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Report of main proceedings for 14 November 1996

CBD COP 3

During the final day of the Ministerial Segment, delegates to COP-3 heard over 50statements from governments, IGOs and NGOs. The Working Group on financial issuesmet throughout the day to complete its work.

MINISTERIAL SEGMENT

FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISM, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFERAND CAPACITY- BUILDING: Several developing countries reiterated the need forproviding financial resources in a timely and predictable manner, and characterized thelack of compliance by developed countries with Article 20 on financial resources as ahindrance to implementation. MICRONESIA stressed that financial resources beyondthose available for regional initiatives are required for national level activities.ROMANIA stated that implementation of CBD depends on the availability of financialresources. DOMINICA said that SIDS need help fighting the losing battle for economicdevelopment through new and additional sources of funding.

JAPAN said it is the duty of developed countries to actively assist developing countriesin their efforts to plan and implement relevant programmes and disseminate information.FINLAND supported a policy of relieving debt of heavily-burdened countries. FRANCEcalled for support for developing countries to devise national strategies.

URUGUAY, WESTERN SAMOA and TOGO called for simplified procedures forfunding from GEF. CHILE said that multilateral agencies should look carefully atnational agendas and suggested a review of multilateral agencies to improve the qualityof investments. KENYA called for the commitment of more resources to GEF, whichshould make more resources available for African projects. ERITREA said that GEFfunding must exceed enabling activities. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA welcomed theGEF Council agreement to expedite the approval of biodiversity projects.MOZAMBIQUE called for an MOU between the COP and the GEF. ITALY noted thatthe GEF was achieving its aim of efficiency and transparency, and called for it to bedeemed the permanent funding mechanism.

LESOTHO noted that capacity-building should involve not just technology transfer, butalso information sharing, awareness building and improvement of indigenous capacity.WESTERN SAMOA cautioned against contracting foreign consultants without traininglocal people. MAURITIUS said the CHM must be committed, dynamic and non-bureaucratic, and that the Parties must have the necessary capacity to access theinformation.

ARTICLE 8(J), IPR , ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES ANDAGRICULTURE: AOSIS supported the implementation of Article 8(j) as it capturesthe true spirit of the CBD. SWEDEN stressed that information could soon be lost foreveras cultures are degraded. The GROUP OF INDIGNEOUS PEOPLES called for animmediate moratorium on bioprospecting and said that indigenous peoples are notsatisfied with the decision taken by COP-3 on Article 8(j). SRI LANKA has established agovernmental department for development of indigenous medicine.

WESTERN SAMOA said that IPR issues, especially patent rights, are a serious concernin the South Pacific region due to a lack of legislation. The EUROPEAN COMMUNITYcalled for exploring the possibility of developing IPR systems and contractualmechanisms to better value indigenous knowledge. NICARAGUA recognized thatproviding access to biotechnology and establishing IPR will allow for the development ofa new international framework for the conservation of biodiversity.

The US recognized the benefits of having an informal open system of access, with thekey benefit being greater global food security. POLAND noted that broad and free accessto genetic resources was fundamental to food supplies but recognized sovereign rightsover genetic resources. The NETHERLANDS supported broad access to a wide variety ofgenetic resources, with due respect for the existing UPOV Convention and TRIPSagreement. PAKISTAN highlighted the value of the International Undertaking and aninternational code of conduct on collection of plant genetic resources, both developed byFAO.

BIOSAFETY: The REPUBLIC OF KOREA noted that the first step had beentaken regarding a biosafety protocol and expressed confidence that agreement will bereached soon despite the diversity of views on structure and content. The EUROPEANCOMMUNITY said delegates must negotiate diligently to complete a protocol onbiosafety by the end of 1998. AOSIS supported the establishment of a protocol onbiosafety that addresses elements such as liability, compensation and socioeconomicconsiderations. PAPUA NEW GUINEA called for a biosafety protocol that goes beyondtransboundary movement of LMOs. The BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRYORGANIZATION stated that successful cooperation on biosafety between industry andgovernment is based on equality of understanding and a business environment.

MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY: WESTERN SAMOA called onthe COP to seriously address concerns of SIDS, with appropriate financial mechanisms.AOSIS highlighted the sustainable use of coral reefs and reef ecosystems, and noted thatthis will require regional and international efforts, such as the International Coral ReefInitiative. The BAHAMAS highlighted the special conditions of the least developedcountries and SIDS, which are vulnerable to pollution and in need of assistance.

RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER CONVENTIONS AND PROCESSES:FINLAND welcomed the decision on forest biodiversity and called for strengtheningthe dialogue between CBD and IPF. The US called for close links with the work of theIPF. ROMANIA emphasized CBD input into the IPF process. WESTERN SAMOAnoted that SBSTTA should play a vital role in implementing the SIDS Programme ofAction. ITALY called for immediate clarification and reorientation between the CBD andexisting agreements in the areas of conservation, agriculture and the seas. DENMARKsaid the CBD is keeping biodiversity on the international agenda and noted that the CBDis so broad in objectives that close cooperation is a must. The NETHERLANDSquestioned the need for a separate Secretariat for each convention. The EUROPEANCOMMUNITY urged sending a strong message to the UNGA to take biodiversityconsiderations seriously. JAPAN noted that with the Special Session approaching, eachParty must make renewed efforts to promote implementation of the CBD.

INDICATORS AND IMPLEMENTATION : FINLAND stressed the need todevelop monitoring and assessment indicators on biodiversity. ITALY said the evaluationcriteria for implementing the CBD should be simple, understandable, cost-effective andhighly representative. SRI LANKA called for a set of performance indicators.SURINAME hopes to establish criteria for evaluation of progress made in nationalimplementation.

Several ministers highlighted their national implementation efforts, including theBAHAMAS, BELARUS, BULGARIA, CAMEROON, the CZECH REPUBLIC, CHILE,DENMARK, ESTONIA, EGYPT, GHANA, GUATAMALA, GUYANA, KENYA, thePHILIPPINES, PORTUGAL, RUSSIA, LESOTHO, THAILAND, TUNISIA, UKRAINEand URUGUAY. They described the development of new environmental laws, as well assustainable policies on forests, fisheries and the use of biological diversity. Somecountries are implementing legislation on access to genetic resources, IPR regimes andthe rights of indigenous and local communities. Other speakers highlighted the initiationof data collection programmes to assess domestic biological resources, biomonitoringprogrammes in protected areas and development of national biodiversity datamanagement systems. Some delegates noted the preparation of national strategies, theestablishment of national ecological reserves, and the initiation of decentralizedenvironmental management strategies.

Delegates also raised a number of other issues key to implementation. JAPAN stressedthat the formation of national strategies and programmes is crucial. The SEYCHELLEShighlighted sustainable tourism with a portion of revenues invested in conservation.AUSTRIA emphasized integrating the objectives of the CBD into various economicsectors, which would help mainstream sustainable development. The US said its currentadministration intends to pursue ratification, and in the meantime will continue toparticipate as an active partner. PAPUA NEW GUINEA called for incentive packages toreward resource owners who set up protected areas.

MAURITIUS deplored the proliferation of intersessional meetings and documents andthe politicization of SBSTTA. The NETHERLANDS proposed that the COP meet everytwo years, relying on an annual meeting of SBSTTA.

SYRIA stressed the integration of conservation in educational systems. Regionalcooperation was stressed by NICARAGUA, MONACO and GUATAMALA. RWANDAhighlighted the environmental impact of regional insecurity, demographic pressure andrepatriating refugees, and called for poverty reduction and preventive diplomacy.BANGLADESH said that biodiversity loss is due to increasing poverty and is therefore amoral issue.

IGOs AND NGOs: UNESCO is carrying out programmes on marine and coastalareas, natural and cultural heritage sites, and protection and promotion of traditionalknowledge. UNCTAD highlighted its Biotrade Initiative and urged promotion andreinforcement for the capacity of developing countries to compete in emerging markets.SPAIN commended UNCTAD on its Biotrade Initiative as an economic valuationexercise. FAO highlighted the current World Food Summit, the Leipzig Conference andthe revision of the International Undertaking as key activities in 1996.

IUCN stated it would continue to contribute to CBD implementation throughdocumentation, dialogue, analysis and creative solutions. The LATIN AMERICAN NGOFORUM called for expanded participation of civil society, and restructured incentives forboth public and private sector investment. COOPERATIVA TECNICO SCIENTIFICADI BASE highlighted the contradiction between allowing patents on improved varietiesbut not on traditional varieties, and called for sui generis systems.

WORKING GROUP ON FINANCIAL ISSUES

Delegates to the Working Group on financial issues completed consideration of the threeoutstanding texts. On the MOU, delegates deleted text noting that, if the COP considers aspecific project decision does not comply with its guidance, it may “ask for areconsideration of that decision.” Delegates also deleted the instruction that COP reviewthe amount of funding “available” for CBD on the occasion of each replenishment.

On the draft decision on Additional Guidance to the Financial Mechanism, delegatesagreed to underline “the importance of paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article 20" of the CBD.They also added a note stating that the COP endorsed recommendation II/2 of SBSTTAconcerning capacity-building for taxonomy.

The text on the procedure to review the effectiveness of the financial mechanism calls onthe Secretariat to: gather information; prepare a synthesis; send it for appraisal to fiveregional representatives; take account of the comments; distribute copies to all Parties andrelevant bodies for comments; based on these, prepare a draft report to be presented to theregional representatives and made available to the GEF and implementing agencies; andsubmit the synthesis with supporting documents to Parties not later than 3 months prior toCOP-4. Supporting documents will include comments and other information, identifiedby source.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Some participants observed that the previously divisive debates over the relationshipbetween the CBD and the GEF appear to have changed focus from the MOU to how theCBD will give operational guidance to and review its financial mechanism. Somedelegates were pleased with the support offered for the MOU in many statements duringthe COW. Several commented that intersessional activities clarified some concerns thathad rankled previous COPs. Some delegates suggested the review anticipated by COP-3’sdraft decision that would guide the review of the financial mechanism could feed backinto further discussions on the MOU.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The closing Plenary is expected to meet today.

Further information

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