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3 December

4 December

5 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

Thursday, 4 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 morning, afternoon and evening sub-working group sessions. Sub-Working Group I (SWG-I) considered a revised Chair's text on the international regime on access and benefit-sharing (ABS), and Chair's texts on: reports on experience with the Bonn Guidelines; use of terms; and other approaches for the implementation of CBD ABS provisions. Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II) addressed a Chair's text on capacity building for ABS and a conference room paper (CRP) on compliance measures for prior informed consent (PIC) and mutually agreed terms (MAT). A brief Plenary met in late afternoon to review progress.


The EC supported noting the need for further analysis of existing ABS instruments and regimes.

Argentina asked to review implementation of an international ABS regime and its legal status.

Australia noted that facilitating access is important for provider countries in order to gain benefits, and remarked that the interests of megadiverse countries and users are not mutually exclusive. Above photo: Arthur Spyron (Australia)

Liberia requested deleting references to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources to avoid giving prevalence to agriculture over other genetic resources.  Above photo: Ben Donnie (Liberia)

Noting the challenges posed by implementation of an international ABS regime, Antigua and Barbuda called for maintaining flexibility of the regime. Above photo: Diann Black-Layne, elected Rapporteur of the meeting.

Colombia stressed the importance of including derivatives of genetic resources in the scope of an international regime on ABS, noting that goods and services produced by pharmaceuticals industries are based on derivatives.

CANADA supported a separate process section on analyzing existing ABS instruments, implementation experience and gaps.

JAMAICA asked to emphasize that the terms of reference do not prejudge the regime's content.

The Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) emphasized indigenous people's participation in negotiating an ABS regime. Above photo: Rodrigo de la Cruz (COICA)

Mexico, on behalf of the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) supported wording on the need to ensure fair and equitable benefit-sharing of research results. Above photo: Maria Angélica Murillo Correa (Mexico)


Guinea Bissau presented its measures and projects on biodiversity conservation, announcing that its ratification of the Convention will take place in the near future. Above photo: Ernesto Augusto Pereira (Guinea Bissau)

The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity requested that the involvement of indigenous peoples in international cooperation must be ensured. Above photo: Nicola Notaro (EC) (left) in discussion with the delegates from IIFB.

Canada, the EC, Mexico, Brazil and delegates from other Like-Minded Megabiodiverse Countries in informal consultations with SWG-II Chair Desh Deepak Verma (India) on how to resolve the controversial debate on the role of WIPO in IPR-related biodiversity issues.

Canada agreed, after a laborious debate, to include a reference on the recognition of traditional knowledge as prior art. Above photo: Robert Mcdougal (Canada) (left) in discussing text with Brendan Tobin (UNU)  and delegates  from Australia, Switzerland and Japan.

On reviewing the draft Action Plan, Brazil suggested adding a paragraph on taking into consideration national legislation.

On inventories of traditional knowledge, Samoa opposed Bbrazil's suggestion to add reference to concerns of Parties in addition to those of indigenous and local communities.


Above photo L-R: Chair Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) (center) preparing to share benefits with two bottle of wines to SWG Chairs Verleye (Belgium) and Verma (India); The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues drew attention to its recommendation to develop a code of ethics and establish a task force. 


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