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Sixth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing of the Convention on Biological Diversity (ABS 6)

21 - 25 January 2008 | Geneva, Switzerland

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ABS 6 Highlights: Thursday, 24 January 2008

On Thursday morning, the Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) met in plenary to hear reports from the contact groups. The contact group on a draft decision to be considered by the Conference of the Parties (COP) met in the morning and in the afternoon. The contact group on the objective and main components met in the evening and continued discussions into the night. An informal meeting on capacity development for ABS convened by the Working Group Co-Chairs Timothy Hodges (Canada) and Fernando Casas (Colombia) was held during the lunch break.

Plenary Session

Working Group Co-Chair Timothy Hodges (Canada) reported on the COP Bureau’s support for the current process.
Contact group Co-Chair Pierre du Plessis (Namibia) reported on the deliberations of the contact group on the objective and main components.
Contact group Co-Chair François Pythoud (Switzerland) reported that the contact group on the draft COP decision had incorporated proposals into the draft decision.
Working Group Co-Chair Fernando Casas (Colombia), reminded delegates that the contact group on the main components was established to develop concrete text proposals and tangible options.
Jimena Nieto, Colombia.
Robert McLean, Canada.
Mario Rodriguez, Mexico.
Gurdial Nijar, Malaysia, for the Like-minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) explained that the group would revise their earlier proposal on objectives and main components. Matthias Buck, for the EU, expressed hope that in addition to further work on objectives and main components there would be time to address scope and nature.

Contact Group on the Draft Decision

Contact Group Co-Chairs François Pythoud (Switzerland) and Linus Spencer Thomas (Grenada) focused on text as delegates considered a revised non-paper synthesizing parties’ proposals on clauses for a draft COP decision.
Robert McLean, Canada, requested that the COP "take note" of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples rather than "welcome it."
Tone Solhaug, Norway, endorsed an observer’s proposal noting the importance of indigenous and local communities’ participation in the negotiations and supported stating it in an operational clause.
Hugo Schally, EU, preferred placing such reference in the preamble.
Gurdial Nijar, Malaysia, opposed by the EU, suggested that the group complete its work “to enable the adoption of the regime at COP 10.”
Delegates debated whether an instruction to the Working Group’s future work should make reference to Decision VII/19D, or Decision VIII/8A. Dave Gordge, Australia, emphasized Decision VII/19D.
Brazil, together with the LMMC and the African Group, stressed Decision VIII/4A. Delegates eventually agreed to reference both decisions.
Informal negotiations in the plenary hall between Peru and Ecuador. The African Group proposed referring to the role of parties and governments with regard to awareness-raising and capacity building.

Afternoon Session of the Contact Group on the Draft Decision

Chiho Horiuchi, Japan, proposed a paragraph inviting parties to fully utilize the Bonn Guidelines in the formulation of their national legislation. David Hafashimana, Uganda, speaking for the African Group, noted such aninvitation is redundant as it repeats prior COP decisions.
Simon Rae, New Zealand, supported Japan's proposal for a paragraph on the Bonn Guidelines, but the paragraph remained bracketed.
Fernando Coimbra, Brazil, for the LMMC questioned the efficacy of a proposed paragraph requesting the Executive Secretary to commission a study to examine the feasibility, practicability and costs related to the implementation of an internationally recognized certificate of origin/source/legal provenance.
Victoria Lichtenstein, Argentina, opposed a paragraph requesting the Co-Chairs to carry out bilateral and regional consultations and calling for funding for these consultations. .

Contact Group on the Components

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Monday, 21 Jan - Tuesday, 22 Jan - Wednesday, 23 Jan - Thursday, 24 Jan - Friday, 25 Jan

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