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Assisting the conventions
Promoting synergy amongst Rio and Biodiversity-Related Conventions

Conventions: a land-based approach to promote synergy

The States that are Parties to environment-related international Conventions have been identified as potential users of the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) since its inception. Recently, focus has been on raising awareness of GTOS products and services amongst delegates from State Parties and observer organizations during statutory meetings. GTOS proposes to provide support to the various Conventions through a common thread based on issues related to trends in land cover and land use. All GTOS Panels are expected to cooperate in this endeavour. The approach will be framed within the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and its emphasis on synergy among environment-related Conventions in addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification and land degradation.

Rio Conventions

GTOS has worked towards the assessment of reporting needs of the State Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the promotion of harmonized collection, analysis and exchange of relevant information related to land degradation. GTOS can also provide a strong practical contribution to analysis relating to deforestation issues, setting up a monitoring network of in situ observations and modelling estimates of biomass data, suggesting a suitable time interval for baseline and the monitoring activities, and assessing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from deforestation activities.

As requested by the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a report was made to its Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice on the progress made in the development of a framework for the preparation of guidance materials, standards, reporting guidelines, and associated data and products for terrestrial observing systems. The occasion was taken to re-affirm GTOS commitment to assisting UNFCCC, in close partnership with GCOS, in meeting its long-term objective to stabilize GHG concentrations in the atmosphere and to assist member countries to meet their obligations and to confront the effects of climate change.

GTOS recognizes the linkages between climate change and biodiversity in the its cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as issues related to coastal biodiversity and connectivity or fragmentation of terrestrial ecosystems.

Biodiversity-Related Conventions

Within the framework of reducing the current rate of biodiversity loss, GTOS has been working together with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and its Mediterranean Wetlands Committee to identify activities for joint implementation. A Memorandum of Cooperation between GTOS and the Convention was announced by the Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention, Dr Peter Bridgewater, when opening the GTOS side event during the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention. TEMS, Coastal-GTOS and the GLCN were identified as the leading initiatives in cooperation with the Ramsar Convention and as exploratory tools for partnership with the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and CBD.

GTOS has been assessing its role in support of CMS requirements in terms of facilitating the provision of data and information needed to review major threats to migratory species and obstacles to migration, through the integration of in situ and remote-sensing terrestrial observations. These issues were presented at the CMS Partnership Fair: Onthe move to 2010 held during the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.


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© FAO   ::   Global Terrestrial Observing System - GTOS   ::   15 January 2007