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Report of main proceedings for 6 November 1996

CBD COP 3

Delegates to COP-3 completed their initial discussion of the financial mechanism, theCBD clearing-house mechanism, conservation and sustainable use, in situconservation, and monitoring and assessment of biodiversity. The Working Group onagricultural biodiversity met during an evening session. A Working Group on financialissues was established, to be chaired by Iran’s Mohammad Reza Salamat. The WorkingGroup will begin its deliberations Thursday.

PLENARY

Vice-President Manfred Schneider (Austria) presided over a short Plenary, which electedthe final GRULAC nominee for the Bureau, John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda). RaedBani Hani (Jordan) was elected Rapporteur.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

FINANCIAL ISSUES: The EU stated that the documentation regarding theavailability of additional financial resources and suggestions for funding institutions doesnot provide a sufficient basis for discussion. The US expressed concern aboutinaccuracies in the papers regarding additional financial resources.

KYRGISTAN, also speaking for KAZAKHSTAN, indicated support for the GEF. TheRUSSIAN FEDERATION, TUNISIA and SYRIA supported the GEF as the permanentfinancial mechanism. NEW ZEALAND encouraged the COP to confirm the status of theGEF at this meeting so as to facilitate negotiations on GEF replenishment next year.GERMANY said the COP must consider all possible implications of its decisions on theestablished financial mechanism and the GEF’s resultant ability to fund projects indeveloping countries.

BENIN, the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, ZAMBIA and PARAGUAY called forthe production of GEF papers and reports in all UN languages to ensure full participationin deliberations, particularly those regarding funding of projects in developing countries.CHINA encouraged funding institutions to develop a sense of urgency regarding time-sensitive and irreversible issues and underscored country ownership as a prerequisite forsuccessful project implementation and environmental effectiveness. HONDURASstressed the need for more innovative rather than traditional projects and called forspeedier project approval. The US said GEF projects should be country-driven andsuggested that national reports and strategies could be useful mechanisms to prioritizecapacity building and biodiversity needs. SYRIA stated that Parties should be given muchmore autonomy in designing projects to support national priorities.

The G-77/CHINA said developed countries are not fulfilling their commitments underArticle 20.2 (new and additional financial resources), which hinders developing countriesfrom complying with their commitments. INDONESIA and MALAYSIA also called fornew and additional resources, including from the private sector. INDIA noted a generaldecline in biodiversity funding within the GEF portfolio and recommended that futureGEF reports include information on total biodiversity funds against the needs anddemands by countries.

The UK said the GEF requires additional guidance from the COP to ensure that all threeCBD objectives are reflected in its work programme. CANADA cautioned againstreviewing the effectiveness of the financial mechanism for areas that have not yetreceived guidance. MALAYSIA and INDIA called on the GEF to support: a globaltaxonomy initiative; capacity-building for biosafety; the CHM; and agriculturalbiodiversity. HAITI called for training in small, new signatory countries to enable themto understand the financial mechanism. EQUATORIAL GUINEA noted that his countryhas been allocated funds for capacity strengthening but lacks adequate information to usethem as mandated. He appealed to Parties to advise the national focal points about GEFmodalities.

TUNISIA stressed the need for developing countries to define national policies forconservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the need for appropriate financialmeans to implement these policies. CAMEROON said the language of the operationalstrategy is esoteric and puts developing countries at a disadvantage. The SEYCHELLESinformed delegates of a recent workshop held in the Seychelles from 20-22 October 1996on sustainable tourism, whose objectives were to popularize the concept of ecotourism,promote sustainable practices in the tourism industry, and develop a portfolio of revenue-generating project proposals.

The CHAIR suggested that regional groups identify the financial issues on which theywant COP-3 to take a decision. These will be discussed Thursday in a Working Group onfinance, to be chaired by Mohammad Reza Salamat (Iran).

CLEARING-HOUSE MECHANISM: The Secretariat introduced the documentaddressing the clearing-house mechanism (CHM) (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/4). The EU andTANZANIA emphasized that the CHM should be needs-driven and decentralized. TheEU stressed the involvement of relevant UN bodies and international institutions as activepartners, and GERMANY added the private sector and universities. MALAYSIA saidthat the CHM should be proactive by developing models for bioprospecting arrangementsinvolving the private sector. ETHIOPIA requested that the CHM exclude information ontraditional knowledge until access and benefit-sharing policies are in place. NEWZEALAND stated that the CHM should include information on policy and decisionmaking and on biodiversity management. MALAYSIA, with CAMEROON, said theCHM should be a vehicle to meet the needs of developing countries and provide access toand transfer of technology.

The EU, COLOMBIA and several others supported the recommendation for regionalworkshops. COLOMBIA is organizing the first regional working group in early 1997with the assistance of Germany.

ICELAND and KOREA called for transparency. COLOMBIA highlighted the need todefine the targeted audience and identify and prioritize the types of information required.SOUTH AFRICA urged the Secretariat to determine the best ways that CHM user needscan be met and to work closely with the GEF to access adequate financial resources.AUSTRALIA called on the GEF to revise its operational criteria to allow funding forenabling activities for the CHM. CANADA and the PHILIPPINES called for GEFsupport for the pilot phase and long-term implementation of the CHM. NORWAYproposed that funding for the CHM be supplied by bilateral and multilateral financialinstitutions and that the pilot phase be extended through 1998.

AUSTRALIA, TANZANIA, ICELAND, KOREA and GREECE supported thepublication of a CHM newsletter. AUSTRALIA and GERMANY called on theSecretariat to promptly fill its staff positions for the CHM. The US urged the use of apeer review process to assure technical quality and credibility. CHINA, TANZANIA andINDONESIA called for capacity building and human resource training to allowdeveloping countries to use the mechanism. MAURITIUS called for capacity building onprioritizing information requests.

TANZANIA said the participation of Parties who do not currently have Internet accessmust be ensured, and ARGENTINA called for additional support for those countries.INDIA called for the development of a basic Internet training package. GERMANYstated that Internet-based communication must be supplemented by more traditionalmeans of information exchange.

BRAZIL called for guidelines for setting up national focal points. NIGER urged thatnational focal points should play a role in distributing information. GERMANY will hostan international workshop to follow up on COP-3 and SBSTTA to analyze the demandprofile for the kind of information that should be provided by national focal points. TheCHAIR called for half-page proposals to integrate into a Chair’s draft text.

IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLES 6 (CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLEUSE) AND 8 (IN SITU CONSERVATION): The discussion on agenda itemsaddressing Articles 6 and 8, 7 and 25.2(a) was based on documentsUNEP/CBD/COP/3/11, 12 and 13. Delegates were asked to address all three items and tomake short interventions. The recommendations of those who were not able to speak willbe distributed Thursday morning.

COSTA RICA outlined a process of devolving biodiversity management to localgovernment and to civil society. Peter Johan Schei (Norway), the Chair of SBSTTA-2,summarized SBSTTA’s recommendations II/1 (assessment, methodologies,identification, monitoring and indicators of biodiversity) and II/2 (practical approachesfor capacity building for taxonomy) (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/3). The EU highlightedconservation, integration into relevant sectoral policies, and equitable sharing of benefitsarising from the use of genetic resources. SWITZERLAND emphasized regionalcoordination to accomplish conservation goals. INDONESIA urged implementation ofIUCN guidelines on monitoring and conflict management in Protected Areas.

INDIA stated that implementation of Articles 6 and 8 require action mainly at thenational level. CHINA requested that the Biosafety Working Group take up the issue ofalien species. NORWAY proposed putting 8(h) (introduction of alien species) on a futureCBD agenda and called attention to a conference it hosted on alien species. MALAYSIAasked for full funding, without conditionality, for activities involving Articles 6 and 8.MADAGASCAR proposed an economic study of the value of biodiversity.

OPTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING ARTICLE 7 (IDENTIFICATION ANDMONITORING): ARGENTINA noted a “marked dichotomy” in the implementationof Articles 6 and 8 versus that of Article 7. SPAIN stated that Articles 6, 7 and 8 shouldbe applied in parallel. NEW ZEALAND recommended that COP-3 call for immediateimplementation of 7(a) (identify components important for conservation) and 7(c)(identify processes that adversely impact conservation) and called on Parties to preparereports on their experiences with assessment methodology. The US suggested that avoluntary pilot project be developed to demonstrate the assessment process.

NORWAY called for the use of remote sensing. ICELAND supported the development ofan indicative framework. SOUTH AFRICA supported the two-track approach proposedby SBSTTA. SWEDEN stressed a bottom-up approach to developing indicators.BRAZIL called attention to the recommendations of a workshop it hosted(UNEP/CBD/COP/3/Inf.19).

IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 25(2)(a) (SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENTS) ANDMETHODOLOGIES: The NETHERLANDS stated that the GEF should fundtaxonomy capacity building to accomplish in situ conservation goals. BRAZILproposed the creation of taxonomic centres of excellence. AUSTRALIA stated thatcapacity building should be one of SBSTTA’s priorities. INDIA said that assessment ofmarine areas should be conducted in connection with the United Nations Convention onthe Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

WORKING GROUP

The Open-ended Working Group on agricultural biodiversity met during the evening.Draft texts were tabled by the EU and the G-77 and China. The EU, supported bySweden, stated that it could not accept the G-77 text as a basis for negotiation because itignored the "useful work" of the SBSTTA. Canada, Mauritius, the EU, Norway, the UKand Australia proposed that the SBSTTA recommendations would serve as a soundscientific basis for the negotiations. Colombia, Brazil and Argentina preferred that the G-77 text serve as a basis for negotiation, noting that SBSTTA recommendations could bebrought in as "enrichments" to the final document once the political stage had been set bythe COP. Delegates agreed to form a small drafting group, to be composed of a core ofregional representatives, to consider both draft texts and the SBSTTA recommendations.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: The COW will meet during the morning todiscuss forest issues, during the afternoon to discuss Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge),and from 8:00 to 11:00 pm to discuss the proposals regarding the modus operandiof SBSTTA.

AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY:<M> The drafting group will meet at10:00 am and is expected to report to the Working Group in the evening.

FINANCE: The Finance Working Group will meet following a workshop to beorganized by Argentina and Switzerland. The workshop will begin at 1:00 pm.

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