Report of main proceedings for 14 October 2014
CBD COP 12
The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP) and the Nagoya Protocol Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (NP COP/MOP) continued discussion of several agenda items on Tuesday. Working Group I considered: capacity building, and awareness raising on genetic resources and traditional knowledge, under the NP COP/MOP; and review of progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan (SP), the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI), and improving efficiency and structures of the CBD, under the CBD COP. Working Group II considered: marine and coastal biodiversity, bushmeat and sustainable wildlife management, and ecosystem conservation and restoration under the CBD COP; and model contractual clauses, voluntary codes of conduct, guidelines and best practices and/or standards under the NP COP/MOP.
A joint plenary of the CBD COP and the NP COP/MOP convened in the evening, adopting NP COP/MOP decisions on: SBI, concurrent meetings, and model contractual clauses, voluntary codes of conduct, guidelines and best practices. The plenary also adopted CBD COP decisions on SBI, concurrent meetings, Article 8(j) and related provisions, and marine and coastal biodiversity.
A Friends of the Chair group met on terminology, and contact groups convened on compliance, cooperation and the financial mechanism throughout the day. Working Group I and the contact group on the financial mechanism continued discussions late into the evening.
WORKING GROUP I
CAPACITY BUILDING: Many parties supported the draft decision and provided examples of their national efforts regarding capacity building. MEXICO stressed lessons learned and sharing of experiences. URUGUAY focused on awareness raising to build capacities across different sectors. PERU said that capacity-building activities should include a cultural dimension with regard to ILCs. IUCN called for synergies in resource allocation among different objectives. The COMOROS suggested gender issues be taken into account.
BELARUS underlined regional and sub-regional activities and, with NORWAY, INDIA and URUGUAY, the need for additional financial and technical support for effective implementation. NORWAY noted that the framework should be voluntary and flexible, and involve a broad range of stakeholders. The EU said the ABS-CH is interconnected with the CHM, and may constitute a useful tool to share needs, experiences and opportunities in a bottom-up approach. A CRP will be produced.
RAISING AWARENESS OF GENETIC RESOURCES AND TK UNDER THE NP: Many parties, including SWITZERLAND, BENIN, FIJI and the GAMBIA, welcomed the draft decision. MEXICO, BELARUS, URUGUAY, BURKINA FASO and INDIA supported the awareness-raising strategy in the decision annex. The EU, SUDAN and BENIN emphasized the need to tailor awareness-raising activities, mentioning local, subnational, national, and regional circumstances. BHUTAN, BELARUS, MEXICO, INDIA, SWITZERLAND and GUATEMALA said resource mobilization is needed for an effective awareness-raising strategy. SUDAN and the INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY said the strategy should be directed at ILCs. TANZANIA urged considering domestic laws and local circumstances. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said the NP will produce greater incentives to include ILCs in awareness-raising efforts. A revised draft decision will be produced.
MID-TERM REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN STRATEGIC PLAN IMPLEMENTATION: Delegates considered a CRP and agreed to minor amendments. On an additional introductory paragraph on the general conclusions of GBO-4, Cameroon, for the AFRICAN GROUP, with BRAZIL, noted that no reference to specific Aichi targets should be made. Many parties stressed that the GBO-4 conclusions should not be modified in the draft decision. Following deliberations, GBO-4 conclusions were retained.
In the afternoon, delegates tabled text on: future SBSTTA work; and actions to address key scientific and technological needs, including access to and transfer of technology. Discussions will continue.
IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES OF THE CONVENTION:
Subsidiary body on implementation (SBI): Delegates considered CRPs on SBI under the NP and the Convention, respectively. The CRP under the NP was approved, noting that, once the CBD COP document is discussed, language to the NP text may change to reflect interconnections between the two documents. Deliberations on the CRP under the CBD COP focused on: the number and length of SBI intersessional meetings, with the EU proposing no specifications on the length and MEXICO suggesting no specific limits to the number of meetings; the SBI’s functions and tasks in relation to the COP and COP/MOPs, with the EU suggesting that actions under the COP should not trigger an automatic obligation for the COP/MOPs; and participation of non-parties to the protocols when the SBI addresses matters referred to it by COP/MOPs, with BRAZIL noting that they should be able to take part in the proceedings as observers. With these amendments, delegates approved the CRP.
Concurrent meetings: Delegates approved two CRPs. On the CBD COP CRP, the EU suggested referencing WGRI recommendation 5/2 on improving efficiency and structures. Following a proposal by Argentina to modify text on contributions for supporting full and effective participation, the Chair suggested, and the EU and ARGENTINA agreed, to use language adopted in Biosafety COP/MOP 7 (UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/7/L.10). The revised text substituted support for “each eligible party” with support for “developing country parties, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS).” CANADA, opposed by CAMEROON, proposed text on encouraging contributions from “other parties, governments and donors.” Countries agreed to “other governments and donors.” On the NP COP/MOP CRP, delegates decided to adopt the language of the COP CRP on contributions to support full and effective implementation.
BIODIVERSITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Delegates considered a CRP, agreeing to take note of work under FAO’s revised Strategic Framework and Objectives, particularly regarding food security and nutrition. They also agreed to delete a reference to “agro-extractivism,” in text encouraging parties to strengthen the utilization of agro-ecological practices for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture. Deliberations continued into the night.
WORKING GROUP II
MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY: Other matters: Under the CBD COP, WG II continued consideration of a CRP, and discussed a proposal by Namibia to request the Secretariat to compile information on bulk seabed mining. NAMIBIA agreed to withdraw their request, and raise it again at COP 13. Delegates discussed and agreed to invite competent intergovernmental organizations to assist parties in taking appropriate measures, “limited to those that are within the mandate of the respective competent intergovernmental organizations,” to address adverse impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine and coastal biodiversity.
Delegates also discussed including “environmentally-vulnerable countries,” in a call to the GEF and other development partners to provide capacity building, and agreed: to refer to Convention Article 20, paragraph 7 (on the special situation of developing countries); and that all requests to the GEF will be considered under the decision on the financial mechanism. The CRP was approved with these and other amendments.
BUSHMEAT AND SUSTAINABLE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT: Delegates considered a revised draft decision. The EU, supported by CANADA, proposed deleting a paragraph on strengthening financial and technical support to developing countries for national and local traceability, monitoring and control systems, saying this is covered under resource mobilization. Many developing countries opposed this move, including BRAZIL, CHINA, COLOMBIA, DRC, QATAR, SOUTH AFRICA and TIMOR-LESTE, noting the paragraph also covers other issues. BURKINA FASO said bushmeat and wildlife represent a global heritage. CAMEROON stressed the need for “additional” financial and technical support on bushmeat practices, in view of the Ebola crisis and other diseases transferred from animals to humans. Delegates agreed to maintain the original paragraph.
On the updating of regulatory systems to “differentiate between subsistence use and illegal harvesting and export of wild species” so as to avoid penalizing subsistence users, the EU and BRAZIL proposed mentioning “domestic and international trade of specimens of wild species and products.” GUINEA-BISSAU proposed to avoid penalizing both “the countries and the persons” using wildlife resources for subsistence purposes. Delegates agreed to these changes. BURKINA FASO, CAMEROON, BOLIVIA and ICELAND opposed the EU and Switzerland’s proposal to refer to “sustainable subsistence.”
On encouraging parties to assess, minimize and mitigate the impacts of illegal hunting “by migrant, seasonal and other non-traditional communities” on subsistence hunting and livelihoods of ILCs, the EU expressed concern that the language was discriminatory. He called for language focusing on the action of illegal hunting, rather than the actors. EGYPT, supported by ALGERIA and SUDAN, preferred to maintain a reference to such communities, noting that while they are not ILCs, many are poor and may have adopted nomadic practices due to conditions such as seasonal drought. Delegates, including BELARUS, QATAR and GUINEA-BISSAU, accepted Canada’s suggestion to refer to “the impact of illegal hunting on the subsistence hunting and livelihoods of ILCs and on other subsistence users of wildlife resources.” With these and other amendments, delegates approved the CRP.
ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION: Delegates began consideration of a revised draft decision, with CANADA suggesting, and parties agreeing, to refer to the contribution of “ecosystem-related” functions and services, to sustainable development and poverty eradication. Deliberations will continue on Wednesday.
MODEL CONTRACTUAL CLAUSES, VOLUNTARY CODES OF CONDUCT, GUIDELINES AND BEST PRACTICES AND/OR STANDARDS: Delegates considered a CRP under the NP. CANADA suggested, and parties agreed, that the tools relevant to Articles 19 and 20 be updated “where appropriate.” BRAZIL suggested, and parties agreed, to take stock of the use of sectoral and cross-sectoral model contractual clauses, and voluntary codes of conduct, including ILC protocols. With these amendments, parties approved the CRP.
JOINT CBD COP 12 AND NP COP/MOP PLENARY
CBD COP President Yoon Seongkyu and NP COP/MOP Chair Hem Pande chaired the joint plenary. CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Dias announced winners of the Midori Prize for Biodiversity: Kamal Bawa (India); Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana); and Bibiana Vilá (Argentina). Delegates adopted the decision on the date and venue of COP 13 (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/L.8), in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Plenary elected the outstanding Bureau members: María Luisa del Rio Mispireta (Peru); Andreas Obrecht (Switzerland) to replace Australia; and Mette Gervin Damsgaard (Denmark). The new Bureau members will commence their term at the end of COP 12.
Plenary also elected the outstanding substitutes to serve on the COP/MOP 2 Bureau: Hem Pande (India); Belal Al-Hayek (Syria); Indarjit Ramdass (Guyana); Andreas Obrecht (Switzerland); and Elvana Ramaj (Albania).
Plenary heard reports from: Spencer Thomas, Chair of the CBD COP budget group; WG I Chair Solhaug; WG II Chair Mispireta; and Kaspar Sollberger, Co-Chair of the contact group on compliance under the NP.
The plenary adopted NP COP/MOP decisions on: SBI (UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/1/L.3), concurrent meetings (UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/1/L.4), and model contractual clauses, voluntary codes of conduct, guidelines and best practices (UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/1/L.5). Plenary also adopted CBD COP decisions on SBI (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/L.10), concurrent meetings (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/L.11), Article 8(j) and related provisions (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/L.7), and marine and coastal biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/L.9). Delegates further discussed a COP CRP on ABS.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On Tuesday, delegates continued to plough through the numerous COP and COP/MOP draft decisions. The memory of the sprint of the day before faded as the pace of the negotiations slowed down considerably in the morning. The complexity of convening two meetings in parallel became progressively clearer, with halting progress in WG II, and WG I “experimenting” with addressing items from COP and NP COP/MOP “in close proximity.” “This will definitely take some getting used to,” one delegate said, struggling to keep up with which agenda items were being addressed under which body.