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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

Tuesday, 2 December 2003

Delegates to the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in sub-working groups throughout the day. Sub-Working Group I (SWG-I) heard reports on experience with the Bonn Guidelines, and considered the use of terms and other approaches. Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II) addressed measures to ensure compliance with prior informed consent (PIC) and mutually agreed terms (MAT), including the role of intellectual property rights (IPRs), and capacity building for ABS. A brief Plenary met in late afternoon to review progress.  
Above photo: Delegates seeking guidance on how to proceed on a Chair's text on capacity building.


Ireland said it will undertake a review addressing the state of, and access to, genetic resources in Ireland as well as foreign genetic resources utilized by non-governmental bodies operating within the jurisdiction of Ireland. Above photo: Matthew Jebb (Ireland)

Germany highlighted its ABS-related activities and, noting the complexity of ABS issues, stressed the need to explain the content of the Bonn Guidelines. Above photo: Almuth Ostermeyer-Schlöder (Germany) 

South Africa said its upcoming biodiversity legislation will provide for export permits for genetic resources. Above photo L-R:  Annastache Brown (South Africa) in discussion with Enrique Alonso (Spain)

Denmark noted the Greenlandic Home Rule Authority's new proposal for an ABS regime in line with the Bonn Guidelines. Above photo: Christian Prip (Denmark)

Canada noted its progress report on its use of the Bonn Guidelines, highlighting, inter alia, the need to increase industry awareness of national access laws, the particularity of countries that are both users and providers, and the potential for learning from other countries' experiences. Above photo: Timothy Hodges (Canada)

The Gambia cited extensive use of the Bonn Guidelines by a multi-stakeholder working group currently elaborating its national ABS legislation. Above photo: Almamy Camara (the Gambia)


Antigua and Barbuda emphasized difficulties faced in particular by Caribbean countries in gaining electronic access. Above photo: Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda)

Algeria suggested revisiting the definition issue once the international ABS regime is in place. Above photo: Boumediene Mahi (Algeria)


The Secretariat introduced its overview of other approaches to complement the Bonn Guidelines and assist countries in ABS implementation (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/2/2 Section III).

Acknowledging the merits of certificates, the US warned against increased costs and delays. Above photo: Leonard Hirsch (US)

suggested the CBD Secretariat provide a further compilation of existing arrangements and approaches. Above photo: Cheng Weixue (China)


ITALY, on behalf of the EC member states and acceding countries (EU), described EU measures on: a network of ABS focal points; corporate social responsibility; consideration of disclosure of origin in patent legislation; and discussions on a self-standing disclosure requirement. Above photo: Silvia Francescon (Italy)

Barbados said CITES import/export regulations can be used as a model to address ABS requirements when national legislation is not yet in place. Above photo: Kim Downes (Barbados)

Niger called for support in understanding and implementing the Bonn Guidelines, and stressed the need to assess their applicability and associated costs in developing countries. Above photo: Boukar Attari (Niger)


ordan highlighted the importance of cooperation agreements between users and providers. Above photo: Abdalla Salman (Jordan)

Intellectual Property Rights:

Japan supported defensive protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge through the IGC's activities on a database and toolkit for use by patent examiners. Above photo: Hitoshi Watanabe (Japan)

Switzerland suggested amending WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty. Above photo: Marie Wollheim (Switzerland)


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) emphasized that funding will be made available, noting that reference to GEF in the draft action plan goes beyond agreed cooperation with the CBD. Above photo: Mario Ramos (GEF)

Nepal stressed a shared financial mechanism. Above photo: Krishna Chandra Paudel (Nepal)


Chair Desh Deepak Verma (india) set out progress in SWG-II.


Chair Ines Verleye (Belgium) noted progress in SWG-I.


Left photo L-R: Nehemiah Rotich, UNEP, Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary, Hans Hoogeveen, CBD COP President, and Olivier Jalbert, CBD Secretariat. Working Group Chair Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) presented a Chair's text on an international ABS regime.


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