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. 249
Wednesday, 12 March 2003



Delegates met throughout the day in two Working Groups. Working Group I (WG-I) considered mountain biodiversity. A Friends of the Chair group on the list of technologies and recommendations, and a contact group on the programme of work were established and met in the evening. Working Group II (WG-II) addressed inland waters, and started discussing marine and coastal biodiversity. A Friends of the Chair group met in the evening to discuss a Chair’s text on inland waters.


MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: Chair Robert Andren (Sweden) opened discussion on mountain biodiversity and the Secretariat introduced documents on: status, trends of, and threats to, mountain biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/5); measures for conservation and sustainable use (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/6); and proposed elements for a work programme (UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/8/7).

SPAIN and others stressed the need for further analysis. Regarding threats to mountain biodiversity, POLAND suggested adding transport and BURUNDI mining and small-scale logging. On status and trends, CAMEROON and INDIA called for more specific examples.

On the proposed elements for the programme of work, CUBA and others asked for reference to indigenous communities. COLOMBIA, supported by others, called for focus on soil, species and impacts of trade. MALAWI advocated that it address population density and legal aspects. JAPAN proposed including vulnerability of mountain communities and, supported by AUSTRALIA, GREECE and the SEYCHELES, recommended further elaborating the Global Taxonomy Initiative.

JORDAN stressed developing countries’ needs regarding establishing inventories and national strategies and, supported by INDONESIA and ERITREA, called for financing awareness campaigns. UGANDA stressed the importance of capacity building, information exchange and incentives for mountain dwellers to adopt alternative livelihoods. KENYA highlighted the importance of technology transfer. BANGLADESH called for a participatory approach and benefit sharing. CHINA said national plans, programmes and policies should follow the objectives set by COP-7. CANADA, ITALY and SWEDEN proposed a landscape approach.

CANADA, supported by others, made reservations to the establishment of an expert group on the effects of climate change. CAMEROON and others advocated expanding the expert group’s mandate to include poverty alleviation, awareness raising, sustainable use by local communities and land-use change. SYRIA underscored assessment of the links between desertification, water sources and over-use of mountain resources. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION highlighted the need for environment-based education and alternative mountain ecosystem management. AUSTRIA stressed the need for targets and indicators, and identifying actors, at various levels, for implementing the programme of work. The UK, supported by the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (EC), advocated avoiding overlaps between existing themes. The CANADIAN INDIGENOUS BIODIVERSITY NETWORK (CIBN) stressed respecting indigenous rights and facilitating their participation in conserving and managing mountain biodiversity.

On the indicative list of technologies for mountain biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/7/Add.1), the EC and others recalled the deadline for thematic reports on technology transfer. Slovenia for the CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES highlighted on-going innovative activities on mountains. UKRAINE proposed eco-corridors and eco-nets as tools for preserving mountain biodiversity. Many stressed traditional knowledge of local and indigenous communities and proposed adding local technologies to the list.

COLOMBIA stressed the need to focus on access and benefit-sharing, information exchange, biotechnology and genetic resources. NEW ZEALAND, supported by PANAMA, said the list should focus on mountain ecosystems and be more outcome-oriented. ERITREA and UGANDA requested adding methodologies for North-North, North-South and South-South transfers. SPAIN, supported by JORDAN, stressed the need for a portal to exchange technological information. The ANDEAN ASSOCIATION IN PERU highlighted that traditional knowledge is key to indigenous survival and diversity of food crops. ALGERIA noted the legal aspects of technology transfer, including patents. CAMEROON lamented lack of implementation of technology transfer, and with ETHIOPIA, stressed the importance of local solutions for mountain degradation. MALAWI requested increased access to information for local communities. HAITI supported by UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre endorsed compensation of mountain populations for providing ecological services and water. A Friends of the Chair group was established on the issue.

Chair Andren then presented a draft on proposed elements for the programme of work, incorporating delegates’ interventions. He said the draft covers four programme elements: synergies with other programmes of work; conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing; institutional and socio-economic enabling environment; and knowledge, assessment and monitoring. The EC and others noted structural shortcomings of the draft. COLOMBIA underscored the need to translate the importance of local communities into clear objectives. IRELAND suggested emphasizing the role of women. Cameroon on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP stressed the need to broaden the definition of mountain to include lower levels.

A contact group met in the evening to continue discussion on the draft.


INLAND WATERS: Chair Asghar Mohammadi Fazel (Iran) placed the review of the work programme on inland waters in the context of the 2003 International Year of Freshwater and the WSSD. The Secretariat introduced the documents related to the review and further elaboration of the work programme (UNEP/ CBD/SBSTTA/8/8; 8/Add.1 to 5; and 8/INF/4, 5 and 16). Niclas Lucas, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), presented the MA’s work on inland waters. Matthias Halwart, FAO, highlighted FAO’s normative and field activities on inland waters. Nick Davidson, Ramsar Convention, outlined the CBD/Ramsar collaboration and presented key features of the draft work programme and recommendations, highlighting the need for further work on ecosystem level assessments, targets and timeframes.

Regarding the status and trends of inlands waters (UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/8/8/Add.1). GHANA stressed poverty as a major threat. INDIA underscored community participation and noted that security of livelihood is related to wetlands’ conservation. The NETHERLANDS highlighted Ramsar work on pollution and eutrophication.

Most delegates supported the proposed elements for refinement of the work programme and recommendations (UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/8/8/Add.2). GHANA suggested referencing subterranean waters. AUSTRIA stressed clear division of work with the Ramsar Convention, called for incorporating the issue of water supply and, with GERMANY, for timelines regarding outcome-oriented targets. INDIA suggested synergy between Ramsar and CBD national focal points. BRAZIL expressed concerns regarding subsidies and distortion of trade in agricultural products. SWITZERLAND called for another in-depth review within six years, or for the programme’s rolling adaptation. GERMANY and NORWAY stressed links with the World Commission on Dams (WCD) report and follow-up activities. TURKEY recalled its reservation to the WCD report and suggested integrating sustainable development concerns. FINLAND, GERMANY, JAPAN and SPAIN supported use of the Ramsar classification system. AUSTRALIA said the Ramsar system was not adequate in its entirety and NEW ZEALAND noted it may not be appropriate for all countries. AUSTRALIA said the formulation of the goal on impact assessment may cover actions for which rigorous assessment is impossible.

FINLAND stressed interlinkages between biodiversity and water policies. FRANCE underscored the impacts of artificial damming and called for better reflection of public policies’ impacts. The NETHERLANDS said that work of the OECD on incentives should be taken into account. ARGENTINA and COLOMBIA called for clarifying the resources and means needed for implementation. NORWAY stressed the need for methodologies for water allocation and management. The EC said reporting on implementation measured against global targets should be linked to work done on indicators. CANADA stressed the need for better understanding threats and possible responses, addressing health as a key component of sustainable livelihoods, and taking into account traditional knowledge. CIBN called for indigenous participation in inland waters’ management.

Regarding the work plan for the valuation of goods and services (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/8/Add.3), FRANCE called for assessment mechanisms for socioeconomic impacts. CANADA opposed the concept of tradable water rights. A Friends of the Chair group met in the evening to consider a Chair’s text.

MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY: The Secretariat introduced the documents on: review and elaboration of the work programme (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/9 and INF/13, 15 and 16); the report of the expert group on marine and coastal protected areas (MCPAs) (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/9/Add.1 and INF/7, 11, 12 and 14); the report of the expert group on mariculture (UNEP/ CBD/SBSTTA/8/9/Add.2 and INF/6); and deep seabed genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/9/ Add.3/Rev.1 and INF/3/Rev.1).

On the work programme, GERMANY proposed a six-years’ periodic review. NORWAY highlighted the ecosystem approach and stressed the concept of large marine ecosystems. BRAZIL underscored the needs of stakeholders and local communities in developing countries. PORTUGAL recommended adding a programme element on deep seabed ecosystems. GREECE, SENEGAL, TUNISIA and TURKEY called for collaboration with regional initiatives. SENEGAL recommended establishing marine and coastal biosphere reserves. TUNISIA stressed the need to strengthen developing countries’ legislative capacity. The NETHERLANDS said that more attention should be paid to the gradiance between freshwater and marine areas. IRAN called for cooperation on transboundary issues. The SEYCHELLES stressed the need to reflect progress on coral reef protection. The UNEP MEDITERRANEAN ACTION PLAN stressed the difficulty to address high seas biodiversity conservation and called for establishing an expert group on the issue. Regarding the expert group on integrated management, JAPAN requested reconsidering its establishment, HAITI called for timelines and CANADA suggested including indigenous representatives.

On MCPAs, Dan Laffoley (UK) and Sarah George (St. Lucia) presented the mandate and key findings of the expert group. CAMEROON stressed capacity-building for gathering information and developing legislation. NEW ZEALAND expressed full support for the expert group�s work, including for MCPAs in the high seas and highly protected MCPAs. BRAZIL called for recognition of national legislation. FRANCE requested in-depth studies on the MCPAs� impacts on economic well-being and fisheries activities.

Several countries supported establishing MCPAs within and beyond national jurisdiction. JAPAN opposed MCPAs beyond national jurisdiction, while GERMANY called for work on their legal aspects and FINLAND stressed the experience of regional seas conventions. ARGENTINA opposed any discussion on the relationship with the law of the sea regime and CHINA stressed the need to pay attention to it. NORWAY said the establishment of MCPAs must be regional and ecosystem specific. AUSTRALIA supported the WSSD 2012 target for establishing MCPAs networks and recalled that MCPAs include a wide range of management practices. CANADA highlighted local communities� participation. ICELAND called for a definition of MCPAs and highlighted the IUCN management classification system. TURKEY requested a legal review of the implications of international instruments related to sea transport. HAITI stressed the need for capacity building for MCPAs management. The US said MCPAs are successful when science-based, enforceable, activity-oriented and consistent with international law. The UN DIVISION FOR OCEAN AFFAIRS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA said the jurisdictional framework for establishing MCPAs is provided for by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. WWF recommended a targeted monitoring mechanism on the establishment of networks and individual areas.


Discussions in WG-I were seemingly smooth, when many had expected an intense debate on the indicative list of technologies. Some delegates from developing countries seemed frustrated with repeated and fragmented discussions of this issue without any real implementation from developed countries. Others questioned the maturity of the mountains theme within the CBD for the meeting to elaborate an "ambitious" programme of work.

Many delegates expressed satisfaction with the technical, as opposed to political, nature of the discussions in both working groups.However, some feared that the political issue of the relationship between the CBD and the law of the sea regime regarding marine and coastal issues could result in late night sessions.


WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will meet at 10:00 in Conference Hall 1 to discuss SBSTTA operations.

WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will meet at 10:00 in Conference Hall 2 to address marine and coastal biodiversity, focusing on the report of the expert group on mariculture, and deep seabed genetic resources, and start discussions on dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity. Look for a CRP on inland waters. 

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � is written and edited by Karen Alvarenga; Ritesh Bhandari; Charlotte Salpin; Nicole Schabus; and Elsa Tsioumani The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), 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 2003 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 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, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), and the Ministry for Environment of Iceland. Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Governments of Canada (DFAIT and Environment Canada) and the United Kingdom (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - DEFRA). The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at, +1-212-644-0217 or 212 East 47th St.#21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.

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