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Volume 9 Number 639 - Friday, 10 October 2014
CBD COP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
THURSDAY, 9 OCTOBER 2014
WG I addressed operations of the Convention and the multi-year programme of work (MYPOW); and considered a conference room paper (CRP) on support for implementation of the Strategic Plan. WG II considered biofuels and cooperation with other organizations, and addressed CRPs on liability and redress, invasive alien species (IAS) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Contact groups addressed resource mobilization and the financial mechanism, and compliance under the Nagoya Protocol (NP). Friends of the Chair groups convened on capacity building, EBSAs and the “indigenous peoples” terminology.

WORKING GROUP I

OPERATIONS OF THE CONVENTION: Many supported the organization of concurrent meetings of the COP and COP/MOPs to improve efficiency. CANADA, SOUTH AFRICA and BRAZIL called for taking into account lessons to be learned from the concurrent organization of COP 12 and NP COP/MOP 1 next week. UGANDA stressed developing country participation in concurrent meetings be ensured through a provision in the core budget.

Many supported the establishment of an SBI to replace WGRI. SOUTH AFRICA called for greater clarity regarding the terms of reference. CANADA stressed the need to adopt rules of procedure.

CANADA and BRAZIL expressed concerns regarding the voluntary peer-review of NBSAPs, with CANADA requesting that the terms of reference be further developed by the SBI.

INDIA supported the creation of an online tool to monitor retirement of decisions, referencing CITES as a useful example.

MYPOW: The Secretariat introduced the draft decision and documentation (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/26 and INF/35), including a list of strategic issues to be addressed by the COP up to 2020. NORWAY proposed considering the IPBES report. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, suggested reviewing the effectiveness of holding concurrent meetings. CHINA proposed addressing ways to enhance the implementation of CBD Article 12 (research and training). BRAZIL called for a review of resource mobilization targets at COP 13. MEXICO and URUGUAY said COP 13 should review the Pyeongchang roadmap and other COP 12 decisions. JAPAN called for prioritizing review of the 2015 Aichi targets. BOLIVIA suggested the issue on biodiversity mainstreaming specify the sectors of agriculture, forests and fisheries, and approaches to living well in harmony with Mother Earth. The EU stressed biodiversity mainstreaming through, inter alia, legislation and national accounting. URUGUAY said COP 13 should review the interaction between the Convention and its protocols. SEARICE called for a focus on agricultural biodiversity. A CRP will be prepared.

SUPPORT FOR STRATEGIC PLAN IMPLEMENTATION: Delegates considered a CRP. On support for revising NBSAPs and capacity building, VENEZUELA, BRAZIL, CUBA and LIBERIA, opposed by the EU and SWITZERLAND, suggested adding reference to the financial and technical cooperation required by developing countries for national-level capacity building to achieve the CBD objectives, to replace reference to capacity and financial gaps that remain at the national level. SOUTH AFRICA suggested encouraging donors and development partners to provide funding for the implementation of NBSAPs, as well as for capacity building, based on the information regarding capacity-building needs and priorities made available by parties. CAMEROON suggested a clear distinction between donor and party support. CHINA and LIBERIA, opposed by the EU, suggested “inviting,” rather than “encouraging,” donors and parties, “in particular from developed countries.” CHINA said funding should be “stable and sufficient.”

Delegates debated a list of capacity-building activities to be undertaken by the Secretariat. CAMEROON, with others, suggested language which called for supporting and facilitating capacity-building initiatives for the implementation of the Strategic Plan and NBSAPs, and facilitating fund mobilization in this regard. A Friends of the Chair group was established to address outstanding issues, which met in the afternoon without reaching agreement. Several developing countries supported strengthening the text on funding of capacity-building initiatives, while others maintained that the issue is being dealt with under resource mobilization. ​

WORKING GROUP II

BIOFUELS: The Secretariat introduced the report (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/23). Ethiopia, for the AFRICAN GROUP, with many others, called for maximizing the benefits of biofuels while minimizing their negative impacts. Delegates highlighted the competition of biofuels with food production, and some expressed concern regarding impacts on ILCs. QATAR, with NIGER, opposed the development of biofuels, except those using agricultural waste. TAJIKISTAN expressed concerns regarding the impact of biofuel production on genetic resources. MEXICO noted the importance of integrated national policies for minimizing the negative impacts of biofuel production on forest systems and forest communities. GUINEA-BISSAU warned that biofuel production contributes to landlessness and social turbulence in some countries.

The EU welcomed the Secretariat’s work on shared technical definitions. INDIA requested the Secretariat to continue updating the document for peer review at SBSTTA 19. BRAZIL, with ARGENTINA, highlighted that the Global Bioenergy Partnership has developed a set of sustainability indicators for biofuel production. ARGENTINA said his country is testing the indicators, and anticipated creating jobs without compromising biodiversity. GUATEMALA called for international market measures to guide biofuel production. NEW ZEALAND said an expanded work programme is not warranted, and that parties are responsible for managing the impacts of production systems within their national borders. A CRP will be prepared.

COOPERATION: The Secretariat introduced the draft decisions and documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/24 and Add.1, and INF 22, 23, 25, 40 and 48). Many supported the draft decision on stakeholder engagement and engagement with business.

Cooperation with Other Conventions:PERU, supported by BRAZIL, the EU and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), proposed further cooperation with UNCTAD’s Biotrade Initiative.

On synergies among biodiversity-related conventions, CANADA stated that cooperation requires careful analysis by parties under each convention, with ARGENTINA and CHINA urging respect for the mandates of each of the conventions. The DRC proposed a roadmap on potential synergies. MEXICO requested that the synergies experience under the chemicals and wastes conventions be assessed by the Secretariat, the Bureau or the Biodiversity Liaison Group (BLG).

SWITZERLAND suggested the BLG develop a harmonized reporting system to strengthen synergies among the secretariats. With UNPFII and IIFB, he also supported the establishment of a joint working group on synergies among biodiversity-related conventions, including representation from UNEP, meeting back-to-back with the main meetings of the conventions. The EU expressed concern that a working group on synergies would be costly and ineffective, and, opposed by SWITZERLAND, proposed an ad hoc workshop on synergies, with participants from biodiversity-related conventions.

Biodiversity and Tourism: INDIA urged CEPA on sustainable travel choices. CHINA, EGYPT and SOUTH AFRICA highlighted ecotourism. SAINT LUCIA requested support for annual reporting.

Engagement with Local Governments: CAMEROON called for financing to enhance local-level synergies amongst biodiversity-related initiatives. SOUTH AFRICA stressed biodiversity mainstreaming in rural development plans.

LIABILITY AND REDRESS: On a CRP, COLOMBIA proposed adding reference to CBD Article 14(2) (liability and redress) and to Principle 3 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (right to development). Delegates adopted the CRP with these amendments.

IAS: Delegates addressed a CRP on the review of work on IAS and considerations for future work. Delegates discussed whether IAS should be referred to as a “serious” hazard to biodiversity, finally agreeing to keep the reference. On a list of items that parties may consider when developing IAS strategies, delegates removed a reference to standardizing labeling for transport of living organisms. BURKINA FASO, with SUDAN, proposed replacing reference to “management” of IAS with “control,” to convey greater urgency. Parties agreed to refer to “prevention, control or eradication,” to be consistent with Convention language.

BRAZIL, with CANADA, MEXICO and the EU, proposed new text on compiling information from parties, scientific institutions and other relevant organizations on experiences in the use of biological control mechanisms against IAS. NEW ZEALAND proposed making this information available through the CHM. The EU, with SWITZERLAND, proposed adding text on: collaboration with IUCN and the Global Invasive Alien Species Information Partnership; the application of appropriate risk assessments; and consideration by the SBSTTA of a synthesis of this information prior to COP 13. Following objections from BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, TIMOR-LESTE, MALAYSIA and MEXICO, delegates agreed to delete a paragraph requesting a review of the social, cultural and economic impacts of IAS, in particular on women and ILCs. Delegates approved the CRP.

In the evening, delegates considered a CRP on the management of risks associated with the introduction of alien species as pets, aquarium and terrarium species, and as live bait and live food, and an annex containing guidance on devising and implementing measures to address the risks. On the annex, delegates discussed referencing “live organisms” instead of “live bait” that may pose a risk of invasion and/or spread of pathogens or parasites, and agreed to retain reference to “live bait.” Delegates discussed information sharing, and agreed to share the results of risk assessments “through the CHM and other appropriate means.” With these and other minor amendments, delegates approved the CRP.

GSPC: Delegates considered a CRP. They discussed, and eventually did not accept, the EU’s suggestion to delete mention of the Secretariat’s role in working with the Botanic Gardens Conservation International and members of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation to support capacity-building and cooperation activities. COLOMBIA proposed, and delegates agreed, to mention collaboration with the food sector, in addition to the agriculture and health sectors.

On encouraging parties, as appropriate, to recognize the Plants Committee of CITES and national CITES authorities as lead entities to address flora endangered by international trade, delegates agreed to include mention of “relevant national authorities.”

CONTACT GROUPS

RESOURCE MOBILIZATION AND THE FINANCIAL MECHANISM: The contact group addressed a non-paper on the financial mechanism tabled by Co-Chairs Jeremy Eppel (UK) and Francis Ogwal (Uganda). Deliberations focused on, inter alia: co-financing; the GEF report and its utilization; provision of estimates of additional funds needed to achieve the Aichi targets; monitoring the status of, and trends in, using financial resources; and a potential provision that enables CBD focal points to participate in decision-making processes on financial resource utilization. In the evening, the group focused on modalities and milestones for Aichi Target 3 (incentives).

COMPLIANCE UNDER THE NP: Co-chaired by Kaspar Sollberger (Switzerland) and David Hafashimana (Uganda), the contact group had a round of general interventions on the three main issues pending since the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP 3): the composition of the compliance committee, in particular regarding participation of ILC representatives; triggering of the compliance procedures, in particular regarding triggers by the Secretariat, the public and ILCs; and an ombudsman. Delegates then initiated text-based negotiations on the draft procedures forwarded by ICNP 3.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Yet another sunny morning welcomed delegates arriving at the Alpensia convention center to resume their work on particularly thorny issues in a contact group setting. The Friends of the Chair group on EBSAs spent lunchtime outlining additional scientific and technical information on EBSAs that may be carried out by “parties who find it appropriate.” Referring to what she called “the watered-down text,” one frustrated delegate confided that “without an analysis of EBSA stressors, this would basically be a useless exercise.” In the meantime, contact group deliberations on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism moved rather slowly, revisiting well-known differences in initial positions. Setting targets for resource mobilization, final or not, is still the main obstacle waiting to be addressed.   

Walking into the WG II evening session, one delegate intimated with cautious optimism: “slow and steady wins the race.” That spirit seemed to prevail also in the contact group on compliance, as a group of ABS veterans resumed work on the intricacies of compliance procedures, as if no time had passed since ICNP 3 back in February.
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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © enb@iisd.org is written and edited by Beate Antonich, Tallash Kantai, Elena Kosolapova, Ph.D., Suzi Malan, Delia Paul, Elsa Tsioumani, and Asterios Tsioumanis, Ph.D. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon. The Editor is Pamela Chasek, Ph.D. pam@iisd.org. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “ Kimo” Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the European Commission (DG-ENV and DG-CLIMATE) and the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)). General Support for the Bulletin during 2014 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH/German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Finnish Ministry of Environment. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Wallonia, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the 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 kimo@iisd.org, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022 USA. The ENB team at CBD COP 12 can be contacted by e-mail at elsa@iisd.org.
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