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3 December

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Montreal, Canada; 1-5 December 2003

Daily Web Coverage |Curtain| |Mon 1| |Tue 2| |Wed 3| |Thu 4| |Fri 5|

Highlights for Monday, 1 December 2003

Delegates to the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in a morning Plenary to hear opening statements and reports on experience gained in using the Bonn Guidelines on ABS, and address organizational matters. An afternoon Plenary heard views on an international regime on ABS.

Above photo L-R: ABS opening plenary dais with Nehemiah Rotich, UNEP, Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary, Hans Hoogeveen, CBD COP President, Olivier Jalbert, CBD Secretariat, and Valerie Normand, CBD Secretariat.

Plenary: Opening Statements

CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan noted that ABS was of particular significance to developing countries and emphasized links to related matters such as traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights (IPRs) and trade.

CBD COP President Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) opened the meeting, stressing that the success of COP-7 would depend on the successful outcome of this week's discussions, and called on delegates to build upon commitments of the World Summit for Sustainable Development.

Nehemiah Rotich
, on behalf of UNEP Executive Secretary Klaus Töpfer, underlined the importance of benefit-sharing for biodiversity conservation and called for capacity building actions to support implementation of adequate ABS systems.

Olivier Jalbert
, CBD Secretariat, on behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), stressed the key features of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources adopted in 2001, and notes that it is expected to enter into force in the first half of 2004.   

Shakeel Bhatti
(WIPO), introduced its technical study on disclosure requirements related to genetic resources and traditional knowledge, noting that it does not reflect WIPO's formal policy on the issue. 

Above photo L-R: ABS opening plenary dais with Nehemiah Rotich, UNEP, Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary, Hans Hoogeveen,
CBD COP President, Olivier Jalbert, CBD Secretariat, and Valerie Normand, CBD Secretariat and Dan Ogolla, CBD Secretariat.


Japan highlighted its bioindustry's capacity building  programmes in developing countries. Above photo: Takanori Sakamoto (Japan)

China said that developing countries needed time to develop national capacity to implement the Bonn Guidelines and called on all countries to share experience in this regard. Above photo: Cheng Weixue (China)

Brazil underlined the need for an international regime on ABS and noted that the Bonn Guidelines do not ensure the rights of provider countries and of indigenous communities. Above photo: Fernando J. M. Pimenta (Brazil)

Norway announced an upcoming Government decision to update its ABS legislation. Above photo: Birthe Ivars (Norway)

El Salvador announced the successful establishment of national policies and measures for access to genetic resources using the Bonn Guidelines and highlighted efforts to harmonize these policies at a regional level through a Central American protocol on ABS. Above photo: Jorge Ernesto Quezada Diaz (El Salvador)

The European Community (EC) drew attention to its biodiversity strategy, legal framework in relation to ABS, and actions at the community level to harmonize legislation and ensure stakeholder participation. Above photo: Jill Hanna (EC)

UGANDA identified challenges, including lack of capacity, negotiating different types of benefits, and addressing non-compliance. Above photo: David Hafashimana (Uganda)

South East Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) stressed the usefulness of the Bonn Guidelines in establishing the Framework on ABS of the Association of South East Asian Nations and called upon delegates to recognize indigenous rights in developing legislation and managing ABS initiatives. Above photo: Elpidio Peria (SEARICE)

International Regime on ABS:

Colombia suggested recommending that COP-7 recognized that  beginning negotiations on an ABS regime is crucial for the future of the CBD.

Switzerland noted that the international regime for ABS should build on existing approaches and called for measures enabling industry to make commitments for ABS. Above photo: François Pythoud (Switzerland)

The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity stressed that: indigenous peoples hold sovereign rights over their knowledge; indigenous knowledge is intrinsically linked to biodiversity; human rights and indigenous customary laws are fundamental to the development of an international regime; and indigenous consultation must occur at the national and local levels. Above photo: Merle Alexander (International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity)

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) cautioned against an international regime that would discouraged countries from developing national legal frameworks, and suggested that countries be given more time to implement the Bonn Guidelines. Above photo: Thomas Jacob (ICC)

ENB ABS-WG2 Snapshots:

Above photo: Gabriel Shaw Cannabrava, could be the youngest observer at the ABS-WG2 meeting.

Above photo: Frida Velarde with delegates from GRULAC

Above photo: Delegates from Canada

Above photo: Paola Deda and Leila Ali (CBD Secretariat)

Above photo L-R: Delegates from Mexico, NGO, and the US

Above photo R-L: Hamdallah Zedan, CBD in discussion with a spanish delegate


ENB coverage of the First Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-Sharing
ENB Coverage and Summary (HTML, PDF, TEXT) of CBD SBSTTA-9
ENB archives of CBD meetings
CBD web site
CBD ABS official meeting documents 
SD summary and coverage of the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress.
SD summary of the Norway/UN Conference on Technology Transfer and Capacity Building.  
First Meeting of the CGRFA acting as Interim Committee for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture