C. ARTICLES OF THE CONVENTION
Article 18 - Technical and scientific cooperation
128. On Article 18(1), has your country taken measures to promote
international technical and scientific cooperation in the field of
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity?
b) No, but potential measures are under review
c) Yes, some measures are in place (please provide details below) X
d) Yes, comprehensive measures are in place (please provide details below)
Further information on the measures to promote international technical
and scientific cooperation.
The National Botanic Garden of Belgium has the largest botanical
collections from Central Africa in the world, as well as large historical
holdings from other tropical countries, e.g. Brazil and Mexico. It develops
training programmes for students from developing countries and initiatives to
transfer its tropical biodiversity data to the countries of origin, inter alia
in the framework of the 'African Plant Initiative' funded by the Mellon
The African Biodiversity Information Centre (ABIC), situated at the Royal
Museum for Central Africa, is supported by the Belgian Development
Cooperation. The RMCA has the largest zoological collections from Central
Africa in the world, and ABIC organises training internships for students from
developing countries, with an emphasis on datamining and transfer of
collection information. ABIC engages in co-operation agreements with the
source institutions of the students to ensure support for the valorisation of
the transferred information after the training. Internships are individually
adapted to meet the needs and requirements of the applicants.
Belgium's National Focal Point to the GTI, situated at the Royal Belgian
Institute of Natural Sciences, is financially supported by the Belgian
Development Cooperation. This museum and research institute harbours
zoological collections (roughly 37 million specimens), a tissue bank for
sequence analyses, a library of global importance, well-equipped research
facilities and well-trained scientific and curatorial staff. The Belgian Focal
Point to the GTI offers training in taxonomy and collection management for
selected students from developing countries worldwide. This tuition, provided
in collaboration with the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren, Belgium),
cuts across all levels and aims at professional taxonomists, postgraduate,
graduate and undergraduate students, technicians and parataxonomists. Training
for the individual includes traditional and molecular approaches to taxon
identification and classification while institutional support includes
reference centre and website development. In addition the Belgian GTI NFP
offers access to collections and gives support for taxonomy based research
projects carried out in developing countries. Valorisation of archives and
collections relating to partner countries, as well as creating public
awareness and education, complements the training offers.
The B CHM is not only promoting technical and scientific cooperation
through the training of national CHM focal ploints of partner countries but
tries to stimulate this as well through regional and subregional initiatives.
The participants to the regional CHM training for Central Africa formulated a
proposal to develop a sub-regional portal to promote the cooperation between
Flemish Region: financial and technical support is given in the
framework of CMS to a programme on the conservation of the Sahelo-Saharan
antelopes in Tunesia, in cooperation with the Royal Belgian Institute of
Natural Sciences and with France. Financial support is also provided through
the Flemish Fund for Tropical Forests.
See also information provided under article 5.
129. On Article 18(4), has your country encouraged and developed methods
of cooperation for the development and use of technologies, including
indigenous and traditional technologies, in pursuance of the objectives of
b) No, but relevant methods are under development
c) Yes, methods are in place X
130. On Article 18(5), has your country promoted the establishment of
joint research programmes and joint ventures for the development of
technologies relevant to the objectives of the Convention?
b) Yes (please provide some examples below) X
Examples for the establishment of joint research programmes and joint
ventures for the development of technologies relevant to the objectives of the
In the framework of the Earth Observation research programme of the Belgian
Science Policy Office, several research projects conducted with local agencies
for natural resources management in Africa, Indonesia and with international
organisations such as the Worldbank/Environment, FAO/FOREST, UNEP, IUCN, WWF
International and Oxfam aim to improve remote sensing methods for monitoring
and planning purposes.
Within the frame of bilateral agreements with i.e. China, Poland, Russia,
joint research projects are initiated by the Belgian Science Policy Office
consisting in a transfer of Belgian know-how which has been developed through
the Belgian Science Policy Office R&D programmes. About 0.4 Mio Euro per
year is devoted to biodiversity projects which include the study and
conservation of specific groups of micro-organisms in different provinces and
regions of China, the use of remote sensing techniques for monitoring land use
changes in Poland, etc.
Flemish Region: the Institute of Nature Conservation is an active
member of the ALTER-net project 'A Long-term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and
Awareness Research Network'. The project, which involves 24 research
institutes in Europe, was launched in 2004 and aims to develop a Network of
Excellence (NoE). This NoE will create a European long-term inter-disciplinary
facility for research on the complex relationship between ecosystems,
biodiversity and society. It will provide scientific support for policy
assessment and development on the conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity in the European Union, and a facility for information retrieval
and reporting on biodiversity-related issues. The project runs over a period
of five years (http://www.alter-net.info).
131. Has your country established links to non-governmental
organisations, private sector and other institutions holding important
databases or undertaking significant work on biological diversity through the
CHM? (decision V/14)
b) No, but coordination with relevant NGOs, private sector and other
institutions under way
c) Yes, links established with relevant NGOs, private sector and institutions X
The following question (132) is for DEVELOPED COUNTRIES
132. Has your country further developed the CHM to assist developing
countries and countries with economies in transition to gain access to
information in the field of scientific and technical cooperation? (decision
b) Yes, by using funding opportunities X
c) Yes, by means of access to, and transfer of technology X
d) Yes, by using research cooperation facilities X
e) Yes, by using repatriation of information X
f) Yes, by using training opportunities X
g) Yes, by using promotion of contacts with relevant institutions,
organisations and the private sector X
h) Yes, by using other means (please specify below)
Further comments on CHM developments to assist developing countries and
countries with economies in transition to gain access to information in the
field of scientific and technical cooperation.
b) using funding opportunities: the Belgian Development Cooperation has
funded the organisation by the Secretariat of the Convention of several
regional meetings for the CHM.
c) see information under article 16.
d) using research cooperation facilities: several initiatives are mentioned
in the sections on capacity building (among others under articles 15 and 16)
to promote the access to research facilities in Belgium by researchers from
e) access to information: mainly by making information available through
BeBIF, ABIC, MetaFro, B CHM, etc. and by the NBGB (see also information under
f) training opportunities: the B CHM organised, with funding from the
Belgian Development Cooperation, several training courses for the CHM-NFPs of
developing countries in the use of web publishing tools for the creation of
national CHMs. National CHMs from 20 developing countries are hosted at the B
CHM server to promote the access to information on scientific and technical
cooperation from developing countries. During the period 2003-2005 the B CHM
and BCH organised three training courses for BCH-NFPs from partner countries
in the utilisation of the central BCH portal.
A regional workshop for CHM-NFPs has been organised in December 2003, in
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the
Convention. Fifteen participants exchanged experiences on the implementation
of the national CHMs and how to further technical and scientific cooperation
between their countries.
A sub-regional CHM training workshop for Central African partner countries
has been organised in January 2005, in Bujumbura (Burundi). This workshop was
organised in collaboration with Burundi, Rwanda and the Secretariat for the
Convention. About 15 partners to the national CHMs from five countries
received training on how to exchange information through the internet.
133. Has your country used CHM to make information available more useful
for researchers and decision-makers? (decision V/14)
b) No, but relevant initiatives under consideration
c) Yes (please provide details below) X
Further comments on development of relevant initiatives.
The Belgian CHM is a portal for information related to the implementation
of the CBD in Belgium. The B CHM receives many requests related to the
Convention from researchers and decision makers. If the information is not
available on related sites the B CHM makes the information available on its
own site. There are also collaborations with the Belgian Biodiversity
See box XLV for information on other initiatives.
134. Has your country developed, provided and shared services and tools
to enhance and facilitate the implementation of the CHM and further improve
synergies among biodiversity-related Conventions? (decision V/14)
b) Yes (please specify services and tools below) X
Further comments on services and tools to enhance and facilitate the
implementation of CHM and further improve synergies among biodiversity-related
The Belgian CHM is offering services as mentioned in the Second National
Report (p. 100-101). It has developed a standardised web model to facilitate
the implementation of the CHM by partner countries and to promote
interoperability between CHMs in the near future. Belgium participated
actively in the 'Informal Meeting on Interoperability of Information among the
Three Rio and Other Environmental Conventions', Montreal, November 2004.
National level discussions are ongoing towards developing a joint website with
the NFP for the Desertification Convention.
Please elaborate below on the implementation of this article and associated
decisions specifically focusing on:
a) outcomes and impacts of actions taken;
b) contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Strategic Plan of the
c) contribution to progress towards the 2010 target;
d) progress in implementing national biodiversity strategies and action plans;
e) contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
f) constraints encountered in implementation.