The CBD Alliance

 1.     The CBD Alliance is a network of civil society organization, working together to positively influence the CBD negotiations, and the implementation of the Convention.

2.     It is governed by a board of directors.

3.     Its work is executed by a coordinator.

Board Elections

4.     A new board will be elected every two years

5.     The board will be composed in the following manner:

  • Africa: 2
  • Asia: 2
  • Europe: 2
  • North America: 1
  • Pacific + Oceania: 1
  • Sud  America: 2
  • IIFB: 1
  • Indigenous and local communities: 1
  • Outgoing COP representative: 1
  • Incoming COP representative: 1

6.     For the board elections, an election committee, of minimum 3 board members will be set up, ideally involving persons who are not a candidate for the new board. If they are, they shall abstain from involving themselves in any discussion regarding their own membership of the upcoming board.

7.     Board members can be elected for a two consecutive periods.

8.     Board elections will be announced on the e-list, and open to interested CBD Alliance members to present themselves

9.     The election committee will revise the nominees:

  • Suitable candidates will be preselected Where the number of suitable candidates  coincides with the number of open posts, they are selected
  • Where the number of suitable candidates surpasses the number of open posts, a process of self-selection shall be set up, guided by the coordinator and the selection committee
  • Where the number candidates is less, a new call on the list, specifically for this post, shall be one

10. The new election committee shall be announced on the e-list, and published on the webpage

Board functioning

11. The board, upon its election, shall decide if they select an executive committee and/or a chairperson. The definition of those shall be announced on the e-list and on the webpage.

12. The board is competent to take decisions regarding the CBD Alliance.

13. Board members should try to give an informed opinion about most of the important issues raised at the board.

14. The board may also set up working groups, depending on the issue open for board members only, or with a general invitation to the list.

15. Board members should show an interest in CBD Alliance matters, and presence in the board. Those board members who are not involved in any email exchange, nor in board meetings, during 3 consecutive months, may be asked to leave the board, after which a new board member may be selected.

Board decisions

16. Decisions will be made through board meetings, (physical or by skype) or by email interaction.

17. All board decisions will be available on the website, at a section accessible for board membrs only.

18. Proposed board decisions shall be communicated as such, with a clear indication on how the decision will be taken. Typically, a proposed board decision is a logical result of a previous decision, and is announced as: if no objection by X date, this shall be considered as a decision. Unless the issue is urgent, proposed decisions will be open to objections during one week.

19. All relevant information on the functioning of the CBD Alliance shall be communicated to the board, either through board meetings, through email, or on the relevant section on the webpage.

Board meetings

20. Whenever there is a quorum for a board meeting during official CBD meetings, a board meeting will be held. This is mostly the case during COP meetings.

21. In the inter-sessional period, board meetings shall be held by skype conference

22. Ideally a meeting will be held every 2 months

23. The coordinator shall make a provisional agenda

24. The coordinator shall consult with all board members, and find a moment when most board members can participate.

25. The coordinator shall make minutes of the board meetings

26. Board communication should be concentrated on issues regarding decisions on the management of the CBD-A. Issues regarding CBD and biodiversity in general should best be discussed on the list.

27. Strategic decisions regarding the CBD-A should also be discussed, or at least open for comments, via the e-list. Examples are issues regarding statutes, formal membership rules, etc.

Projects of the CBD Alliance

28. The CBD Alliance may execute common projects and studies, be it implemented by a consultant, be it implemented by several of its member organizations. The board will decide on funds and implementation modes.

Action of the CBD Alliance during CBD sessions

29. When funds are available, the CBD-A will provide funding for under-represented groups to participate in CBD sessions. A call for participants will be made on the e-list. Afterwards, the board (or a selection committee within the board) will decide on the specific candidates.

30. The CBD Alliance coordinator will be present in all major meetings of the CBD. (COPs, COP-MOPs, SBSTTA meetings, WGRI meetings, eventually WG8J and other meetings)

31. During all major meetings of the CBD, there will be daily coordination meetings, set up by the coordinator

32. ECOs will be published during those meetings

33. Previous to CBD sessions, a strategy session will be held, coordinating about the different issues at the upcoming session.

34. Previous to COP and COP/MOP sessions, a capacity building session will also be held.

35. During major meetings the coordinator will assist, as much as possibilities permit, in helping CBD Alliance members coordinate, and in ways they may have an impact in negotiations.

36. Whenever possible, common opening and closing statements are read.

37. In preparation of important meetings, position papers may be prepared


 38. During major sessions ECOs are published (a few per week); during COP and COP-MOP sessions this will be one per day.

39. ECOs are an open forum for CBD Alliance members to voice their views and concerns about issues in the ongoing negotiations.

40. Articles related to the issues on the agenda for the day of publication have a strong preference

41. A regional balance among the authors of ECO articles will be persued as much as possible

42. Articles are the responsibility of the author only, and do not necesarilly represent the opinions of the CBD Alliance or all of its individual members.


43. The e-list is the principle media for communication with the wider CBD Alliance members

44. The list exists to exchange information, visions, and possible actions regarding CBD and biodiversity issues

45. All issues regarding biodiversity are most welcome on the list.

46. Members allowed on e-list:

-       persons from NGOs or Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities organizations (coordinator may take independent decision, only rejections to be consulted with board)

-       progressive academics, approval of board or significant group of CBD-A members is required

-       individuals, if they work close with previously mentioned organizations; approval of board or significant group of CBD-A members is required

47. New members will be required to fill out a short form on their organization and biodiversity related work.

Guidelines for messages on e-list:

48. Messages should be relevant to CBD or biodiversity issues, important contributions on other environmental issues can be welcome if they are somehow related to biodiversity

49. Messages should at all times be in respective tone, and not attack others persons and/or organizations on the list

50. If sending attachments or forwarding other mails or articles, try to give a short introduction why list members may find this relevant

51. If introducing yourself or your organization, try to focus on what is relevant for biodiversity/CBD and eventually other environmental issues

52. If forwarding a newsletter: consider preparing it as an invitation to subscribe to the newsletter, rather than resending the newsletter every month

53. Try not to send messages that are specific for one person, or just acknowledging you received a message.

54. In all normal circumstances, messages will not be censured. Messages may in some cases be filtered (meaning: non important messages, often send to the list without the intention of being sent through, or without giving it great importance), and, in very rare occasions be censured.

55. Filtering may occur in the following circumstances:

  •  Messages in reply to a previous message, acknowledging its reception, indicating interest, congratulating etc. Typically, these messages are in fact sent replying to the first person, and the list is included without intention.

  • Messages without any relevance on biodiversity, CBD issues, or even broader environmental or UN interest

  • Messages presenting an organization or a person, without any relevance to biodiversity or CBD issues.

  • Messages that are not clear. In most cases the coordinator will propose a way on how to improve the message, so they can be posted afterwards.

56. Filtering is definitely not censuring. If a message is filtered, but the sender feels it has general importance for the e-list, a simple request to the coordinator will be sufficient to let it be sent in any case.

57. Censuring is normally avoided. The CBD Alliance list is open to all ideas and critique. However, a decision can be taken to censure a message, with the approval of the board, if:

  • The message attacks persons or organizations, rather than debating ideas
  • The message is clearly representing entities other than civil society organizations (e.g. a government official is promoting his/her ideas on the list)

58. In cases when a person clearly does not belong to civil society, or when a person writes repeatedly messages with personal attacks on others, the person may be excluded from the list, after a board decision.

59. In some cases, there are technical problems with the yahoo list (e.g. messages not coming through, even if they were approved). If such occurs, please take contact with the coordinator, to see how this technical issue can be resolved.

Web Blog

60. Articles on issues of importance for the CBD will be published regularly on the CBD Alliance website.

61. Rules and guidelines for publication of those articles are similar as those published in ECO


62. Forums provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussions regarding CBD related issues.

63. All members of the e-list are invited to participate in the forums.

64. Issues which often trigger discussion on the e-list can be brought to a forum, thus providing a space for more in-depth discussions, and aliviating the amount of messages on the e-list

65. The coordinator (or occasionally, another assigned person) shall guide the discussion on the forum: questions to orient the discussion may be posed, summaries and/or conclusions made, etc.

66. Summaries or conclusions of forums will be posted back on the e-list.