[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 51 (Friday, March 16, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12590-12591]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-4873]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Federal Advisory Committee for the Expert Review of Synthesis and 
Assessment Product 4.3 (CERSAP); Establishment

AGENCY: Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the creation of the Federal Advisory 
Committee for the Expert Review of Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 
(CERSAP).

PURPOSE: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the lead agency for 
Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 
titled, The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, 
Water Resources, and Biodiversity. CERSAP will provide advice to the 
Secretary of Agriculture on the conduct of this study.

[[Page 12591]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. William Hohenstein, Global Change 
Program Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 112-A Whitten 
Federal Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-
3810; telephone: 202-720-6698.

    Authority: CERSAP is established in accordance with the 
provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. 
App. 2 section 9 (c). CERSAP supports the USDA in its participation 
in the interagency U.S. Climate Change Science Program, specifically 
in implementation of Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 (SAP 4.3), 
The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water 
Resources, and Biodiversity. The Secretary of Agriculture has 
determined that CERSAP is in the public interest and will support 
USDA in performing its duties and responsibilities.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: CERSAP will provide advice to the Secretary 
of Agriculture on the conduct of a study titled, The Effects of Climate 
Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and 
Biodiversity, to be conducted as part of the U.S. Climate Change 
Science Program. The draft report will be published at http://
www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap4-3/default.htm. CERSAP will 
provide advice on the specific issues to be addressed, appropriate 
technical approaches, the nature of information relevant to decision 
makers, the content of the final report, compliance with the 
Information Quality Act, and other matters important to the successful 
achievement of the study objectives. CERSAP will respond specifically 
to the following seven inquiries related to the report:
    1. Are the goals, objectives, and intended audience of the product 
clearly described in the document? Does the product address all the 
questions as outlined in the prospectus?
    2. Are the findings and recommendations adequately supported by 
evidence and analysis? If any recommendations are based on value 
judgments or the collective opinions of the authors, is this 
acknowledged and are adequate reasons given for reaching those 
judgments?
    3. Are the data and analyses handled competently? Are statistical 
methods applied appropriately? Are uncertainties and confidence levels 
evaluated and communicated appropriately?
    4. Are the document's presentation and organization effective? Are 
the questions outlined in the prospectus addressed and communicated in 
a manner that is appropriate for the intended audience?
    5. Is the document scientifically objective and policy-neutral? Is 
it consistent with the scientific literature, including recent National 
Research Council reports and other scientific assessments on the same 
topic?
    6. Does the summary concisely and accurately describe the content, 
key findings, and recommendations? Is it consistent with other sections 
of the document?
    7. What significant improvements, if any, might be made in the 
document?
    Duties: CERSAP will provide expert peer-review to SAP 4.3, 
according to the criteria listed above. CERSAP will generate a list of 
comments and suggestions to increase the merit of SAP 4.3. After SAP 
4.3's authors have responded to those comments, CERSAP will review 
those responses to ensure that their review comments have been 
adequately considered and addressed.
    The duties of the CERSAP are solely advisory in nature.
    Official(s) To Whom CERSAP Reports: CERSAP will submit advice and 
report to the Secretary of Agriculture through the Director of USDA's 
Global Change Program Office (GCPO) within the Office of the Chief 
Economist (OCE).
    Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings: CERSAP expects to meet 
approximately two (2) times. Meetings are expected to occur when the 
draft report, The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land 
Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity, is initially available, 
and again to finalize the review document, or as needed and approved by 
the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). USDA may pay travel and per diem 
expenses when determined necessary and appropriate. A full-time or 
permanent part-time employee of USDA will be appointed as the DFO. The 
DFO or a designee will be present at all meetings and each meeting will 
be conducted in accordance with an agenda approved in advance by the 
DFO. The DFO is authorized to adjourn any meeting when he or she 
determines it is in the public interest to do so.
    As required by FACA, CERSAP will hold open meetings unless the 
Secretary of Agriculture determines that a meeting or a portion of a 
meeting may be closed to the public in accordance with subsection c of 
Section 522(b) of Title 5, United States Code. Interested persons may 
attend meetings, appear before CERSAP as time permits, and file 
comments with the CERSAP.
    Duration and Termination: This charter will be in effect until 
publication of SAP 4.3. The charter will expire upon publication of SAP 
4.3, and will not be renewed.
    Member Composition: CERSAP will be composed of approximately twelve 
(12) members. Members will be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture 
through the Office of the Chief Economist. No member shall have served 
as an author of the draft SAP 4.3.
    Most members shall be designated Special Government Employees, 
reflecting their selection based upon their scientific expertise in the 
fields of climate change effects on the ecosystems and ecosystem 
services investigated by SAP 4.3. Other members may be Regular 
Government Employees, and will have comparable expertise.
    Equal opportunity practices, in line with USDA policies, will be 
followed in all membership appointments to CERSAP. To ensure that the 
recommendations of CERSAP have taken into account the needs of the 
diverse groups served by the Department, membership shall include, to 
the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to 
represent minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.
    Subgroups: USDA, or CERSAP with USDA's approval, may form CERSAP 
subcommittees or workgroups for any purpose consistent with this 
charter. Such subcommittees or workgroups may not work independently of 
CERSAP and must report their recommendations and advice to the full 
CERSAP committee for deliberation and discussion. Subcommittees or 
workgroups have no authority to make decisions on behalf of the full 
CERSAP committee, nor can they report directly to the Secretary of 
Agriculture or other USDA officials.

Keith Collins,
Chief Economist,
 [FR Doc. E7-4873 Filed 3-15-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-01-P