Wednesday, 1 September 2010 3:39 AM

Pacific Islander to Vacate Seat on World Biodiversity Bureau in October

Press Release - Come the end of October, the second Pacific nation to hold a seat on the Bureau for the Convention for Biological Diversity, passes this privilege on.

Tania Temata from the Cook Islands together with Cambodia represents the Asia Pacific Group on this bureau. It is a first for the Cook Islands to be represented on any bureau for the many global multilateral-environmental agreements.

The Bureau for the CBD is like a Board of Directors for a company. It reviews the implementation of the Convention and oversees the preparation of the bi-annual conferences of the parties and all other related meetings in between the conference of the parties. The logistic organisation of the meeting is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity.

The Convention of the Biological Diversity is having the 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan in October this year, for which 14 Pacific islands countries and territories are a party to this international agreement to conserve the biodiversity of the World.

The Asia Pacific Group is a recognised United Nations grouping within the Convention of Biological Diversity. It consists of over 40 different countries and is given two seats on the Bureau each term. Kiribati was the first Pacific nation to be nominated on the bureau by the Asia Pacific group. It has been agreed within the group that the seats are to be rotated each term amongst its sub-region grouping. (South Asia, Central Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific)

"My first interest is to represent the views of the Pacific islands countries on this bureau, and the business of CBD. Secondly it is to represent the interests of Asia Pacific as a group," said Temata on her role on the bureau.

"I have learned a lot by sitting on the bureau in terms of CBD business and how the UN system works. Also working within the Asia Pacific Group, I've had to work within the dynamics of the different countries, their differing interests and priorities. Trying to manage these differing views, and making sure all interests are equally represented without any biases has been a real learning curve for me."

"The Asia Pacific group consists of both developing and developed nations, big countries, like China and smaller countries like Niue for example. You have to recognise that the dynamics of the group is wide and varied, and try your best to represent them. I just hope that I have been able to represent both the Pacific and the group well during this term."

Temata will vacate her seat on the Bureau of the CBD at the end of the 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan. She began her term at the end of the 9th Conference of the Parties for the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn, Germany in 2008.

Talking the talk: Quick pointers

. CBD means Convention on Biological Diversity.
. A Multilateral environment agreement is a legally binding agreement is a legally binding agreement between two or more states relating to the environment - examples of which are the Convention on Biological Diversity or the United Nations Framework on the Convention on Climate Change Kyoto Protocol.