Article 30. Subsidiary bodies

694. Article 30 addresses:

695. At present there is only one standing subsidiary body established by the CBD: the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, established under Article 25 CBD. Under Article 30 of the Protocol, this body could be asked to provide scientific, technical or technological advice to the COP/MOP of the Protocol.

696. Under Article 30(1), the COP/MOP may assign functions related to the Protocol to the subsidiary bodies of the CBD, specifying the functions that the body shall exercise in the context of the Protocol. At present, the body that would appear to be primarily affected by this provision is the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), established in accordance with Article 25 of the CBD. The role of the financial mechanism of the CBD in the context of the Protocol is addressed in a separate provision (see commentary on Article 28).

697. Article 30(1) does not require the consent of the CBD COP to the assignment of functions to the SBSTTA or to any future CBD subsidiary bodies under the Protocol. The CBD COP has adopted a modus operandi for SBSTTA131 which does not specifically envisage it playing a role in relation to the Protocol or responding to requests for advice from the COP/MOP. The question was not specifically raised in the negotiations. It would however become relevant if additional tasks assigned to the SBSTTA under the Protocol significantly add to the workload or costs of SBSTTA. It could be argued that the COP to the CBD may exercise its right to “consider and take any additional action that may be required for the achievement of the purposes of this Convention” (Article 23(4)(i) CBD) to intervene in this event.

Box 49. Functions of SBSTTA under Article 25 CBD


698. Under Article 30(2), when a subsidiary body of the CBD exercises functions in relation to the Protocol, only Parties to the Protocol may take part in the adoption of any decision the subsidiary body reaches. This follows the approach taken in relation to participation in meetings of the COP/MOP under Article 29. Parties to the CBD which are not Parties to the Protocol may nonetheless participate on observers.

699. The Rules of Procedure of the CBD COP also apply, as appropriate, to its subsidiary bodies. The composition and functions of the CBD COP and COP/MOP bureau have been described under Article 29(3). As with the meetings of the COP/MOP, when a subsidiary body of the CBD carries out functions under the Protocol, any member of the bureau who does not represent a Party to the Protocol must be replaced by a representative of a Party to the Protocol.

131 Decision IV/16, UNEP/CBD/COP/4/27, Annex 1.

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