Report of main proceedings for 2 May 2006
2nd Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP2) to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
In the morning, delegates met in plenary to discuss financial resources and effectiveness evaluation. In the afternoon, delegates addressed DDT, exemptions and measures to reduce or eliminate releases from wastes. Contact groups on the budget, effectiveness evaluation, and financial resources convened during the afternoon and evening.
FINANCIAL RESOURCES: INDIA and VENEZUELA expressed concern about the availability of resources for implementing and monitoring activities, and noted that financial resources and technology transfer are crucial for achieving compliance. The BAHAMAS emphasized the importance of having a financial mechanism that will meet the needs of developing countries, especially Small Island Developing States. MOROCCO urged donors and implementing agencies to carry out scientific and technical capacity-building programmes that reflect the needs of developing countries. MONGOLIA appealed to donor countries to provide further support to the GEF.
TUNISIA and TANZANIA highlighted the need to quantify funding required to enable developing countries to implement their Convention obligations. The US called for an unbiased approach to this work, suggesting the employment of an independent contractor. BARBADOS stressed that the document on modalities for needs assessment is essential for determining funding needs, and, with MEXICO, requested that parties be allowed to review and comment further on the draft modalities document before its submission to COP-3.
In response to questions raised on priorities and eligibility criteria, the Secretariat referred to guidance provided in Decision SC-1/9 (Guidance for the financial resources and mechanisms) and to the GEF Council-COP Memorandum of Understanding. The GEF noted that it would welcome clarification from the COP on eligibility. Having consulted with the African Group and Arab States, EGYPT reiterated the need for principles and eligibility criteria to apply to all developing countries. Delegates then agreed to create a contact group to prepare a draft decision on financial resources that could include: recommendations from the first review of the financial mechanism; a recommendation that the Secretariat analyze information from other potential funding sources for consideration at COP-3; a recommendation on whether to prepare a second review of the financial mechanism; and consideration of the draft terms of reference on modalities for needs assessment.
EFFECTIVENESS EVALUATION: The Secretariat introduced documents on effectiveness evaluation (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/21, INF/10, 15 and 21).
On options for modalities for pulling together information, NORWAY, AUSTRALIA and SWITZERLAND preferred that the COP establish a single evaluation panel to review both national reports and non-compliance information, and global monitoring information, while the EU favored the establishment of two separate panels.
Delegates discussed three options for a global monitoring plan. NORWAY, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, SWITZERLAND, GHANA and TANZANIA preferred Option Two, a global plan based on a network of existing international and national programmes with initial elements to address priority gaps in regional coverage and features to enable future strategic enhancement of regional contributions. CHILE supported a version of this option that draws elements from the other options. The US advocated building on existing monitoring efforts. AUSTRALIA emphasized that beginning with Option Two did not preclude moving towards other options in the long-term.
MOROCCO, BRAZIL and CHINA preferred Option Three, a comprehensive and inclusive global monitoring programme providing all parties with an opportunity to participate at all levels of activity. The ISLAND SUSTAINABILITY ALLIANCE also supported Option Three, noting that it permits developing countries to build their own capacity for monitoring programmes.TANZANIA and GHANA favored moving to a version of Option Three in the long-term, while the EU noted concern with the resources required for this option.
The AFRICAN GROUP called for linking effectiveness evaluation with technical assistance, as well as using national and regional institutions for monitoring. CHINA and INDIA advocated a long-term and comprehensive monitoring plan. AUSTRALIA noted the importance of evaluation in educating the public and governments, and of ensuring the programmes continuity over time.
NEW ZEALAND, SUDAN and the EU favored establishing a contact group to discuss the details of the proposed options. MONGOLIA agreed, noting that none of the existing options were ideal. The WHO reminded parties of the need to involve the health sector in monitoring programmes, and the importance of effective coordination within governments.
COP-2 President Kiddle noted that effectiveness evaluation will be an ongoing process and will include monitoring of global POPs levels, progress under national implementation plans (NIPs) and compliance. He requested, and delegates agreed, that a contact group convene to design a draft mechanism, including: an evaluation panel; draft criteria to guide the evaluation panel in assessing the effectiveness of the Convention; and a timetable for evaluation. He suggested that the mechanism could include a global POPs monitoring plan that would build upon existing systems and datasets, involve all relevant sectors, and address gaps in existing baseline data.
DDT: The Secretariat presented documents on the evaluation of the continued need for DDT for disease vector control (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/4) and alternative strategies to replace DDT (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/INF/3). He noted resources available for reporting, assessment and capacity building related to DDT. PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK AFRICA supported cost-effective alternatives for DDT in domestic use, especially non-chemical alternatives. INDIA, TANZANIA and SOUTH AFRICA noted the importance of evaluating DDT alternatives. Acknowledging the need for using DDT for disease control, the EU suggested establishing an information clearing house for DDT alternatives, and proposed inviting the GEF to assist in phasing-out DDT use for malaria control. The AFRICAN GROUP suggested adding language encouraging the GEF to include a new proposal to assess DDT alternatives in its portfolio. ETHIOPIA urged parties and the Secretariat to speed up the process of DDT evaluation. COTE DIVOIRE emphasized the need to cooperate with the World Customs Organization, and to establish a subregional programme for identifying illegal imports and misleading packaging of DDT. Interested parties were invited to consult informally on the issue.
EXEMPTIONS: The Secretariat introduced the document on criteria for the review process for entries in the register of specific exemptions (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/5). On the annexed draft criteria for granting extensions of a specific exemption, TANZANIA proposed adding text on parties that have requested financial assistance as well as those that have requested technical assistance to phase out the production for which the extension is requested, while the EU and CANADA raised concerns about this additon. NORWAY requested text on adopting measures to minimize human exposure to the chemical for which the extension is requested, in addition to minimizing environmental release.
On provisional formats for listing party notifications, and forms for submitting notifications, for constituents of articles in use and for closed-system site-limited intermediate use (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/6), CHILE called for better definition of the notes in Annexes A (Elimination) and B (Restriction) of the Convention. CANADA noted the utility of the document produced at the 4th meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (UNEP/POPS/INC.4/4) on defining terms in the Annex notes. The EU expressed satisfaction that few country notifications had been listed. JAPAN encouraged sharing national experiences. COP-2 President Kiddle encouraged bilateral consultations with the Secretariat, and said that the forms will be made available later this week.
MEASURES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE RELEASES FROM WASTES: On measures to reduce or eliminate releases from wastes, the Secretariat reported on cooperation with the Basel Convention (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/INF/6 and INF/22/Rev.1). He noted that at the 5th Session of the OEWG of the Basel Convention, participants: forwarded to the Basel Convention COP draft technical guidelines dealing with management of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with certain POPs; amended the general guidelines for management of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with POPs, and the technical guidelines for the management of wastes associated with PCBs and related chemicals; established an intersessional working group; and forwarded recommendations on cooperation and synergies to the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/INF/19). MALI highlighted the Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes Within Africa. The EU, supported by NORWAY, suggested that the Secretariat analyze the Basel Conventions draft guidelines and forward a document for consideration at COP-3, and agreed to draft a conference room paper on the matter.
BUDGET CONTACT GROUP: The budget contact group, chaired by Osvaldo Alvarez (Chile), met in the afternoon. Participants asked the Secretariat for clarification on, inter alia: long-term running costs of activities related to the clearing-house mechanism; the review of the toolkit for identification and quantification of dioxin and furan releases; and effectiveness evaluation. The contact group will reconvene on Wednesday.
FINANCIAL RESOURCES CONTACT GROUP: The financial resources contact group, chaired by Jozef Buys (Belgium), started discussion of a draft decision on financial resources while regional consultations to identify a Co-Chair continued. Delegates began with a review of suitability of the possible actions proposed by the Secretariat in the documents related to financial resources (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/16 and UNEP/POPS/COP.2/17) and of the recommendations contained in the draft review of the financial mechanism (UNEP/POPS/COP.2/INF/9). The contact group will reconvene on Wednesday by which time a draft decision will have been made available.
EFFECTIVENESS EVALUATION CONTACT GROUP: The effectiveness evaluation contact group was co-chaired by Bo Wahlstrom (Sweden) and Tarek El Ruby (Egypt). Co-Chair Wahlstrom emphasized the need to design an acceptable effectiveness evaluation model, noting resource and timing limitations. Participants focused on how to design an inclusive global mechanism given the significant regional differences in existing data and capacity. The contact group will present an interim report to plenary on Wednesday morning.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As the meeting moved through its second day, predictions that financial resources would emerge as a key issue proved correct, as wide-ranging financial discussions in the morning resonated through the corridors throughout the day. Some delegates noted concerns that the discussion on financial matters was growing beyond POPs-specific issues and was being unnecessarily intertwined with the GEF replenishment process, while others thought that this was inevitable given that the outcomes of the replenishment negotiations have direct influence on the availability of funding for implementing NIPs. Regardless of which view delegates subscribed to, all seemed convinced that the members of the contact group on financial matters had a great deal of work ahead, only a short period of time to do it, and a major challenge in even finding the room where the meetings are taking place.