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Fourth Meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-4)
21-25 June 1999
First Intersessional Meeting on the Operations of the Convention
28-30 June 1999 - Montréal, Canada

ISOC-1 delegates discussed access to genetic resources and benefit sharing during morning and afternoon Plenary sessions. A contact group continued this discussion during the evening. A contact group on the review of the operations of the Convention met throughout the day.

CÔTE D'IVOIRE stressed the importance of involving stakeholders, especially indigenous and local comm unities, on the Expert Panel on Access and Benefit Sharing.
On acess to genetic resources, MALI, on behalf of the African Group, said national legislation alone will be insufficient and recommended initiating a process to develop a protocol along the lines of the IUPGR regarding: ABS; protection of indigenous and local communities; recognition of the origin of resources; and biopiracy. The delagate of Mali is seen here with the ENB's Nabiha Megateli
ARGENTINA recommended that the Expert Panel on Access and Benefit Sharing identify training areas to be funded by the GEF, such as negotiating capacity on ABS arrangements.
NORWAY noted it was premature to change TRIPs and opposed granting patents for animals and plants.
WWF said exemptions under TRIPs need to be maintained until there has been adequate experience with sui generis systems.

Guyana, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA proposed focusing on ABS, ex situ collections, and harmonization of intellectual property rights (IPR) and the CBD.

CAMEROON, on behalf of the African Group, highlighted the potential for TRIPs to jeopardize Farmer's Rights and CBD application. He suggested requesting the TRIPs Council to defer decisions reviewing patent excludability until after COP-5 and recommended inviting the Council to address potential conflicts with the CBD

INDIA said IPR are not the main mechanisms for realizing equitable benefit-sharing and the synergies between the CBD and TRIPs have not been adequately treated.
DJIBOUTI emphasized the need for provision of financial resources for genetic resource issues
ETHIOPIA, on behalf of the African Group, supported bringing ex situ materials collected prior to the CBD's entry into force under CBD provisions. He also supported strengthening and establishing gene banks in developing countries and making GEF funding available.
The EU said information exchange about ex situ collections would be helpful said the CBD had no retroactive effect regarding these collections. The EU recommended that COP-5 focus on the role and functions of the roster of experts on this issue.
View from the public gallery

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