Report of main proceedings for 16 October 2014
CBD COP 12
The High-Level Segment convened throughout the day and adopted the Gangwon Declaration on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development. Working Group I addressed draft decisions on items under the Nagoya Protocol on capacity building, awareness raising, ABS-CH, and monitoring and reporting. WG I also considered COP decisions on retirement of decisions, biodiversity and human health, and support for implementation. WG II considered draft decisions under the Convention on business and stakeholder engagement, engagement with sub-national and local government, tourism development, synthetic biology, Article 8(j) and related provisions (terminology), climate change and EBSAs. Contact and informal groups met during the day.
NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL CHALLENGES: In opening remarks, Eduardo Mansur, Director of Forestry Department, FAO, noting that it is World Food Day, cited statistics showing worldwide one in eight people suffer from chronic hunger.
Stressing that 76% of wetlands have already been lost globally, Ramsar Convention Executive Secretary Christopher Birks highlighted the importance of rational use, conservation and restoration of wetlands.
Leo Brincat, Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, Malta, emphasized: the potential of natural habitats for carbon storage and sequestration; and integrating biodiversity considerations into business decisions.
Abdul Hamid Zakri, Chair, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), underscored the need to: demonstrate the rationale and value of nature-based solutions to generate employment and improve human well-being; and appreciate the role of ILCs in knowledge sharing, including through IPBES.
During the ensuing discussion, participants shared nature-based solutions to: tackle global and local environmental problems; provide ecosystems services and generate economic returns; including through wetlands conservation, forest fire prevention, rational use of fertilizers and mangrove protection.
BIODIVERSITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND CREATIVE ECONOMY: Yvo de Boer, Director-General, Global Green Growth Institute, emphasized the need to systematize the transition to creative green economy and calculate the true value of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Pavan Sukhdev, CEO, Green Indian States Trust, urged eco-friendly agricultural practices to increase food production while reducing environmental cost, and the role of TK and small farming in reducing hunger and poverty.
Participants shared their experiences in adopting the green economy model, emphasizing organic agriculture, nature-based tourism and ecosystem restoration to increase resilience to natural catastrophes or global changes.
CLOSING PLENARY: Regional groups made statements, and panel chairs provided summaries of the panel discussions, highlighting: the G-77/China Santa Cruz declaration ‘For a New World Order for Living Well’; the COP 11 commitment to doubling international financial flows for biodiversity conservation by 2015, including from domestic sources and the private sector; the potential for nature-based solutions to effectively meet global challenges; the importance of full and effective participation of developing countries; and biodiversity conservation as a cornerstone for life, human health, environment integrity and economic growth.
Delegates adopted the Gangwon Declaration on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development. IRAQ called for the meeting documents to recognize the impact of violent conflict on nature and biodiversity, and for international support for conducting post-conflict environmental impact assessments. High-Level Segment Chair Seongkyu Yoon suggested, and delegates agreed, that a final version be circulated tomorrow after informal discussions.
WORKING GROUP I
CAPACITY-BUILDING AND CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: Delegates approved a COP/MOP CRP on capacity building after agreeing to call on parties to other relevant international instruments to assist in capacity-building measures, rather than calling on parties to the ITPGR to facilitate implementation of the two instruments.
ABS-CH: WG I delegates continued consideration of a COP/MOP CRP on the ABS-CH and information sharing. In several paragraphs, MEXICO suggested inviting not only parties, but also other governments to provide information and financial resources. SWITZERLAND, supported by URUGUAY, agreed, suggesting more specifically non-parties. With these and other minor amendments, delegates approved the CRP.
AWARENESS RAISING: Delegates approved a COP/MOP CRP on awareness raising. A paragraph inviting the GEF to prioritize activities related to implementing awareness-raising strategy for early action on Article 21 of the Protocol was deleted and will be added to the CRP on the GEF.
MONITORING AND REPORTING: Delegates considered a COP/MOP CRP. SWITZERLAND suggested the inclusion of a paragraph that: invites parties and non-parties to provide further feedback on the guidelines and the format of the interim national report; and allows for revision of the format during COP/MOP 2. The EU, with GUATEMALA, supported the first part of the proposal and opposed the second.
The EU proposed, and parties agreed, to link the interim national report on the NP implementation to the ABS-CH by providing an additional option in the questionnaire.
On a question addressing the provision of information referred to in Article 17.1 (monitoring the utilization of genetic resources) to relevant national authorities of the party providing PIC and to the ABS-CH, the EU suggested successfully the inclusion of a third option, other than yes or no, covering cases where confidentiality leads to direct contact with the country providing genetic resources. With these amendments, the CRP was approved.
IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES UNDER THE CONVENTION AND ITS PROTOCOLS: Retirement of decisions: The draft decision was forwarded to plenary for adoption.
BIODIVERSITY AND HUMAN HEALTH: Delegates considered a CRP. Brazil suggested requesting that the Secretariat carry out relevant activities for the development of indicators for biodiversity and human health. Referring to Annex II in the Strategic Plan, the EU suggested “finalization” instead of “development” of indicators. SENEGAL opposed “updating indicators.” Delegates decided to refer to a COP decision that requests such activities. CÔTE D’IVOIRE, SENEGAL and NIGERIA, sought clearer language on a paragraph requesting that the Secretariat synthesize information on links between biodiversity loss and the emergence of infectious diseases. With these and other changes, delegates approved the CRP.
SUPPORT FOR IMPLEMENTATION: Delegates considered a revised COP CRP. CANADA, supported by the EU, suggested inviting parties, and other in the position to do so, to provide financial, technical and human resources. CHINA and the GAMBIA, opposed, stressing the emphasis should be on developed country parties. Parties agreed to language emphasizing developed country parties, and others in a position to do so, particularly developed country parties. Discussions will continue.
WORKING GROUP II
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Reporting on informal consultations to resolve outstanding issues, the EU requested more time to reach agreement. Deliberations will continue on Friday.
COOPERATION: Stakeholder engagement: Delegates considered and approved a COP CRP.
Engagement with sub-national and local government: Delegates considered a COP CRP. On incorporating biodiversity considerations into urban, peri-urban and land-use planning and infrastructure, such as “green infrastructure,” delegates agreed to an amendment, proposed by the EU and supported by BRAZIL, that the qualifier, “as appropriate” refer only to green infrastructure, so as to allow countries flexibility when applying this new concept.
On collaboration with UN and other organizations, the EU requested, and delegates agreed, to reinstate previous agreed text calling on the Secretariat to collaborate with the Ramsar Secretariat on urban and peri-urban wetlands issues.
The CRP was approved with these amendments.
Biodiversity and tourism development: Delegates considered and approved a COP CRP, agreeing to move a reference to the GEF to the financial mechanism discussion.
Business engagement: Delegates considered a COP CRP. On text requesting that the Secretariat support business initiatives in developing progress reports on biodiversity mainstreaming by business, the EU requested, and delegates agreed, to insert “including by establishing a typology of possible actions.”
On text requesting that the Secretariat compile information and analyze best practices, standards and research on ecosystem functions and services, the EU suggested, and delegated agreed to, inserting also “evaluation of those services.”
With these and other minor amendments, delegates approved the CRP.
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY: Delegates considered a COP CRP and agreed to discuss text on the needs of developing country parties for, inter alia, financial resources and technology transfer together with resource mobilization.
Contact group Chair Bignell reported that attempts to resolve whether assessment and management procedures and/or regulatory systems to regulate environmental release of synthetic biology products should be based on national, regional “and/or” international frameworks, had been unsuccessful. EGYPT, GUINEA-BISSAU, BRAZIL, CANADA, ECUADOR, JAPAN, URUGUAY, the EU, MEXICO, ARGENTINA and CAMEROON said those systems should be based on national, regional “and/or” international frameworks. MALAYSIA, the PHILIPPINES, NORWAY, BOLIVIA, and ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA preferred national, regional “and” international frameworks. MALAYSIA, with BELARUS, proposed “national, regional and any applicable international frameworks” as a compromise. BRAZIL favored “national, regional and/or any applicable international frameworks.”
MALAYSIA reported on the outcome of informal consultations. Delegates agreed to refer to establishing effective risk assessment and management procedures and/or regulatory systems “consistent with Article 3 of the CBD.” The EU proposed, and delegates agreed, to expand the AHTEG membership to 5 to 8 experts from parties per region. Delegates approved the CRP as amended.
ARTICLE 8(j) AND RELATED PROVISIONS: Delegates considered a COP CRP on use of the terminology “indigenous peoples and local communities.” CANADA registered concern over the “operational use” of the terminology, and informed delegates that he would raise these in plenary. Delegates then approved the CRP.
MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY: EBSAs: Delegates discussed a COP CRP. On a bracketed paragraph suggesting further work on EBSAs, lengthy discussion ensued on a proposal by ARGENTINA, supported by PERU, to delete text requesting parties to share information resulting from the scientific and technical analysis on the status of marine and coastal biodiversity through the EBSA information-sharing mechanism. This was opposed by the EU, CANADA, ICELAND, FIJI, MAURITANIA, MALAYSIA, NORWAY and many others. Chair Mispireta suggested deleting the entire paragraph, noting a lack of consensus. CANADA and others agreed to delete only the controversial text, and delegates then lifted the brackets around the paragraph.
The CRP was adopted with these and other amendments.
THE NEED FOR AND MODALITIES OF A GLOBAL MULTILATERAL BENEFIT-SHARING MECHANISM: Delegates considered a COP/MOP CRP. Norway announced that it will fund a study on experiences gained and relevant work undertaken in other processes, and a meeting of an expert group. Delegates approved the CRP without amendment.
COMPLIANCE UNDER THE NP: Contact group Co-Chair Hafashimana reported that delegates had succeeded in removing numerous brackets and forwarding clean text to WG II. Delegates approved the COP/MOP CRP as presented. Chair Mispireta encouraged parties to submit nominations for the Compliance Committee to plenary.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On Thursday, the conference center was filled with delegates in search of shelter from the cold and gusty weather. One delighted delegate was heard attributing the adoption of compliance procedures and the establishment of the compliance committee under the NP to the balmy conference room.
Tempers in the corridors flared when issues of resource mobilization were raised. “Constant requests for a doubling of the doubling will cause us to hit a wall,” one exasperated developed country delegate protested. Yet, with the world racing to meet the 2015 deadline for action on climate, the SDGs and biodiversity, the pressure to strike a deal is on. “The Earth needs stronger commitments. That’s just the way it is!” sighed a long-term participant. It remains to be seen, however, whether the issue of resource mobilization can be resolved at COP 12—or if it will be deferred to COP 13, which already has an overloaded agenda. “Looking to business for money is fine,” commented a delegate on the search for alternative sources of financing for biodiversity, “but that does not release governments from commitments they have already made.”
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of COP 12 and NP COP/MOP 1 will be available on Monday, 20 October 2014 online at: http://enb.iisd.org/biodiv/cop12/