Minutes and Action - Centre for Marine Biodiversity by cuiliqing


									Minutes and Action Items Arising from June 18th teleconference.

The teleconference was held from 3:00 – 4:20 PM AST June 18th

In attendance were

K. Zwanenburg, Chair
M. Costello
M. Sinclair
J. Anderson
E. Kenchington
C. Levings
L. Fortier
R. Haedrich
H. Powles
K. Frank
A. Butler


D. Pauly
V. Tunnicliffe
P. Hebert
K. Minns

The Agenda for Teleconference Monday held June 18th 3:00 P.M. AST is given below

1.   Introduction and background
2.   Mandate and meeting schedule for the Steering Committee
3.   Time and venue for steering committee meeting
4.   Initial Discussion of major themes for invited position papers
5.   Identification of regional biodiversity information experts
6.   Other issues

Discussion and Action Items resulting from the Meeting

1. The chair gave a brief introduction to the origins, funding for, and deliverables for the
   workshop. The members of the steering committee had been provided overview documents
   ahead of the meeting and it was apparent that these had been scrutinized. The chair indicated
   that a website (presently as a page in the main Centre for Marine Biodiversity website,
   http://www.marinebiodiversity.ca, is under construction which will contain, all background and
   future documentation.

     There was some discussion regarding the present composition of the steering committee and
     whether it represents an adequate balance of regional and institutional members. It was
     considered that overall it strikes a reasonable balance between regions of the country,
     government, university and NGO members. There was some discussion of adding a First
     Nations member. This was considered particularly important for the Arctic

     Action: Louis Fortier to propose a First Nations member to represent the Arctic

2. The mandate of the steering committee was outlined and accepted as follows:
       To ensure a scientifically defensible approach to the workshop
       To provide benefit of their experience and expertise
       To provide contacts to regional and theoretical experts
       To develop the themes for invited position papers
       To participate in the workshop discussions
       To participate in the development of the Scientific Plan

3. Meeting and work schedule for Steering Committee

    It was agreed that teleconferences are not the ideal format for this kind of meeting and that this
    telecon was to be viewed more as a meet and greet session. The committee discussed both time
    and venue for a face to face meeting and agreed that a meeting should be held as soon as feasible
    to ensure the longest possible lead-time to the workshop. A time frame of the last week of
    October to the third week of September was the time slot that was most agreeable, with possible
    venues being Toronto, Montreal, of Halifax. It was agreed that each steering committee member
    would send the chair their preferred week and venue and that the decision would then be made
    by the majority or by decision of the chair.

    Action: All steering committee members to indicate their preferred date and venue for the next
    meeting. (Ann Butler will send out an e-mail that will allow you to cast your vote for a place and
    time in the next day or so).

4. Initial discussion of major themes for invited paper

    It was agreed that the workshop contributions need to be developed around a number of central
    questions. The topic of marine biodiversity is very broad and it was felt that contributions need
    to be invited around focussed themes. It was proposed that all steering committee members
    submit at least one question that could serve as a unifying theme for the workshop. Committee
    members will also propose a researcher (or researchers) whom they feel would be best to
    produce position papers to address these questions. The questions, along with the potential
    contributors (which could be the members themselves), will be collated and discussed at the next
    steering committee meeting). It was considered essential that all potential authors be identified
    early on and that papers would be prepared prior to the workshop. [Chair’s note: It should be
    our intention to publish the position papers in a peer reviewed Canadian journal. The benefits of
    these papers would be lost in grey literature document. In some earlier planning discussions we
    had considered the Canadian Field Naturalist as a possible vehicle. This should be a point of
    discussion at our next meeting].

    Some of the questions proposed were, what controls biodiversity in marine systems, are
    ecological generalizations developed for terrestrial systems applicable to marine systems, where
    does biodiversity come from, what is the efficacy of a network of MPA and what is their ideal
    spacing. Since one of the products of the workshop will be to produce a science plan for Canada
    it was also suggested that some of the questions should have a Canadian spin on them. One
    obvious issue is the functional significance of low diversity systems (Arctic).
    One unifying theme that was proposed related to a matrix approach where each of the
    components of biodiversity is ranked with regard to the criteria under the Convention on
    Biological Diversity:
                                               Inventory      Monitor     Conserve
                    Species / population

    It was considered that each of the elements of this matrix could represent a possible question for
    a position paper. It was also proposed as a means of evaluating and categorizing the information
    on biodiversity used for the gap analysis of regional biodiversity information sources.

    There was some indication that the questions should be a mix of practical and theoretical issues.

    Mark Costello indicated that there would be an electronic conference on biodiversity in Europe
    in the near future. The three unifying themes identified for this conference are: ecosystem
    function, measuring biodiversity, and taxonomic tools and systems.

    Action: All steering committee members to submit at least one thematic question and a potential
    contributor for a position paper on that question.

    There was a discussion indicating the necessity of having a common set of definitions for key
    terms that will be in use during the development and execution of the workshop. The experience
    at Dunsmuir and a number of other biodiversity related meetings emphasized this necessity. The
    chair will solicit a set of terms and definitions from each member. These will be collated and
    deliberated by e-mail. Final discussions and development of consensus at the next steering
    committee meeting

    Action: All steering committee members to submit a list of key terms and definitions relevant to
    marine biodiversity

    There are presently a number of national initiatives that examine aspects of managing human
    activities within the context of ecosystems. The most recent of these was held at Dunsmuir
    Lodge in Sidney BC. Biodiversity played a large role in these discussions and the documentation
    from this meeting may provide an effective framework within which to develop aspects of the

    Action: Kees Zwanenburg to provide steering committee members with the final version of
    “Proceedings of the national workshop on objectives and indicators for ecosystem based
    management” as soon as this becomes available

5. Identification of regional biodiversity information experts

    One of the deliverables of the workshop will be an analysis of the extent and shortcomings of
    existing information on marine biodiversity for the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic Oceans. This was
    viewed as a very large task and one, which need strict guidelines if it is not to fail through lack of

    The objective would be to develop a meta-data base of existing marine biodiversity information.
    The form of this meta-data base is very important and there are a number of other groups that
    are working on related ideas
   Action: Kees Zwanenburg to develop and send out a proposal for the structure of the meta-data
   base to be developed.

   Achieving this objective will rely on the work of regional institutions and experts to identify
   information sources.

   Action: Dick Haedrich to identify Atlantic regional institutions and experts as contacts for
   marine biodiversity information.

   Action: Colin Levings to identify Pacific region institutions and experts as contacts for sources
   of marine biodiversity information.

   Action: Louis Fortier to identify Arctic Region institutions and experts as contacts for sources of
   marine biodiversity information.

   It was also considered that these regional members of the steering committee could act as links
   between regional experts and the committee as a whole. They would form an effective pipeline
   for information.

   It was proposed that holding a number of small regional workshops (one for each Ocean) to
   prepare regional meta-data sets prior to the workshop (fall 2001) might be effective. If regional
   contacts are identified early on they can be approached with this idea and it can be further
   discussed at the next steering committee meeting.

6. Other business

   There was some discussion of attendance at the workshop. It was agreed that participation
   would be by invitation only to ensure that it remains a working meeting. It was also agreed that
   the attendees would represent a mix of experts who would be asked to contribute written
   materials and those who would be effective discussants. It is important that major funding
   agencies for biodiversity research be invited to participate. This will be effective in giving these
   agencies insights into the priorities for future directions of research.


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