CBD Country Reports
Article 26of the Convention states that the objective of national reporting is toprovide information on measures taken for the implementation of theConvention and the effectiveness of these measures. In accordance with Article 6, measures to be addressed, in light of specific national circumstances, are reflected in the national biodiversity strategy and action plan.
An effective system of national reporting can assist the Conference of the Parties to:
- Consider the lessons learned by Parties in the implementation of the Convention
- Identify gaps in capacity for policy research and analysis at the national, regional and global levels, including technical and financial requirements
- Formulate appropriate requests and guidance to Parties and to its subsidiary bodies, the Secretariat, the financial mechanism, and other organizations with expertise relevant to the implementation of the Convention
Public availability of national reportsalso assists relevant actors (e.g. intergovernmental agencies,specialist non-governmental organizations and scientific bodies) toformulate focused strategies and programmes to assist Parties,individually or collectively, with implementation. This also assistsindividual Parties or groups of Parties to identify common issues to beaddressed, thus facilitating the development of cost-effective andmutually-supportive regional initiatives for implementation.
First National Reports
At its second meeting (Jakarta,November 1995), the Conference of the Parties decided that the firstnational reports should ‘focus in so far as possible on the measurestaken for the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention, as well as the information available in national country studies on biological diversity’ (decision II/17).At its third meeting (Buenos Aires, November 1996), the Conference ofthe Parties decided that the first national reports should be submittedno later than 1 January 1998 (decision III/9). At its fourth meeting (Bratislava, May 1998), the Conference of the Parties considered a synthesisof the information contained in the 86 reports received prior to thatmeeting. The meeting asked SBSTTA to provide advice on the intervalsand form of future national reports, including the nature of theinformation needed from Parties in order to assess the status ofimplementation of the Convention, recommendations on improving thereporting process, and identification of ways and means to facilitatenational implementation (decision IV/14).
- No First National Report for Ethiopia
Second National Reports
At the fifth meeting of SBSTTA(Montreal, Jan-Feb 2000), participants considered guidelines for futurenational reporting that had been developed by the Secretariat through apilot project, carried out with the collaboration of a number ofParties, to identify a methodology for assessing the state ofimplementation of the Convention. This involved (i) identifying theobligations on Parties deriving from the provisions of the Conventionand the decisions of the Conference of the Parties, and (ii)formulating these as questions designed to elicit responses that wouldreveal the level of implementation, relative priorities, constraintsencountered and issues not yet addressed. At its fifth meeting(Nairobi, May 2000), the Conference of the Parties endorsed this formatas a guide for future national reporting and as a means by which thestatus of national implementation can be measured (decision V/19).Parties were requested to submit their second national reports by 15May 2001 for consideration at the sixth meeting of the Conference ofthe Parties in April 2002. The fifth meeting of the Conference of theParties agreed that national reports would be called for on afour-yearly basis and considered at alternate meetings of theConference of the Parties.
Third National Reports
At its sixth meeting (The Hague, April 2002), the Conference of the Parties considered a full assessment of informationdecision VI/25).Building on the methodology and format used for the second nationalreports, the format for the third national reports would, among otherthings, include questions on strategic objectives and goals establishedunder the Strategic Plan,focus on allowing the Parties to provide information on the experienceof implementing their national biodiversity strategies and actionplans, and facilitate the identification of obstacles and impedimentsto implementation. At its seventh meeting (Kuala Lumpur, February2004), the Conference of the Parties considered an analysis of information2010 Target
The revised format for the third national report was transmitted toParties in July 2004 who were requested to submit their completedreport to the Executive Secretary by 15 May 2005 for the considerationof the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2006 (decision VII/25).contained in second national reports received by the end of January2002, and requested the Executive Secretary to prepare a draft formatfor the third national reports for the consideration of the Conferenceof the Parties at its seventh meeting (contained in the second national reports that were received by the endof October 2003. The meeting also endorsed the format for the thirdnational report, as amended, with respect to the questionnaire onforest biological diversity and requested the Executive Secretary tofurther develop the format by considering the views expressed duringthe meeting and the data required from Parties to assess theimplementation of the Strategic Plan.
Fourth National Reports
At its eighth meeting (Curitiba, March 2006), the Conference of the Parties considered a preliminary synthesis of informationWorking Group on Review of Implementation (recommendation I/9).Consideration was also given to relevant views expressed by Parties atthe eighth meeting and further comments submitted by some Parties. The guidelinesfor the fourth national reports were developed based on the experienceand lessons learned from previous reporting processes under theConvention, in particular from the second and third national reports.The multiple-choice questionnaire, the main format adopted for theseearlier reports, has proven less helpful than expected for review anddecision-making processes under the Convention, focusing too narrowlyon COP decisions addressed to Parties rather than providing a completepicture of national implementation. The fourth national report providesan important opportunity to assess progress towards the 2010 target,drawing upon an analysis of the current status and trends inbiodiversity and actions taken to implement the Convention at thenational level, as well as to consider what further efforts are needed.contained in the third national reports that had been received by theend of October 2005. The meeting also endorsed the guidelines for thefourth national report that had been prepared according to guidance provided by the first meeting of the conference of the parties.