Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 09 No. 238
Friday, 19 April 2002

CBD COP-6 HIGHLIGHTS:
THURSDAY, 18 APRIL 2002

The Ministerial roundtable reconvened in the morning to adopt the Ministerial declaration and address outstanding forest issues. A multi-stakeholder dialogue was held to address gender issues and benefit-sharing. A brief Plenary met in the evening to review progress. Working Group II (WG-II) met in morning and evening sessions to consider Conference Room Papers (CRPs) on: Article 8(j); financial resources and mechanism; contribution to the ten-year review of Agenda 21; as well as the multi-year programme of work. Contact groups on forest biodiversity and the financial mechanism also met.

MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE

In the morning, COP-6 President Geke Faber (the Netherlands) presented a revised Ministerial declaration. Some small island developing States (SIDS) emphasized reference to climate change and coral reef issues, with one suggesting flexibility in the year-2010 target. One country suggested stronger links between references to financing and needs of least developed countries, SIDS and economies in transition, and another proposed links between financing and forestry. One Minister advocated reference to the international environmental governance process, while others requested clearer references to: UNFF, CCD and UNFCCC; recognition of SIDS as a regional grouping; and ethics, including a possible code of ethics.

President Faber said a new draft would be prepared and opened discussions on forests, calling for focus on international priority setting and a review mechanism for the work programme’s implementation. Ministers emphasized an action-oriented programme, illegal logging and trade, and capacity building for enforcement. They also debated prioritization of certain forest types, with one calling for protected areas for all types, and another suggesting guidelines for setting national priorities. President Faber adjourned the meeting and convened a "Friends of the Chair" group to draft a paragraph on forests and consider giving political guidance to the contact group on forests.

In the afternoon session, Ministers considered and adopted a second revised declaration, with the exception of the forest-related paragraphs, which were to be harmonized with the contact group’s outcome. After a report from WG-I Chair Peter Schei (Norway) on outstanding issues in the forest contact group, Ministers decided to allow time for the contact group to reach agreement and reconvene, if necessary, to make a final political decision on unresolved issues. UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer characterized the broad Ministerial participation in the COP-6 high-level segment as a breakthrough for the CBD, placing it on equal footing with the UNFCCC.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE

President Faber and María José López, Sobrevivencia (Paraguay) co-chaired the multi-stakeholder dialogue, which considered involvement of women in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and benefit-sharing.

WOMEN AND BIODIVERSITY: Lorena Aquilar, Senior Gender Advisor, IUCN, discussed mainstreaming the issue of gender and environment on the institutional, political and field levels. Representatives from the Youth Conference called for legal measures to ensure equitable benefit-sharing. FRIENDS OF THE EARTH MALAYSIA stressed environmental impacts of globalization. NEW ZEALAND emphasized involvement of women, youth, and all cultures in biodiversity-related programmes. ETHIOPIA proposed financing for women’s participation in biodiversity meetings. An indigenous representative from Papua New Guinea stressed the need for responsible, community-driven resource use. MOZAMBIQUE emphasized access to education to ensure women’s effective participation. Representatives from KIDS FOR FORESTS described their countries’ detrimental forest activities.

BENEFIT-SHARING: The INTERMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT GROUP highlighted the roles of indigenous peoples and local communities in maintaining seed and crop diversity, and called for a ban on terminator seeds. The THIRD WORLD NETWORK noted deficiencies in the Bonn guidelines, including a failure to define rights of indigenous peoples, local communities and farmers, and address conflict with TRIPS.

The keynote speaker, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum, declined to read her statement, objecting to lack of time and dialogue. She insisted her statement be included in the report to WSSD to address concerns of indigenous peoples. The EU welcomed developing countries’ cooperation in crafting the Bonn guidelines. GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL said Parties had been unable to put aside their differences, instead favoring nationalism over the environment. WWF contrasted local action with the CBD’s pace in addressing environmental destruction. The COURT OF EDEN called on the Netherlands to recognize its indigenous people.

WORKING GROUP II

WG-II Chair Elaine Fisher (Jamaica) called for adoption of WG-II’s report UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.II/L.1. Cameroon, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, requested that their statement on developing a legally binding instrument on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) be reflected in the discussion on the adoption of the Bonn guidelines. The document was adopted with this amendment.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISM: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.II/CRP.10 on additional financial resources. Contact group Co-Chair Linda Brown (United Kingdom) reported on progress and, with some discussions, delegates adopted the CRP.

In the afternoon, the contact group discussed outstanding issues on the financial mechanism. They agreed on language: welcoming the expansion of the GEF Small Grants Programme; balancing support to national and regional projects, particularly for SIDS; and providing additional financial guidance for specific areas. Guidance for forest biodiversity remains outstanding, pending the outcome of deliberations on the item. Delegates also discussed the status of countries with economies in transition, which, according to CBD Articles 20 (Financial Resources) and 21 (Financial Mechanism) are not entitled to financial resources. Their representatives suggested referencing CBD Article 23.4(i) on additional action for the purposes of the Convention and inserted reference to countries with economies in transition under additional guidance to the GEF.

WG-II addressed the issue, during discussion of UNEP/CBD/ COP/6/WG.II/CRP.11/Rev.1, without resolution. Chair Fisher noted that those countries have access to funding on the basis of Article 9(b) of the GEF Instrument on grants outside the Conventions’ financial mechanism. NEW ZEALAND’s concern about lack of real guidance and on supporting priorities of national biodiversity strategies and action plans will be reflected in WG-II’s report. Following minor amendments, the document was accepted with remaining brackets.

ARTICLE 8(j): The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/ 6/WG.II/CRP.9/Rev.1, highlighting revisions on reference to small groups of indigenous peoples in the outline of the composite report, and bracketed language on CBD provisions on prior informed consent (PIC) and mutually agreed terms (MATs). Delegates agreed to a proposal by COLOMBIA and SWITZERLAND, urging governments to consider relevant CBD provisions with respect to PIC and MATs where traditional knowledge is used.

NICARAGUA, supported by COLOMBIA and ECUADOR, suggested retaining the concept of compensation, parallel to ABS, but delegates agreed to reference ABS in conformity with CBD language. CANADA noted the arguments of indigenous communities and proposed withdrawing reference to consultation and including only PIC where subject to the national regime. The EU and NORWAY supported the proposed compromise. The INTERIOR ALLIANCE called for recognition of the international principle of PIC of indigenous peoples, without restriction by national legal regimes. The CRP was adopted.

MULTI-YEAR PROGRAMME OF WORK: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/6/5/Add.2/Rev.1. The EU and MEXICO highlighted the need for conformity between the work programme and the strategic plan. Brazil, on behalf of GRULAC, supported by Cameroon, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, and TURKEY, proposed addressing the work programme at COP-7. GRULAC did not support proposed activities for COP-8, 9 and 10, highlighting the need to address implementation of existing items first. MEXICO and others supported an inter-sessional meeting to discuss the work programme prior to COP-7. Chair Fisher noted that the budget group had not agreed on an inter-sessional meeting. The EU, the Czech Republic for the CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, and SWITZERLAND supported addressing the issue at COP-6. Chair Fisher established a "Friends of the Chair" group to discuss the issue.

In the evening, WG-II considered UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.II/ CRP.12 arising from the "Friends of the Chair" discussions, which: requests the Executive Secretary to prepare a multi-year programme of work for COP-8, 9 and 10, taking into account the strategic plan and submissions from Parties; and decides to hold an inter-sessional meeting in conjunction with SBSTTA-8 to consider the work programme. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA raised the funding issue. Chair Fisher noted concerns about adopting a decision without corresponding funding, but expressed optimism regarding ongoing budgetary discussions. Delegates then adopted the CRP.

CONTRIBUTION TO THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF AGENDA 21: In the evening WG-II considered UNEP/CBD/ COP/6/WG.II/CRP.5/Rev.1. The EU proposed calling the annex a "contribution" instead of a "statement" from the CBD to the WSSD. SWITZERLAND agreed to retain a bracketed section on ideas and proposals, noting its consistency with the Ministerial Declaration. Delegates adopted the CRP and agreed to forward it to the CSD as an annex to the Ministerial Declaration to the WSSD.

CONTACT GROUPS

FOREST BIODIVERSITY: Contact group Chair Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) convened a contact group throughout the day. In the evening plenary, COP-6 President Faber requested WG-I Chair Schei to engage in bilateral consultations and report back to WG-I.

On the proposed establishment of an ad hoc technical expert group and its terms of reference, delegates debated its duration of work with some suggesting commencement after COP-7 and others advocating it start earlier. Delegates agreed it should report back to COP-8 through SBSTTA and that it be established for two years maximum. On the expert group�s tasks, delegates agreed it should: provide advice and input to the review of implementation; provide information on successes, challenges and obstacles; and provide information on the effects of measures taken and tools used in implementation. Delegates discussed reporting on implementation and agreed to call for a voluntary thematic report by Parties on their priority actions, and successes, challenges, and impediments to implementation.

On a proposed year 2010 target to strengthen efforts on reducing the rate of forest biodiversity loss, a developing country said the target should be contingent on availability of new and additional financial resources. Others opposed reference to a quantitative target. The issue remained unresolved. Delegates eventually agreed that availability of new and additional financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building is necessary to facilitate implementation.

In discussing the work programme's chapeau, some developing countries opposed prioritizing conservation of primary forests, preferring emphasis on sustainable use and reference to all types of forests. Other delegates suggested prioritizing riparian forests and forests high in endemism, and specified that prioritization should prevent biodiversity loss. The issue was left unresolved. A developing country called for, and others opposed, deletion of reference in the work programme to illegal logging.

IN THE CORRIDORS

As COP-6 winds up, delegates were struggling to follow the staggered agenda of contact groups, working groups, multi-stakeholder dialogue and Ministerial roundtable. While discussions in the forest contact group stalled, some welcomed the prospect for Ministerial involvement. However, political sensitivities, including the fact that not all key players had Ministers in attendance, seemed to keep such an intervention at bay. The approach appeared successful as late night bilaterals generated a compromise text.

In other areas, multiple stakeholders expressed disappointment with the multi-stakeholder dialogue, which suffered the consequences of a constantly shifting agenda and ultimately, no time for dialogue.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00 am in the Prins Willem Alexandar Hall to consider a draft decision on forest biodiversity.

PLENARY: The Plenary will follow WG-I to resolve outstanding issues from the Working Groups, consider preparations for COP-7, and adopt the meeting�s report.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � enb@iisd.org is written and edited by Jacob Andersen jacob@iisd.org, Stas Burgiel stas@iisd.org, Teya Penniman teya@iisd.org, Charlotte Salpin charlotte@iisd.org, Nicole Schabus nicole@iisd.org and Elsa Tsioumani elsa@iisd.org. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon franz@iisd.org. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. pam@iisd.org and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Operations Manager is Marcela Rojo marcela@iisd.org and the On-Line Assistant is Diego Noguera diego@iisd.org. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2002 is provided by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Finland, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, Swan International, and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies � IGES). The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at enb@iisd.org and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at info@iisd.ca and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at http://enb.iisd.org. The satellite image was taken above The Hague �2002 The Living Earth, Inc. http://livingearth.com. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin or to arrange coverage of a meeting, conference or workshop, send e-mail to the Director, IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org or call to +1-212-644-0217.

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