14 June 1996



Third session

Geneva, 9-16 July 1996

Item 8 of the provisional agenda


Progress report on issues in the programme of work of the

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice

Note by the secretariat


Paragraphs Page


A. Introduction 1 - 3 3

B. Experience of other organizations with

rosters of experts 4 4

C. Discussion 5 - 8 5




A. Introduction 10 - 13 7

B. Tenth session of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental

Panel on Climate Change 14 - 21 7


Paragraphs Page


A. Introduction 22 - 23 11

B. Scheduling 24 - 34 11


Synthesis of comments on the establishment of a roster of

experts for the intergovernmental technical advisory panel(s) 15



A. Introduction


1. Mandate

1. Further to decision 6/CP.1 of the Conference of the Parties (COP) at its first session, and an initial discussion at its first sessions, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), at its second session, having considered the establishment of intergovernmental technical advisory panel(s) (ITAPs) concluded that it could not agree on the modalities for such a panel, or panels, and decided to request guidance on this issue from the COP at its next session. In addition, the SBSTA recognized that it may be beneficial to draw up a roster of experts to assist the Convention process. It requested the Parties to submit comments on the concept of a roster, including the disciplines that such a roster might cover. It also requested the secretariat to prepare a compilation of the comments as well as a paper on this subject (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/8).

2. Scope of the note

2. The secretariat received submissions from 11 Parties as of 1 May 1996 on the subject of a roster. In several cases, Parties also submitted comments on ITAPs that were intermixed with comments on a roster. These submissions are contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/MISC.4, but only the comments pertaining to a roster are presented in this present report. As many issues were referred to by several Parties, an attempt has been made to synthesize the issues by using simple lists. In a few cases, the secretariat has broadened the lists, based on the Convention, to make them more comprehensive. The order of the listings should not be interpreted as an indication of priority or importance. The lists are found in the annex to this note and are organized according to the following headings:

I. General attributes of the experts

II. Categories that could serve as a basis for nominations

III. Factors affecting the establishment and use of a roster of experts

3. Possible action by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice

3. The SBSTA may wish to make a recommendation to the COP on the establishment of a roster of experts. If it confirms the utility of a roster of experts to support the work of the Convention, it may also wish to recommend a basis for its formation.

B. Experience of other organizations with rosters of experts

4. To facilitate consideration of this issue, the secretariat sought information on how other bodies, namely the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) are making use of scientific and technical experts:

(a) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC utilized technical and scientific experts nominated by Governments to prepare its Second Assessment Report; however, it did not formally establish a roster. Governments based their nominations upon the preliminary chapter titles of the Second Assessment Report as approved by the IPCC plenary. Each nomination was supported by a curriculum vitae. In addition, when Governments did not nominate candidates, the IPCC Secretariat and the three Technical Support Units of the IPCC working groups also contacted major scientific programmes, for example through the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), for candidates to fill scientific gaps. These candidates were designated by the Technical Support Units. The Bureaux of the IPCC working groups selected experts for each chapter on the basis of their scientific credentials, as well as regional balance, while seeking to improve gender balance;

(b) Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity has designed, but not yet implemented, a roster. At its first session, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity authorized the secretariat to compile a roster of experts from a list provided by Governments and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. At the same session, the SBSTTA also authorized the formation of ad hoc technical panels and determined that the panels should make full use of such a roster. The roster of experts was to be regularly updated. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, at its second session, from 6 to 17 November 1995, provided guidance on the establishment of the roster of experts by the Executive Secretary to support the work of the SBSTTA. The roster is to draw upon expertise from the following areas: scientific, technical, technological, social, management, economic, policy, legal, and indigenous and traditional knowledge. The Executive Secretary may convene, as appropriate, meetings of experts drawn from the roster to support the secretariat in advancing the work of the SBSTTA. Each session is to have a duration of no more than five days and is to be comprised of no more than 15 experts, with due regard to geographical representation and the special conditions of least developed countries and small island developing States;

(c) Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. The STAP, at the request of the GEF Council, has developed and is maintaining a roster of experts. This roster is to consist of a wide range of internationally recognized specialists in the GEF focal areas. It is to be developed in consultation with the Implementing Agencies and the GEF secretariat. The roster is aimed at facilitating the review process of individual project proposals. The first edition of the roster was drawn up during the pilot phase of the GEF. The STAP is preparing an updated roster and new criteria for the selection of experts to the STAP. In addition, the STAP has made a list of over 400 disciplinary fields to describe candidates. Nominations are being received from the Implementing Agencies. An initial group of 157 candidates was approved at the fourth session of the STAP held on 15 February 1996. The responsibility for the selection of individuals and the maintenance of the roster lies with the STAP which has a quality control system in place that reviews and evaluates the work of the roster of experts on an annual basis. The STAP roster will be updated every year and will be available in book form, on diskette, and through the Internet.

C. Discussion

5. The issues most frequently identified by Parties in their submissions as ones that would benefit from the advice of experts were: innovative technologies, adaptation technologies, and methodologies, particularly methods for projecting emissions and assessing the effects of measures and policies.

6. There was agreement among the Parties concerning the general attributes which experts should possess and the uses of the roster, as identified in the annex. Parties provided several options concerning the number of nominees from each Party and the period for which the roster should be established.

7. A review of how other major competent international organizations approach this issue indicates that a roster may be characterized as a large pool (list) of scientific and technical experts available to assist an organization as needed with specific tasks. Unlike a permanent panel, it is not an organizational unit and does not hold regular meetings. Once established, the use of experts on a roster is generally delegated to the unit responsible for a task. A panel, on the other hand, may be characterized as a group of experts established for a specific purpose. Its rules and mandate are usually established by a governing organization. It may be helpful to bear these differences in mind when considering this issue.

8. If the SBSTA confirms the utility of a roster of experts to support the work of the Convention, it may consider a basis for its formation. While many different approaches are possible, the secretariat suggests, based on the submissions from Parties, the following elements:

(a) It may be advisable to start with an interim arrangement to be kept under review by the SBSTA. Parties have submitted different options for the period after which a first review would take place, namely one, two or three years, and the SBSTA would have to make a decision on this matter;

(b) Parties would nominate candidates based on the following criteria: (1) the attributes listed in section I of the annex, and (2) knowledge of one or more of the sectors, regions and countries, disciplines and general task areas listed in section II of the annex. All nominations would be accompanied by a curriculum vitae. Nominees meeting these criteria would be included in the roster. Experts would serve in an advisory capacity and would not recommend specific policy choices;

(c) The SBSTA would have to decide how many experts could be nominated by each Party. Parties have submitted different options concerning this number, namely five, six, or ten;

(d) Experts from the roster would be used for tasks identified by any of the subsidiary bodies. The secretariat could be requested to organize the work to be undertaken, possibly using ad hoc technical panels, and to select the experts under the guidance of the Chairman of the subsidiary body concerned, ensuring a balance of skills and expertise, of specific environmental and developmental aspects of the Convention and the necessary geographical balance;

(e) The roster would also be available to the secretariat, as a source of expertise for tasks carried out under the secretariat's responsibility;

(f) The roster would be updated annually and maintained and published by the secretariat.


9. At its second session, the SBSTA took note of the information provided by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and a number of Parties, relevant to the implementation of Article 5 of the Convention. It requested the secretariat to prepare a summary report on research and observation issues, with attention to Article 5, and particularly to Article 5(c), of the Convention, in close collaboration with Parties and concerned organizations, and taking into account the recommendations of the IPCC Second Assessment Report, for consideration by the SBSTA and subsequently by the COP. The secretariat is currently preparing this report, which, if completed in good time, will be issued as an addendum to the present document.



A. Introduction


1. Mandate

10. At its first session, the SBSTA agreed that there would be a need for close coordination between the SBSTA and the IPCC in identifying specific proposals for jointly agreed tasks and considering such matters as time-frames for implementation and financial implications (FCCC/SBSTA/1995/3). It felt that this would be particularly important after the consideration by the SBSTA of the IPCC Second Assessment Report.

11. Also at its first session, the SBSTA identified a list of areas in which it could draw upon the assistance of the IPCC in order to provide the COP with timely information and advice on relevant scientific and technical issues. With a view to refining, modifying and adding to this list, and identifying short- and long-term requirements, the SBSTA requested its Bureau to hold joint meetings with the officers of the IPCC, and to report to sessions of the SBSTA on the outcome of these meetings.

12. At its second session, the SBSTA considered the conclusions of the meetings of the Joint Working Group of the officers of the UNFCCC and the IPCC. Taking into account the statements made at the session, it requested the IPCC to undertake the proposed activities in support of the SBSTA and the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM) contained in annex III to the report on its second session (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/8). This list was subsequently considered by the Bureau of the IPCC at its tenth session. The conclusions of that Bureau are reflected in section C, below.

2. Action required by the SBSTA

13. The following information is provided to assist the SBSTA in planning the programme of work for its future sessions. Additional information will be provided by the Chairman of the IPCC who will address the second session of the COP and the third session of the SBSTA.

B. Tenth session of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

14. At its tenth session, held at Geneva on 28 and 29 March 1996, the Bureau of the IPCC considered, inter alia, the conclusions of the second session of the SBSTA and of the third session of the AGBM. In particular, it considered the list of items on which the IPCC could provide input to the SBSTA, contained in annex III to the report of the SBSTA on its second session (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/8).

15. The Chairmen of the SBSTA, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the AGBM, as well as the UNFCCC secretariat, were invited to participate in discussions under this item. In the absence of the Chairmen of the SBI and the AGBM, who were unable to attend, the Chairman of the SBSTA, assisted by the Vice-Chairman of the AGBM and the secretariat, responded to questions from IPCC Bureau members.

16. Responses from the IPCC to requests from the SBSTA and the AGBM fall into three categories:

(a) Technical papers, which will be rather short (20-30 page) documents, will gather together and/or clarify information contained in the Second Assessment Report on specific issues of importance to one or more of the Convention's subsidiary bodies. These papers will have an expedited review schedule and will not need "acceptance" or "approval" from a plenary session of the IPCC. All of these papers are being prepared in response to specific requests from the Convention;

(b) Workshops are open meetings of the academic and policy communities intended to focus attention on issues which are often not yet adequately discussed in the research literature. The workshops planned for 1996 and early 1997 either address requests from the Convention or begin to set the stage for the Third Assessment Report, which is expected to be completed during the year 2000;

(c) Special reports will address broader climate change issues than technical papers (such as radiative forcing -- the topic of the 1994 special report). These reports will generally be longer than technical papers and can include more recent research results not assessed in the Second Assessment Report because they require "acceptance" or "approval" from an IPCC plenary session. No plans for special reports have been approved by the Bureau; they will be discussed at the twelfth IPCC plenary session (IPCC-XII) at Mexico City (11-13 September 1996).

Technical papers

17. The Bureau of the IPCC agreed to the preparation of six technical papers in response to the requests of the SBSTA and the AGBM. Four of the technical papers would be completed by November 1996 and the remaining two by February 1997, as follows:

(a) Technical papers for completion in November 1996:

(i) Policies and measures. This paper will respond to the needs of the AGBM, which has identified a number of economic sectors and technologies which may deserve priority attention, based on a number of criteria which include, inter alia, the relative contribution of each sector to emissions, the projected sectoral growth in emissions, and an estimate of the potential to reduce emissions in the sector, as identified in the Second Assessment Report. The paper will summarize technical information about the technologies contained in the Second Assessment Report, assess constraints which appear to limit the application of the technologies and activities identified by the AGBM, and analyse possible options for encouraging wider application of these technologies and activities;

(ii) Modelling of stabilization scenarios consistent with Article 2. This paper will aim to present the implications, in terms of emissions (and the associated economic cost), of a range of greenhouse gas stabilization targets (in terms of level and timing). The range of stabilization scenarios will be chosen to encompass a range of climate outcomes in terms of: rate of change of global temperature and sealevel, and absolute maximum values of global temperature and sealevel increase. Work will continue for a possible Special Report on the subject to be completed circa 1998;

(iii) Environmental implications of emission limitations. This paper will assess the effects of a variety of proposed control strategies or protocols on temperature, sealevel and other attributes of climate;

(iv) Simple climate models. This will explain to non-experts how a simple climate model represents the climate system, what it can do, and what it cannot do (for example, detailed regional projections). It can be used in conjunction with the Second Assessment Report to obtain a better understanding of how climate and sealevel projections are derived.

(b) Technical papers for completion by February 1997:

(i) Regional impacts of climate change. This paper will comprise a series of 'fact sheets' (each approximately five pages long) summarizing potential regional vulnerabilities to changes in climate. The bulk of the information will be drawn from the IPCC Working Group II (WG II) report, and will synthesize and clarify the key vulnerabilities and potential impacts discussed in the Second Assessment Report. It will also incorporate inputs from the reports of the IPCC WGs I and III;

(ii) Methodological and technological aspects of technology transfer. This paper will assess experience with a variety of arrangements which have brought about transfer of technology, from commercial agreements among private sector firms, to transfers facilitated through support from Government or multilateral institutions. Analysis of capacity building information networks, and training to sustain application of technologies will also be included.

(c) Technical papers on which decision was deferred:

(i) Evaluation of technologies. Proposals for a process of technology assessment will be discussed at the twelfth session of the IPCC in September 1996;

(ii) Impacts of response measures. Action was deferred pending further study and consideration.


18. The IPCC will organize the following workshops in the course of its 1996-1997 programme in support of UNFCCC activities:

(a) Workshop on the Preparation of Regional Climate Projections for Impact. This workshop will be held in London from 24 to 26 September 1996. It will be a meeting of modelling communities (including emissions, climate, and impacts) to develop recommendations for regional climate projections for the impact assessment for use in the preparation of the Third Assessment Report;

(b) Workshops on Integrated Assessment Modelling. These will be held in France (October 1996) and Japan (March 1997);

(c) Workshop on Adaptation Measures. This workshop, as follow-up to (a) above, will be held in Canada at a date yet to be decided in 1997.

19. In addition, three meetings of experts have been organized on emissions inventory methodologies. These are part of the ongoing work programme on inventory methodologies aimed at submitting revised methodologies to the twelfth session of the IPCC.

Special reports

20. As mentioned above, requests for special reports including that on detection of climate change will be considered by the twelfth session of the IPCC in September 1996.

21. It should be noted that the SBSTA at its second session requested the secretariat to take these activities as the basis for proposing a financial contribution to the IPCC in 1996, as provided in the Convention budget. In accordance with this, the contribution to the IPCC, in the amount of US$310,600, is scheduled to be paid later in the year (see FCCC/CP/1996/7, para. 21).



A. Introduction

22. The SBSTA is to develop proposals on its longer-term activities and organizational arrangements, and to report these to COP 2. At its second session, the SBSTA requested the secretariat to present a longer-term work programme to the third session of the SBSTA on the basis of the principles laid out in the annotated agenda of the second session of the SBSTA, taking into account comments from Parties, as well as the need for coordination with the SBI.

23. Consequently, the secretariat has developed a tentative approach for the next four sessions of the SBSTA, which are scheduled as follows:

Third session - During COP 2, 9-16 July 1996, Geneva

Fourth session - 16-18 December 1996, Geneva


Fifth session - 24-28 February 1997, Bonn

Sixth session - During the fourth quarter of 1997 in conjunction with the third session of the COP

A further brief session of the SBSTA may need to be held during the third quarter of 1997, to prepare recommendations for action by COP 3. This has not been included in the planning yet.

B. Scheduling

24. Following is a short discussion of the way different agenda items might be addressed at the forthcoming sessions of the SBSTA. The schedule is compatible with the programme of work of the SBI, as described in FCCC/SBI/1996/11. The discussion is summarized in a table at the end of this section.

(a) Reports from and cooperation with the IPCC

25. The SBSTA agreed to have a discussion of the Second Assessment Report of the IPCC at its third session. The IPCC is preparing technical reports for the SBSTA which will become available before the fourth and fifth sessions. Furthermore, the twelfth session of the IPCC in September 1996 will make decisions regarding further work; these may be considered by the SBSTA at its fifth session. Progress may also be considered briefly at the sixth session.

(b) Research and observation issues

26. At the request of the SBSTA, the secretariat intends to provide a summary report on research and observation issues. The SBSTA might take note of this document and request the secretariat to do some further work, for consideration at one of its future sessions, for example, the fifth.

(c) National communications from Annex I Parties

27. The SBSTA at its third session should consider guidelines for preparing national communications from Annex I Parties. At its fourth session, the SBSTA may need to continue its consideration to resolve any outstanding issues, for example, methodological issues regarding inventories. The experience with the revised guidelines could be discussed at a later session.

(d) National communications from non-Annex I Parties

28. The SBSTA at its third session would continue its consideration of guidelines for non-Annex I Parties. Methodological issues regarding inventories may need some consideration at SBSTA 4, and the experience with the guidelines may be discussed at a later session of the SBSTA, such as the sixth.

(e) Methodological issues

29. The secretariat is organizing a joint effort with relevant international organizations, including the IPCC, to improve the basis for national communications with respect to a broad range of methodologies. The report of a workshop is expected to be available at the fourth session of the SBSTA; at that session, the SBSTA may also consider proposals from the twelfth session of the IPCC for methodological work. Further progress could be discussed at a future SBSTA session, for example, the sixth.

(f) Activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase

30. The third session of the SBSTA will have before it an initial information about activities implemented jointly which it may take note of. It may also decide on a work programme including workshops on methodological issues which would provide a basis for further discussions at the fourth and fifth session of the SBSTA. At the sixth session, the SBSTA and the SBI, meeting in conjunction with the third session of the COP, will prepare a synthesis report on activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase, for consideration by the COP at its third session. This should enable the COP to take an appropriate decision on the continuation of the pilot phase.

(g) Development and transfer of technologies

31. A follow-up report on work regarding technologies will be presented to the SBSTA at its third session. Several activities have been started and results will become available in the course of the year. A brief discussion may be scheduled for the fourth session with a fuller consideration at the fifth. Further progress could be reviewed at the sixth session.

(h) Mechanisms for non-governmental organization consultations

32. A report on the workshop held during the second session of the SBSTA will be available at the third session of the SBSTA. The SBSTA may wish to take note of this report, and discuss how to proceed on this issue, for example, aiming at a fuller discussion at the fourth or fifth session. Further consideration might take place at the sixth session.

(i) Establishment of a roster of experts

33. The establishment of a roster of experts will be considered by the SBSTA at its third session. Depending on decisions to be taken by the COP regarding technical panels, the programme of work and organizational arrangements might be a routine item with a brief discussion before a COP meeting.

(j) Programme of work and organizational arrangements

34. The following table summarizes the tentative work programme, as defined by the SBSTA at its second session, distinguishing between:

items to be discussed in substance (indicated by XXX);

items to be discussed briefly, for example, with the aim of deciding on further work or giving guidance to the secretariat (indicated by XX);

items on which progress will be noted (indicated by X).

Tentative work programme of the forthcoming SBSTA sessions

Agenda item





A. Scientific assessments

1. Reports from and cooperation with IPCC





2. Research and observation issues





B. National communications

1. Annex I

2. Non-Annex I

3. Methodological issues













C. Activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase





D. Development and transfer of technology





E. Mechanisms for NGO consultations





F. Programme of work and organizational arrangements







a XXX Indicates items to be discussed in substance.

b XX Indicates items to be discussed briefly.

c X Indicates items on which progress will be noted.






This annex is a synthesis of comments submitted by Parties, and added to by the secretariat on the basis of the Convention and information from other bodies.


The Parties identified the following general attributes of potential experts:

Person of integrity


Scientific and technical expert

Knowledgeable about regional issues

Knowledgeable about related activities in other organizations, for example, IPCC

Serving in personal capacity

Private or public sector employee


Other, for example, relevant publications, professional experience, and project experience.


Three categories have been identified that could serve as a basis for nominations, namely:

(a) Sectors and types of countries or regions identified in the Convention, particularly Article 4.1, 4.8, 4.9 and 4.10, for example:

Economic or impact sectors






Waste management

Coastal zone

Water resource


Types of countries or regions

Small island countries

Countries with low-lying coastal areas

Countries with arid and semi-arid areas, forested areas and areas liable to forest decay

Countries with areas prone to natural disasters

Countries with areas liable to drought and desertification

Countries with areas of high urban atmospheric pollution

Countries with areas with fragile ecosystems, including mountain ecosystems

Countries whose economies are dependent on income generated from the production, processing and export, and/or on consumption of fossil fuels and associated energy-intensive products

Land-locked and transit countries

Least developed countries

(b) Disciplines

Atmospheric science

Biological science


Climate science, including modelling

Computer science


Economics and finance


Environmental science



Marine Science



Physical science

Policy analysis

Social science

(c) Tasks assigned to the Convention bodies and the secretariat, (1) and (2) for example:

Development of guidelines

Development of methodologies

Review of the financial mechanism

Special reports and papers, for example:

- innovative technologies

- policies and measures

- technology transfer

Consideration of the adequacy of the Convention

Assessments of the state of scientific knowledge



(a) Establishment of the roster

Flexible so as to support future tasks

Parties should each nominate [5], [6], [10] experts

Nominations should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae

Secretariat should maintain a public register

Nominations to be adjusted every year or for special tasks

Nominees to serve [1], [2], [3] years

On an interim basis

As per the design of the Convention on Biological Diversity

(b) Use of the roster

Advisory; not for policy recommendations

For specific tasks identified by the subsidiary bodies, assigned to the secretariat or assigned to the intergovernmental technical advisory panel(s), if established

To reflect special circumstances of developing countries

To reflect geographical and Annex I/non-Annex I country balance

To provide added value; not for tasks being undertaken by other organizations, for example, IPCC

Should be reassessed after one year or some other period of time




The following list of potential areas of expertise was submitted by Parties.

Methodology areas

(a) Emission inventories

(b) Estimating the effects of measures on national or global emissions

(c) Projecting future emissions

(d) Allocating emissions (bunker fuels, electricity exports, etc.)

(e) Reporting guidelines on activities implemented jointly

(f) Evaluating climate impacts

(g) Evaluating mitigation options

(h) Evaluating technology needs

(i) Financial reporting

(j) Technology transfer

(k) Demand side management

(l) Treatment of hydrocarbon feedstocks converted to non-CO2 products (plastics)

(m) "Preprocessing" of raw material or semi-finished products

(n) Energy content of exports and imports

Technology areas (3)

(a) Innovative technologies

(b) Adaptation technologies

(c) Energy technologies



industrial demand

hydrogen fuel-cell

wind, passive solar, solar hot water, integrated photovoltaic cells

high efficiency electricity generation

efficient electricity distribution systems

efficient cooking technologies

heating, ventilation and air-conditioning design and control

window technology

clean coal technology

natural gas technology


methane recovery from coal mines and petroleum extraction

(d) Agricultural technologies and practices

efficient feeding practices for livestock

(e) Forest management practices

(f) Transportation technologies

efficient automobiles

alternative and hybrid fuel vehicles

low emission fuels

efficient mass transportation systems

efficient aircraft and marine systems

transportation control systems

(g) Other

recycling, reuse, and source reduction

methane recovery from landfills

efficient water purification, reuse and recycling technologies

efficient construction practices

industry benchmarking and information on best practices


Policies and measures (4)

(a) Emission trading systems

(b) Market pull measures

(c) Efficiency or emission standards

(d) Research, development and demonstration incentives

(e) Emission fees

(f) Resource user fees (land, water, forest, minerals)

(g) Revenue recycling

- - - - -

1. See appendix for further details.

2. In-depth reviews are not included in this list, since Parties already nominate experts under decision 2/CP.1.

3. Parties may also wish to refer to document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/4 and Add.1.

4. Parties may also wish to refer to document FCCC/AGBM/1995/6.