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Report of main proceedings for 12 November 1996

CBD COP 3

Delegates to COP-3 met in the Committee of the Whole during the morning and eveningto consider draft decisions for adoption, and negotiated text for the decisions in numerousworking and drafting groups throughout the day.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

The draft decision on the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) (CRP.17) was adopted withamendments calling for: assistance from governments, bilateral and multilateralinstitutions; endorsement of the CHM newsletter; and CHM provision of informationlinkages to national focal points.

The draft decision concerning the implementation of Articles 6 and 8 of the CBD(conservation and in situ conservation) (CRP.12) was adopted with fewamendments. The NETHERLANDS noted that given the late date of COP-4, nationalreports should be submitted by January 1998. The additional time should provideopportunity for the preparation of more and higher quality reports.

On the draft decision on Identification, Monitoring and Assessment (CRP.13), the EUsaid capacity-building for taxonomy should be restricted to relevant field activities.MALAWI’'s proposal, on behalf of the African Group, for a paragraph endorsingSBSTTA Recommendation II/2 on capacity-building for taxonomy was adopted, as wasthe decision.

The draft decision on Terrestrial Biodiversity (CRP.10) was adopted without amendment.A number of minor amendments were made to the draft decision on the FutureProgramme of Work for Terrestrial Biodiversity (CRP.25), and a preambular paragraphwas added, reading “the conservation and sustainable use of forests cannot be isolatedfrom the conservation of biodiversity.” The draft decision was adopted.

The draft decision on Incentive Measures (CRP.19) was altered substantially during themorning. Proposed amendments included recognition of economic and socialdevelopment and poverty eradication as overriding priorities in developing countries andthe role of local and indigenous communities and the private sector in the designation ofincentives. During the evening COW, following consultations, delegates considered therevised text (CRP.29) and agreed to delete the two remaining bracketed preambularparagraphs (recalling decision I/2 of the COP and recognizing development andimplementation of incentive measures as the responsibility of national governments andthe international community). The G-77/CHINA supported deleting the brackets aroundthe paragraph requesting the GEF to include incentive measures among priority activities.The US said the brackets were appropriate. The paragraph was referred to the WorkingGroup on financial issues.

On the draft decision regarding Implementation of Article 8(j) (CRP.24), the EUsuggested adding a paragraph recognizing as legitimate the request of indigenous andlocal communities to the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization ofknowledge, innovation and practices of these communities. SENEGAL called for areformulation of the paragraph on the recognition of rights, stating that rights must begiven to people or communities. Text on this agenda item was not adopted.

The draft decision on the Statement to the Special Session of the UNGA (CRP.23)incorporated amendments from a working group that based its work on CRP.7. Proposedamendments included one by the EU to include a specific description of GEF biodiversityactivities, and another by the G-77/China to drop a reference to biodiversity destructionby “human activities.” The groups opposed each other’s proposal. Both proposals werewithdrawn and the text was adopted.

The draft decision on Access to Genetic Resources (CRP.31) was adopted with minorchanges.

Delegates adopted the draft decision on Additional Financial Resources (CRP.28). On thedraft decision regarding the Review of the Effectiveness of the Financial Mechanism(CRP.32), the G-77/CHINA, SWITZERLAND and AUSTRALIA supported thebracketed option for a steering panel, comprising two representatives from each regionalgroup, to monitor and guide the review process. The EU, supported by RUSSIA,proposed deleting both that option and the option for monitoring and guidance by theBureau plus one member from each regional group. The group adopted all of the textexcept for the two bracketed options, which were referred to further consultations. TheChair of the Working Group on financial issues, Mohammed Reza Salamat (Iran), beganto introduce changes to the draft decision regarding the Memorandum of Understanding(MOU), which included some bracketed text. The COW Chair Currat suggested waitinguntil an updated draft is available and asked the Working Group to complete its work.

The Chair noted that the two outstanding issues in the draft decision on AgriculturalBiological Diversity (CRP.15) had been referred for consultations to the relevant groups(Access to Genetic Resources and IPR), and the draft decision was adopted in the COW.

The draft decision on the relationship of the Convention with the CSD and OtherBiodiversity-Related Conventions (CRP.26) was supplemented by EU amendments(CRP.27). The G-77/CHINA consulted with the EU regarding these proposals and thetext was adopted with, among other amendments: a phrase encouraging cooperativearrangements with the Scientific Council on the Convention on Migratory Species ofWild Animals; a new paragraph urging UNEP to undertake decision II/14 of the COP(intergovernmental workshop on cooperation with other conventions); and deletion of therequest to investigate an integrated database on wetlands.

The Final Report of the COW (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/L.2) was adopted with minorchanges.

WORKING AND DRAFTING GROUPS

FINANCIAL ISSUES: The Working Group forwarded texts regarding additionalfinancial resources and review of the financial mechanism to the COW. On the latter, textwas added regarding the application of the criteria of agreed full incremental costskeeping in mind the provision of new and additional resources by developed countryParties. The section on procedure for the review notes: the Secretariat is to preparebackground documentation and, if necessary shall appoint a consultant; and [the Bureauplus regional representatives][a steering panel composed of two representatives from eachregional group] will monitor and guide on a continuous basis the review. The MOU wasalso forwarded to the COW. Delegates maintained brackets on text noting that: if COPconsiders a GEF Council project decision does not comply with COP guidelines, it “mayask for a reconsideration of that decision;” and COP will review funding requirementsafter each replenishment. Text noting that the GEF will operate the financial mechanism“on an interim basis” was removed from brackets. Delegates removed text calling for thereasons that the amount of new and additional funding was considered to be new andadditional. Delegates postponed evaluation of additional guidance for the GEF so theycould evaluate the COP-3 draft decisions before incorporating elements from them intotheir decision.

AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY: The Open-ended Working Group onAgricultural Biodiversity met throughout the morning in order to finalize their draftdecision and address unresolved issues. The reference to the World Food Summit’slanguage regarding the role of the WTO CTE on the relationship between trade andagricultural biodiversity was resolved through informal consultations. Several delegationsexpressed substantive difficulties with the paragraph pertaining to the interim financialmechanism and argued that the matter should be resolved on the basis of the decisionfrom the Working Group on Finance. However, BRAZIL noted that this paragraph waspart of a “package deal” along with the text put forward by AUSTRALIA regarding thelegal status of a revised International Undertaking on PGRFA and the Global Plan ofAction. The brackets were removed on the condition that the decision reflected similarlanguage from the COP-2 decision on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity. The WorkingGroup completed its work with two issues outstanding: the status of ex situcollections acquired prior to the entry into force of the CBD and intellectual propertyrights, both of which were referred to the relevant drafting groups on Access to GeneticResources and IPR.

ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES: The drafting group on Access toGenetic Resources met to negotiate a draft decision. Disagreement focused on apreambular paragraph recognizing that classes of genetic resources may require“distinctive solutions,” and an operative paragraph urging that Article 15 is “dulyreflected” in implementation of relevant articles of TRIPs. Revisions to the formerparagraph recognized a variety of approaches to managing access based on the diversityof genetic resources and other considerations. Revisions to the latter paragraph requestedthe Secretariat to cooperate closely with the CTE to “explore the extent to which theremay be linkages” between Article 15 and TRIPs.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: The drafting group on IPR, chaired byDiego Malpede (Argentina), completed a draft decision after prolonged discussion. Threeof the most difficult issues included a reference to a proposal before WIPO to allowcopyright protection for databases, the relation between the COP and TRIPs, and theimpact of IPR to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the CBD. The agreed draftdecision: calls for an open and transparent assessment of database copyrighting vis-a-visthe CBD; encourages exchange of information between the COP and the WTO overTRIPs; and does not refer to GMOs and the impacts of IPR to GMOs.

INCENTIVE MEASURES: Delegates convened to discuss a Secretariat’s drafttext on incentive measures. The group agreed that incentive measures should beincorporated as appropriate into the COP agenda. Delegates replaced language calling forremoval of perverse incentives with taking appropriate action on incentives that threatenbiodiversity, and added language on promoting positive incentives. The group agreed onlanguage requesting the Executive Secretary to prepare a background document on designand implementation of incentive measures. Delegates bracketed a preambular paragraphrecognizing national and international responsibility for developing and implementingincentive measures, but it was deleted in later negotiations in the COW. Some delegationscalled for re-insertion of a paragraph from an earlier draft requesting the GEF to includeincentive measures among its priority activities for funding, and the group agreed toinclude it in brackets, provided that a related preambular paragraph recalling Decision I/2(incentive measures as a programme priority for access to financial resources) also bebracketed. The latter was deleted in the negotiations conducted in the COW, while theformer was referred to the Working Group on Financial Issues.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Delegates and observers differed on whether the forest biodiversity decision adoptedTuesday represents progress or a missed opportunity. Many concur that the establishmentof a work programme is a significant step, but disagree on whether the programme’s draftstatus and specific priorities undermine its value. They also point to the decision’sinstructions on common priorities with and advice to the IPF, but diverge on whetherthose provisions strengthen or equivocate the CBD’s voice in the international dialogueon forests. A third difference relates to the political and ecological urgency of thedecision, with some pointing to its reference to “some” forests as a realistic politicalcompromise and others decrying it as a denial of a worsening trend in worldwide forestdegradation.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

MINISTERIAL SEGMENT: The Ministerial Segment will begin at 9:00 am.Over 100 statements are expected during the two-day segment. Argentine PresidentMenem is expected to speak at 6:00 pm.

WORKING GROUPS: The Working Group on financial issues is expected tomeet during the morning.

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