Under the Chairmanship of Mr Moustafa Fouda (Minister Advisor on Biodiversity Nature Conservation Sector, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency) the first meeting of the CBD Informal Advisory Group on EBSAs took place on 30 June-1 July 2018. The mandate for this Group, which reports directly to the CBD Executive Secretary, was set out by CBD COP13 (CBD/COP/DEC/XIII/12, Annex III), with a focus on developing scientific guidance, EBSA training and the EBSA Repository, as well as frequency and timing of future EBSA Workshops. The aim of this inaugural meeting was to develop a programme of work for 2018-2019, and discussions at SBSTTA 22 may further inform the work of the Group. GOBI Partners were well represented within the 30 person expert roster. David Johnson (GOBI Secretariat), Piers Dunstan (CSIRO) and Pat Halpin (Duke University) all made theme presentations to facilitate plenary discussion and then moderated discussion on key questions. The report of the meeting will be subject to peer review.