Article 1: Introduction

1.1 The International Network for DIVERSITAS in the Western Pacific and Asia(DIWPA) was established in 1994 as an initiative of concerned scientists in the region. It is closely related to DIVERSITAS, the International Programme of Biodiversity Science, originally organized by IUBS, SCOPE and UNESCO in 1991 and then in collaboration with ICSU, IUMS and IGBP-GCTE from 1996 to promote and catalyze the knowledge of biodiversity, its conservation and sustainable use: to determine its origin, composition and ecosystem function, through inventorying and monitoring.

Article 2: Scope

2.1 Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity requires signatory parties to identify components of biodiversity important to conservation and sustainable use….and monitor, through sampling and other techniques, the components of biodiversity identified. It also calls for signatories to identify processes and categories of activities which have or are likely to have significant impacts on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and monitor their effects and to maintain and organize…data derived from identification and monitoring activities. Many countries in the western Pacific and Asia region have ratified the convention and have developed national biodiversity action plans and national biodiversity strategies. In all of these documents the need to inventory and monitor biodiversity and to understand its ecosystem function is seen as an essential prerequisite to the future sustainable management and use of natural resources, nationally, regionally and globally, as called for by the Brundtland Report.

2.2 DIWPA is a nongovernmental, apolitical, regional organization focused on the integration of the efforts and resources of scientists towards the study of the unique ecosystems of the Western Pacific and Asia including the terrestrial Green Belt from Siberia to New Zealand and the marine Blue Belt along its east border.

Article 3: Mission and Objectives

3.1 The Mission of DIWPA is:

To promote the sustainable management and utilization of biodiversity in the Western Pacific and Asia region through the development of regional programs of collaborative research focused on the inventorying and monitoring of biodiversity and its role in ecosystem process.

3.2 The Objectives of DIWPA are:

(1) To promote regional research in biodiversity

(2) To develop joint research projects on biodiversity at the regional level

(3) To establish regional biodiversity networks

(4) To encourage interchange of information among scientists

(5) To conduct training courses pertinent to biodiversity

(6) To provide the scientific basis for the development of common regional policies in biodiversity

(7) To establish a network of databases

(8) To organize meetings, workshops, symposia periodically on current regional issues and concerns of biodiversity

(9) To develop capacity building in biodiversity assessment and analysis

(10) To contribute to the accomplishing of the 10 Core Programme Elements of the DIVERSITAS Operational Plan

Article 4: Strategic Directions, from 1998 to 2006

4.1 IBOY (International Biodiversity Observation Year)

An international program of activities on the status of the biodiversity in Western Pacific and Asia will be launched in 2001 under the scope of DIVERSITAS.

4.2 Establishment of network of research sites for biodiversity research

Networks between researchers and research sites on biodiversity in Western Pacific and Asia will be established based on the IBOY program.

Article 5: Membership

5.1 DIWPA shall have two types of membership.

A. Patrons: individuals/organisations who make substantial contributions either financially or in kind to the approved DIWPA activities.

B. Scientific Members: individuals or organisations who are willing to be actively involved in research programs of DIWPA.

Article 6: Management

6.1 The DIWPA Board is the policy-making body. Members shall consist of:

A. Chairperson

B. Secretary General

C. The Chairperson and two other members of Steering Committee

D. No more than six additional members representing international and regional organisations that have a significant influence on the sustainable management and use of biodiversity in the region, through conservation, economic development and human health and welfare.

Membership to the Board shall be made upon the recommendation and approval of the DIWPA Conference, and shall have three-year tenure.

6.2 The Steering Committee is an advisory body, consisting of at least ten but not more than fifteen members, and shall be appointed by the Board, on the recommendations of scientific members, for a three-year term.

6.3 The Secretariat shall be headed by the Secretary General and shall consist of a Planning and Operations section, a Finance and Audit section and a Monitoring and Evaluation section.

Article 7: Conference

7.1 The Conference is the assembly body comprising the Regular and Patron Members. This body meets regularly once every two years or anytime as the Board deems it necessary.

Article 8: Amendments to the Charter

8.1 Any amendments to the Charter can come from the Conference, the Board or the Secretariat. A majority vote of 2/3 of the Conference shall effect the proposed amendment(s) approved.