The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) is the scientific advisory body that reports to the Conference of the Parties (COP). Its functions, as outlined in Article 25 of the Convention, and further elaborated by the COP, include:
The SBSTTA operates under a consolidated modus operandi set out in Annex III of decision VIII/10. At present, it meets twice between each COP and prepares a detailed set of recommendations for consideration by the COP.
The SBSTTA may convene ad hoc technical expert groups (AHTEGs) under the guidance of the COP. The SBSTTA provides oversight to ensure that terms of reference for AHTEGs clearly indicate their mandate, duration of operation, expected outcomes and reporting requirements, and that their mandates are limited to the provision of scientific and technical advice and assessments. The AHTEGs are composed of experts competent in the relevant field of expertise. Reports produced by AHTEGs are submitted to Parties and relevant organizations for peer review.
SBSTTA focal points act as liaisons with the Secretariat on behalf of their Parties with regard to scientific, technical and technological matters related to the Convention and, in doing so, they may undertake the following tasks: