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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

Wednesday, 3 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) held regional consultations in the morning. Sub-Working Group I (SWG-I) met in the afternoon to consider a Chair's text on the international regime on access and benefit-sharing (ABS). Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II) met in afternoon and evening sessions to address a Chair's text on compli­ance measures for prior informed consent (PIC) and mutually agreed terms (MAT). A brief Plenary met in late afternoon to review progress.
Above photo: Delegates waited late into the night for the Chair's text on ABS, while François Pythoud (Switzerland) took note of the time.


The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) asked for collaboration with the 8j Working Group and for ensuring full participation by indigenous people. 
Above photo: Jannie Lasimbang (IIFB)

Mexico, on behalf of the Like Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) called for reaffirming the objectives of the CBD, and underscored sovereign rights of States over their natural and genetic resources.

El Salvador
asked that access and fair and equitable sharing of benefits be included in the scope of the terms of reference.
Above photo: Jorge Ernesto Quezada Diaz (El Salvador)

Liberia stresses the need to include reference to balance user and provider measures in the Chair's text on an international ABS regime, and seeks clarification on the difference between code of ethics and code of conduct. Above photo: Ben Donnie (Liberia)

Haiti stressed the need to clarify whether the regime would build on , or be composed of, existing ABS-related instruments.
Above photo: Joseph Ronald Toussaint (Haiti)

Cuba called for emphasizing the inclusive nature of the regime, beyond national and regional perspectives.
Above photo: Teresa Cruz (Cuba)

Namibia requested using CBD Article 15.7 language (benefit-sharing) in text on facilitating research. Above photo: Sem Taukondjo Shikongo (Namibia)

Uganda, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, underlined the African Model Law, requested clarification on the further promotion of user measures, and stressed that a code of ethics should address benefit sharing with "countries of origin, including indigenous and local communities". Above photo: David Hafashimana (Uganda)

Brazil supported the Indigenous Peoples' proposal on the need for cooperation with the Article 8(j) Working Group, as traditional knowledge would be an element in an internatinal regime. 
Above photo: Maria Angelica Ikeda (Brazil)

Republic of Korea suggested replacing "dispute settlement" with "arbitration mechanisms", so as not to prejudge the legal nature of a regime.
Above photo: Mikyung Yun (Republic of Korea )

CBD Secretariat staff (L-R) Paola Deda, Dan Ogolla and Valerie Normand 

St. Lucia requested a reference to "genetic or biological resources" in the preambular paragraph reaffirming the sovereign rights of states over their natural resources. Joan Norville (Saint Lucia)


Colombia said compliance measures should address not only PIC and MAT, but also national legislation.
Above photo: Juanita Chaves (Colombia)

Burkina Faso stressed that language referring to the international ABS regime should be coherent with language agreed upon in SWG-I. Soumayila Bance (Burkina Faso)

The Edmonds Institute reminded delegates that concerns about countries of origin should be reflected in the document on compliance measures for PIC. Above photo: Beth Burrows (the Edmonds Institute)

The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity reminded Parties that COP decided to safeguard and fully guarantee the rights of local and indigenous over their traditional knowledge and practices, requesting adequate references in the text.

Italy on behalf of the EC and the acceding countries noted that references to international certificates of origin must be coherent with the international regime on ABS. Above photo: Silvia Francescon (Italy)


WIPO suggested that disclosed traditional knowledge be recognized as prior art. Above photo: Shakeel Bhatti (WIPO)


Chair Desh Deepak Verma (India) (left) and Chair Ines Verleye (Belgium) (right) presented progress made in the working groups.

Chair Hoogeveen made a noble attempt to mollify Argentina with the offer of a bottle of wine, which jokingly prompted one delegate to note that he was sharing benefits with only those who have access to him. Above photo: Jorge Riaboi (Argentina)

Above photo: Franca D'Amico (CBD Secretariat), informing delegates that the
Chair's text on ABS is not ready for distribution.


Swiss Project on a Management Tool for Genetic Resource Access and Benefit Sharing Activities
Jointly hosted by IISD and Stratos Inc. 

This side-event provided information on a Swiss-funded project to develop a management tool to help organizations understand and implement the ABS provisions of the CBD, and the Bonn Guidelines in particular.  The management tool is intended to address a number of challenges with ABS implementation by, among other things: raising awareness and building capacity on ABS issues inside users and providers of genetic resources; guiding management of organization's activities that impact on ABS issues; providing a baseline for discussions in ABS contract negotiations, and helping organizations to demonstrate implementation of ABS requirements.  The project is presently in its first phase: the drafting of a management tool.  This work is being guided by a mulit-stakeholder advisory group, and will run from September 2003 until May 2004.  A workshop on the draft management tool is being planned for COP-7.  For more information, please visit:
Above photo (R-L): Jorge Cabrera, INBios, Costa Rica, George Greene, Stratos Inc., Francois Pythoud, and Andreas Werthmueller, SECO BUWAL

Photos clockwise: Francois Pythoud, BUWAL.Andreas Werthmueller, SECO, Tom Rotherham, IISD, Jorge Cabrera, INBios, Costa Rica, George Greene, Stratos Inc.


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