Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 9 No. 281
Wednesday, 18 February 2004
CBD COP-7 HIGHLIGHTS:
TUESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2004
COP-7 delegates met throughout the day in two
Working Groups (WGs). WG-I discussed biodiversity and tourism, and
invasive alien species (IAS), and also considered conference room
papers (CRPs) on mountain biodiversity and the thematic work
programmes. WG-II addressed CRPs on Article 8(j) (traditional
knowledge), Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure (elections and terms
of office of Bureau members), the multi-year programme of work (MYPOW),
and the CBD Work Programme and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
A brief Plenary was held in the afternoon. Contact groups on the
budget, access and benefit-sharing (ABS) and protected areas (PAs)
WORKING GROUP I
BIODIVERSITY AND TOURISM: The Secretariat
introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/3 and 14.
Ireland, for the EU, Acceding Countries, Bulgaria
and Romania (EU), JAMAICA and INDONESIA suggested developing a
user manual on the guidelines on biodiversity and tourism. SYRIA
requested assistance in linking ecotourism to heritage-based
tourism. The GAMBIA and CANADA said the guidelines should be
adaptable to national circumstances. EGYPT said implementing the
guidelines requires, inter alia, monitoring and, with KENYA
and VENEZUELA, community participation.
ECUADOR stressed the importance of
benefit-sharing and inter-sectoral cooperation. MALAYSIA, KENYA,
EGYPT and TURKEY emphasized the need for awareness raising. SAUDI
ARABIA requested references to PAs and, with KUWAIT, to fragile
areas. INDIA requested deleting reference to "full" community
involvement. The US suggested to address redress and compensation.
CANADA said the guidelines should be consistent with the Akwé: Kon
Guidelines on impact assessments. PANAMA and TONGA highlighted
indigenous communities’ contribution to sustainable tourism.
The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON
BIODIVERSITY (IIFB) said the guidelines are not in accordance with
CBD Article 8(j) as they fail to safeguard cultural diversity and
sustainability. He requested that adoption be postponed until COP-8.
IAS: The Secretariat introduced documents
UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and 13. The GLOBAL INVASIVE SPECIES PROGRAMME
outlined its supporting and awareness-raising activities.
Many delegates underscored the importance of
cooperating with the International Plant Protection Convention and
other relevant conventions. Many supported establishing an Ad Hoc
Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) to address gaps in the international
regulatory framework. Several delegates stressed the need for
greater emphasis on regional- and national-level measures, and
called for financial resources and capacity building. NEW ZEALAND
highlighted capacity building for emergency response and, with
ARGENTINA, for border control.
NEW ZEALAND and the EU supported references to
the relationship between trade and IAS. The EU and BANGLADESH
supported granting CBD observer status to the World Trade
Organization Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
CANADA emphasized the relevance of existing standards and
organizations for risk analyses. ZAMBIA suggested increased focus on
sustainable use of alien species, rather than control and
eradication. SOUTH AFRICA cautioned against intentional introduction
through international incentive schemes, including afforestation.
NEW ZEALAND called for addressing marine IAS, and PALAU suggested
pilot projects located in small islands. AUSTRALIA stressed its
commitment to addressing IAS, and reiterated its opposition to
decision VI/23 (IAS).
DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE said preventing the
introduction of IAS requires controlling trade pathways.
MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: Parties discussed a
CRP on mountain biodiversity. TURKEY, opposed by many, requested
deleting references to river basin management and establishing
corridors. BRAZIL requested referring to indigenous prior informed
consent and consistency with national law when disseminating
information on traditional land-use practices.
Delegates discussed whether to refer to mutual
supportiveness with other international obligations, including
trade-related instruments, to avoid distortions to international
commodity trade. The EU, opposed by AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND and
BRAZIL, suggested deleting trade-related references. WG-I Chair Hans
Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) encouraged informal consultations on the
THEMATIC WORK PROGRAMMES: Parties considered
a CRP on thematic work programmes. On forest biodiversity, delegates
debated, but did not reach agreement on, text on outcome-oriented
targets, and regionally and internationally developed criteria and
indicators for sustainable forest management.
On agricultural biodiversity, delegates agreed to
refer to, inter alia, national legislation and applicable
international law regarding mainstreaming agricultural biodiversity
into other plans and programmes. Final approval of the thematic work
programmes was deferred to allow informal consultation.
WORKING GROUP II
RULE 21: Delegates discussed a CRP on Rule 21
of the Rules of Procedure (election and terms of office of Bureau
members). Parties opposed text stating that the outgoing
COP-President remain in office as Vice-President upon the election
of a new President until the beginning of the next COP. CANADA
proposed that the outgoing COP President remain as a Bureau member
during his or her second ordinary meeting but not during the
subsequent intersessional period, and MALAYSIA and NEW ZEALAND
suggested that the President remain as a non-voting Bureau member.
The EU and Colombia, for GRULAC, favored maintaining the status
quo. JAMAICA recommended reviewing Rule 21 at COP-9 or COP-10.
MYPOW: Delegates discussed a CRP, including a
draft decision, the MYPOW until 2010 and terms of reference (ToR)
for the island biodiversity AHTEG.
CANADA requested a review of best practices
regarding budget prioritization. COLOMBIA proposed developing
mechanisms to facilitate priority setting at future COPs. AUSTRALIA
suggested addressing relevant MDGs only. BRAZIL, opposed by the EU,
CANADA and NEW ZEALAND, maintained its proposal to hold COP meetings
every three years, and agreed to propose language to ensure
consideration at COP-8. The EU called for input by communities and
Delegates discussed when the island biodiversity
AHTEG should meet, with Palau and Jamaica, for the SMALL ISLAND
DEVELOPING STATES, suggesting that it meet in 2004, and the EU in
2005. Following consultations, delegates agreed to hold the meeting
BRAZIL, COLOMBIA and PERU opposed language on
priorities set by the WSSD regarding hotspots and ecological
networks and corridors, while SWITZERLAND stressed their importance.
Following consultations, the list of WSSD priorities was removed.
BRAZIL opposed referring to global indicators,
while the EU supported their retention. Delegates agreed to a
reference to the use of relevant indicators, as appropriate, at the
national, regional and global levels. The IIFB reiterated the need
for linguistic indicators. The document was approved as amended.
CBD WORK PROGRAMME AND THE MDGs: Delegates
discussed a CRP on integrating the MDGs into the Convention’s work
programme. AUSTRALIA questioned a proposal by the EU to designate
biodiversity as an overarching issue in the UN Commission on
Sustainable Development. CANADA proposed that national reporting
focus on integrating MDGs and CBD objectives. The EU suggested
bracketing a reference to the GEF and, opposed by BRAZIL, favored
adding references to cooperation with the FAO and the International
Plant Genetic Resources Institute. WG-II Chair Desh Depaak Verma
(India) deferred the decision to allow further consultations.
ARTICLE 8(j): Parties discussed a CRP on
Article 8(j), including provisions on Genetic Use Restriction
Technologies (GURTs). Regarding the report of the AHTEG on GURTs
delegates agreed with the PHILIPPINES to attach greater importance
to comments on the report made by Parties and indigenous and local
communities, than to those made by stakeholders. AUSTRALIA opposed
reference to the adverse impacts of GURTs, and agreed with the
PHILIPPINES to refer to Decision V/5 paragraph 23 (precautionary
approach and moratorium on field testing) instead.
CANADA requested referring the SBSTTA
recommendations on GURTs to the Article 8(j) Working Group. NORWAY
noted that the Working Group focuses on socioeconomic impacts.
Delegates agreed not to amend existing language on the Article 8(j)
Working Group. A number of delegates expressed concern that WG-I
negotiations on agricultural biodiversity also consider GURTs.
Regarding preambular references to international
law relating to sui generis systems, the EU presented
compromise text subjecting them to Article 8(j). The IIFB called on
MALAYSIA to accept a reference to applicable international
obligations it had introduced in the PA negotiations. MALAYSIA
rejected this, stating that in Article 8(j), traditional knowledge
is only subject to national law. NEW ZEALAND requested language on
subjecting sui generis systems to national legislation, and
suggested deleting a reference to lands and waters traditionally
occupied by indigenous and local communities. The IIFB stressed the
integral connection between land and traditional knowledge and, with
the EU and SWITZERLAND, strongly opposed reopening text. Delegates
agreed, and the document was approved as amended.
BUDGET: Delegates discussed, inter alia,
a new proposal to adjust the scales of assessments for contributions
to the Convention’s budget, without reaching agreement. They noted
that progress will be facilitated once the two WGs provide
information on the required budget.
ABS: Delegates discussed a new document
agreed upon by a Friends of the Chair group. Regarding the
timeframes for convening the ABS Working Group, the Co-Chairs
suggested, and delegates agreed, that the issue be finalized by WG-II
in consultation with the budget group. Delegates then approved the
operative paragraphs and the Working Group’s ToR as a package. They
also discussed bracketed preambular clauses regarding: the
relationship with other organizations; the recognition that Parties
and stakeholders may be both users and providers; language on the
regimeï¿½s elements; and the need for further analysis of existing
PAs: Relating to the work proramme, delegates
agreed on a definition of "ecological networks." Regarding suggested
activities, they agreed, inter alia, to identify and
implement steps for improving the integration of PAs into broader
land- and seascapes by 2008, and develop tools of ecological
connectivity linking together PAs as determined by national
priorities. Delegates also discussed the decision.
WG-I Chair Hoogeveen and WG-II Chair Verma
reported on progress made in their respective WGs. John Ashe, Chair
of the Budget Contact Group, reported on the contact groupï¿½s
progress. BRAZIL announced its offer to host COP-8.
IN THE CORRIDORS
More than mid-way through COP-7, the lack of
coherence of the discussions so far has been worrying some
participants. They fear that fragmented negotiations on a multitude
of interlinked but separately addressed matters may lead to the
adoption of disjointed decisions. Some cited as an example the
absence of linking the framework for evaluating progress toward the
2010 target with the national reporting system. Other, more
optimistic minds, stressed the potential of the Global Partnership
on Biodiversity, which, if successfully linked to mechanisms for
implementing the Strategic Plan, may turn into an important
opportunity to build on the current momentum for action.
Some delegates wondered about the Ministerial
Segmentï¿½s ability to follow the political direction given by the
WSSD, and to provide an impetus for delegates to finalize
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00
am in the Dewan Nerdeka Hall to discuss revised CRPs on mountain
biodiversity and thematic work programmes, and consider CRPs on
inland water ecosystems, and coastal and marine biodiversity.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will meet at 10:00 am
in Room TR4 to discuss ABS, resolve outstanding issues regarding
incentive measures, and address: revised CRPs on Rule 21 of the
Rules of Procedure, and on technology transfer; and CRPs on
communication, education and public awareness, financial resources
and mechanism, and national reporting.
MINISTERIAL SEGMENT: The Ministerial Segment
will convene in the Ballroom of the Pan Pacific Hotel at 2:30 pm.
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups on the budget
and the Strategic Plan are expected to meet throughout the day.