities where appropriate.
d) with the Advisory Group on Fisheries and Other Marine Living Resources to protect the indigenous fish populations, including restoration of fish stock, assist the AG FOMLR in developing recommendations for the sustainable fisheries and exploitation of other marine resources; finalization and implementation of the Fisheries Convention
e) with Advisory Group on Information and Data Exchange in maintaining the biodiversity component in the Black Sea Information System (BSIS)
The AG CBD shall take part in joint groups, particularly on such issues as pollution assessment, fisheries development and environmental impact assessment, amongst others.
Interaction with other conventions and stakeholders
In order to achieve tangible results and benefit from the international experience the AGCBD, when authorized by the BSC and on its behalf, shall seek:
1. collaboration with national conservation networks and research institutions in Black Sea coastal states in order to achieve sustainability and continuity of the implementation of BS SAP
2. Close collaboration with ACCOBAMS Secretariat and its regional representatives in the line with the MOU between ACCOBAMS and BSC Secretariats
3. cooperation and direct involvement of the private sector in promotion and use of the environmentally friendly economic activities
4. preparation of twinning projects with UN and European conventions, Convention on Biological Diversity, RAMSAR, CITES, ACCOBAMS, PEBLS etc.
5. involvement of general public, NGOs communities, local biodiversity conservation groups
In order to facilitate the Black Sea Commission work and to lessen the burden of the national reporting to the Bucharest Convention the AG CBD shall develop and implement a comprehensive reporting system on the conservation of biological diversity, namely:
1. elaborate and regular update questionnaire on the conservation of biological diversity relevant to the implementation of the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan;
2. prepare and submit its work plan to the Permanent Secretariattwo months prior the annual Black Sea Commission meetings for its approval and incorporation in the Black Sea Commission Work Plan;
3. compile the annual report on current statusof conservation of biological diversity in a format approved by the Commission two months prior the regular Commission meeting;
4. in cooperation with other advisory groups and the Permanent Secretariat prepare and submit a chapter "Conservation of Biological Diversity " to the State of the Environment of the Black Sea Reportevery five years two months prior the Meeting of the Environmental Ministers;
5. The AG CBD shall convene a meeting at least once a yearbut no later than two months prior the Commission Meeting. Upon availability of funds and urgency of the issue under discussion more meetings could be called by the AG CBD. The Minutes of each AG CBD meeting should be delivered to the Permanent Secretariat not later than 10 days after meeting.
The AG CBD shall review the Terms of References, propose necessarychanges, as it deems necessary and submit it to the Secretariat two months prior the Black Sea Commissions meetings