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United Nations System-Wide
of the 


Climate Change Secretariat
P.O. Box 260124
D-53153 Bonn, Germany
Tel: +49 228 815 1000
Fax: +49 228 815 1999 

Internet http://www.unfccc.int 


SBSTA was established at the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC in August 1995 to provide the COP and, as appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies with timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to the Convention. 

Organization and Dynamics

Membership: SBSTA was established as a multidisciplinary body, comprised of government representatives competent in the relevant field of expertise. 

Work and Outputs

A proposal was recently submitted by the Secretariat to SBSTA Parties to support a pilot project on 'Capacity Building Support Regarding a Clean Development Mechanism' to be carried out with UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP and UNIDO along with relevant national counterparts. (For more details, see FCCC/SBSTA/1999/INF.8 and Add.1) 

Roster of Experts: The roster was originally proposed in the Convention and established in 1996. In 1997, at its seventh session, SBSTA concluded that, until then, there had not been sufficient experience to fully evaluate the utility of the roster of experts or its use by the Secretariat. It requested the Secretariat to continue to use the roster when providing the SBSTA with advice on technologies and methodologies, and to prepare a further evaluation of the roster for submission to the COP-5. SBSTA also requested the secretariat to report annually on: (a) the application of the criteria adopted to select the experts; (b) the regional participation of experts by task, with a breakdown of participation by country; and (c) regional participation and promotion of capacity-building. In 1998, the SBSTA noted that the roster should be continually updated based on Parties' nominations and as new needs arose and that the roster should be reviewed at regular intervals, at least every five years. It noted with appreciation the proposal of the secretariat to publish the roster on its web site. It requested that provision should be made to also accept nominations and related data electronically.

In 1999, the Secretariat submitted its review to SBSTA, which forwarded a draft decision to COP-5. The review notes that the two main criteria for nominating individuals to the roster as a whole (rather than individual projects) were technical competence and regional balance. Currently, three rosters exist to address: in-depth reviews of national communications from Parties included in Annex I to the Convention; technology and technology transfer; and methodologies.

Generally, the Secretariat notes that a total of 121 experts from Annex I Parties and 154 experts from non-Annex I Parties have participated in various activities. It further notes that this level of involvement of non-Annex I Parties would appear to be making a contribution to capacity-building, though the secretariat cautions that it has no means of measuring the extent to which capacity-building occurs.

More specifically, the Secretariat has used the in-depth review roster to identify experts to participate in reviews of national communications from Annex I Parties (for more information on the use of the in-depth review roster, see FCCC/SBI/1999/INF.12). The secretariat has used the rosters on technology and technology transfer and methodologies to guide its activities related to adaptation technologies, to technically review documents in the draft stage, and to identify participants for workshops requested by the subsidiary bodies. These rosters have also been used occasionally to identify possible experts for in-depth reviews. (form more information on numbers and uses, see FCCC/SBSTA/1999/9).

Based on the review of the Secretariat and the recommendation of SBSTA, COP-5 passed a decision requesting the Secretariat to design a unified roster; inviting Parties to nominate additional experts; and encouraging Parties to make additional nominations to meet the special needs of the technical review process for GHG inventories submitted by Annex I Parties, which begins in 2000. 

Recent Meetings:

The most recent to which SBSTA contributed was on Best Practices in Policies and Measures to address CO2 emissions from energy supply and industry, as well as transport, household and commercial sectors, and non-CO2 emissions from energy, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste. Other working groups addressed such issues as national programmes, indicators used in the assessment of policies and measures, methodological and institutional aspects of best practices. Organized in cooperation with the FCCC Secretariat and the Governments of Denmark and France, the meeting was held in Eigtvedts, DK from 11-13 April 2000. The Report of the meeting will be submitted to SBSTA-12, scheduled to be held in June 2000. 

SBSTA-11 was held from 25 October to 3 November 1999 and considered 14 agenda items, including: implementation of Convention Articles 4.8 and 4.9 concerning developing and least-developed countries adversely affected by climate change; procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol; activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase; mechanisms pursuant to Articles 6, 12 and 17 of the Kyoto Protocol; capacity-building; national communications from Annex 1 Parties; development and transfer of technologies; cooperation with relevant international organizations; research and systematic observation; roster of experts nominated by Parties; and, matters relating to Article 3.14 of the Kyoto Protocol. It also considered the following: “best practices” in policies and measures; cooperation with relevant international organizations; impacts and adaptation assessment methods; the estimation of emissions of carbon dioxide from forest harvesting and wood products; and the roster of experts nominated by Parties.

Three joint meetings were also held with the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) during this period. 


One area of cooperation is in the area of national greenhouse gas inventories. For example, the IPCC is currently completing the IPCC Draft Report on Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories in response to a request from SBSTA. 

As well, SBSTA has used its roster of experts on methodologies to identify experts for workshops on emission factors and activity data relating to non-Annex I Parties, including one workshop that was oganized back-to-back” with a meeting of the IPCC on national feedback on the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories in Havana, Cuba, from 16-18 September 1998. 


Prepared by Jan-Stefan Fritz for the Second Report on International Scientific Advisory Processes on the Environment and Sustainable Development, 2000
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