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Report of main proceedings for 7 November 1996


Delegates to COP-3 completed initial discussions on matters related to forests andbiodiversity, terrestrial biodiversity, implementation of Article 8(j) and access to geneticresources. The Working Group on financial issues and the Contact Group on the mediumterm work programme and budgetary matters began deliberations. The Working Groupon agricultural biodiversity continued its debate. Delegates also learned that theMinisterial Segment will produce a “Buenos Aires Declaration,” based on the ExecutiveSecretary’s summary of the Ministerial Segment.


FORESTS AND BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: The Secretariat introduced thedocument addressing matters related to forests and biological diversity(UNEP/CBD/COP/3/16). The IPF Secretariat presented its report on progress on issuesrelevant to forests and biological diversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/17). SBSTTA Chair PeterJohan Schei (Norway) reviewed SBSTTA-2’s recommendations on terrestrialbiodiversity (recommendation II/8, UNEP/CBD/COP/3/3).

Several countries supported the proposal that the CBD provide further input to the IPF.CUBA, THAILAND and ZAIRE (on behalf of Central African countries) emphasizedthat national forest and land-use plans for sustainable forest management (SFM) be basedon the ecosystem approach. INDONESIA urged the COP to fill the gaps in forestbiodiversity knowledge.

Numerous delegations endorsed the proposal to formulate a medium-term programme ofwork to develop and implement methods for SFM. AUSTRIA and SWITZERLANDhighlighted the need for analysis of underlying causes of forest biodiversity loss. TheRUSSIAN FEDERATION and CUBA underscored analysis and mitigation of humanimpacts on biodiversity. FINLAND, THAILAND and others emphasized the need todevelop and use criteria and indicators. CUBA highlighted economic valuation ofbiodiversity components. MEXICO recommended identification of techniques forrestoration and recovery of deforested ecosystems. The PHILIPPINES called forcomprehensive studies on indigenous forest-related knowledge and on living modifiedorganisms in forests. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION called for research on forest firesand pests and consideration of boreal forest issues.

Many delegations endorsed continued cooperation between the CBD and the IPF.SWITZERLAND said the CBD must use existing instruments to conserve biodiversityand, echoed by BRAZIL, stressed the need to avoid duplication of work. ARGENTINAstressed that the CBD should not be negligent in its work on forests by relying on the IPF.MALAYSIA stated that an international instrument on forests should be addressedthrough the IPF process to ensure that the multiple functions of forests will be considered.

SRI LANKA proposed that the COP develop a mandate on forests similar to the JakartaMandate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity. COLOMBIA said the fair and equitabledistribution of benefits from forest biodiversity should be related to sustainable use andconservation and not to commercial use. NORWAY called for SFM in production forestsand FINLAND recommended integration of SFM into forest sector policies.

The LATIN AMERICAN FOREST NETWORK called for recognition of the CBD as theonly international legal instrument to address forest biodiversity loss. TheINTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF TRIBAL PEOPLE OF TROPICAL FORESTSendorsed conservation of all kinds of forests. The G-77/CHINA, COLOMBIA, BRAZILand ZAIRE (on behalf of Central African countries) called for the integration ofindigenous peoples’ and local communities’ needs into forest management programmesand promotion of their participation in planning and implementation.

TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY: The Secretariat introduced documentUNEP/CBD/COP/3/18 on the future work programme on terrestrial biodiversity. TheGAMBIA called for assistance to national governments in developing and managingsustainable land-use practices. INDONESIA underscored CSD-3’s proposal regardingland-use planning. SOUTH AFRICA emphasized grassland ecosystems as an issue forconsideration by both IPF and SBSTTA. CANADA highlighted the work of the GlobalBiodiversity Forum and World Resources Institute in advancing the concept ofbioregional planning and the efforts of Norway on alien species. CHINA called on theGEF to identify and finance terrestrial biodiversity projects. TUNISIA called on the COPto consider the relationship between biodiversity and arid and semi-arid ecosystems.

IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 8(j): The Secretariat introduced thebackground documentation on knowledge, innovation and practices of indigenous andlocal communities (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/19, Inf.3 and Inf.4). A coalition of fiveindigenous peoples’ groups presented a proposal to create an Open-ended Working Groupon Article 8(j) to advise SBSTTA and report directly to the COP. ECUADOR,HONDURAS, URUGUAY, KYRGISTAN and the New Zealand MAORIs supported theformation of a Working Group.

CANADA, supported by SWEDEN (on behalf of all Nordic countries), theNETHERLANDS and ITALY, suggested an intersessional meeting involvinggovernments and indigenous peoples’ groups to create the basis for further discussion atCOP-4. BRAZIL supported establishing a body to examine the requirements to protectthe knowledge of indigenous peoples. NEW ZEALAND called for case studies ofimplementation and definitions of terms. The UK called for provision of information onnational legislation and administrative arrangements. SWITZERLAND stated that theprotection of rights will require a combination of mechanisms and supported anexamination of best practices. INDIA did not think it would be useful to refer the issue toSBSTTA. COLOMBIA proposed establishing a subsidiary body under the COP oninnovative practices of indigenous peoples and called for the suspension of access togenetic resources until there is a guarantee of protection.

The EU recognized that traditional knowledge should be respected in accord withnational legislation and underlined consistency with international agreements. JAPANhighlighted uncertainty over the relationship between Article 8(j) and Farmers’ Rights.AUSTRALIA called for linkage to Article 10(c) (encourage customary use), technologytransfer, IPR and access and benefit sharing. ZIMBABWE called for protection of sourcecountries’ rights to medicinal plants held ex situ, and for an end to biopiracy.

INDIA stated that a mechanism should require: information regarding source of origin;respect of relevant laws and practices in the country of origin; and respect of priorinformed consent. INDONESIA noted a need for elaboration on the ways and means toshare benefits. The PHILIPPINES called for further definition and suggestedencompassing local farmers and fisher folk. COSTA RICA and ARGENTINA notednational experiences in developing policies. VENEZUELA stated that recognition ofindigenous peoples should be present in the national legislation of all States.

ASOCIACION CAMPESINA hoped there would be a right to decide whether or not toshare knowledge and how. The WORLDWIDE FUND FOR NATURE supportedstrengthening the management capacity of indigenous peoples. MOVIMIENTO deINDIGENAS de COLOMBIA proposed ample participation of indigenous peoples in theCBD.

ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES: The Secretariat introduced thedocument (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/30) addressing access to genetic resources. The EU andSPAIN said FAO is the most appropriate international organization to develop amultilateral framework for access to genetic resources for food and agriculture. CUBAcalled for an international framework on equitable sharing of benefits derived from accessto genetic resources. SWITZERLAND supported a multilateral approach favoring accessin relation to international commitments. The PHILIPPINES said a protocol on accesswould be desirable in the future. GHANA, on behalf of African countries, said a priorinformed consent arrangement should be initiated globally. The PHILIPPINES andGHANA emphasized that access should be on mutually agreed terms. CUBA, COSTARICA and the PHILIPPINES emphasized national sovereignty over the control of geneticresources. ETHIOPIA and INDIA said access considerations should include exsitu collections made before CBD came into force.

SOUTH AFRICA, CHILE and TOGO advocated the preparation of a study on regionalstrategies. INDONESIA, the PHILIPPINES, AUSTRALIA and BOLIVIA (on behalf ofthe Andean Pact) called for regional cooperation. CHILE, MALAYSIA, TOGO andSWITZERLAND requested the Secretariat to continue collecting information on nationalmechanisms, and ARGENTINA, SOUTH AFRICA and TOGO asked the Secretariat todevelop guidelines for preparing national legislation to regulate access based on thisinformation. Several countries called for capacity building. AUSTRALIA encouragedParties to take into account the effects on indigenous and local communities.GUATEMALA, also speaking for Honduras and El Salvador, said the role ofcommunities must be recognized in the control of plant and genetic resources.

CANADA said access to genetic resources should be considered on a sector-by-sectorbasis. The BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY organization noted the improvementspossible due to applied innovations of the private sector. URUGUAY offered to host aworkshop on access to genetic resources in the context of Mercosur.

MODUS OPERANDI of SBSTTA (recommendation II/11 ofUNEP/CBD/COP/3/3): <M>Peter Johan Schei (Norway), Chair of SBSTTA-2,highlighted recommendations from the report including interpretation in additionallanguages, terms of office of SBSTTA Bureau members, and use of liaison and expertgroups as well as a roster of experts. The EU endorsed the recommendations but calledfor focus on priorities, including thematic work programmes and periodic reviews.

JAPAN, SPAIN and the NETHERLANDS questioned the financial implications ofproviding interpretation in more languages. CHINA and PERU supported therecommendation on additional language interpretation. JAMAICA named capacitybuilding for taxonomy a priority and questioned the financial implications of regionalmeetings. The US supported ETHIOPIA, the EU, BRAZIL, PORTUGAL, NEWZEALAND, CHINA and INDIA and others, who also noted that SBSTTA provides theonly opportunity for scientific and technical recommendations to the COP and should notrecommend policy. He said SBSTTA’s medium-term work program requiresprioritization.

NORWAY supported intersessional work by SBSTTA, while INDIA opposed it.HUNGARY, on behalf of Central and East European countries, called for assuring thefull participation of Parties at SBSTTA meetings, and stressed rotating Chairs regionally.FRANCE stated the need to make specific proposals on the work programme. PERUcalled for sufficient financial and human resources. AUSTRALIA supported the proposedchanges to the modus operandi and a limitation of ad hoc expert groups tothree per year.


AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY: The Open-ended Working Group onAgricultural Biodiversity met briefly during the evening. Chair Manfred Schneider(Austria) informed delegates that the drafting group had been meeting throughout the dayand would continue a paragraph-by-paragraph review of the consolidated text, which wasdrawn from the G-77/China, EU and SBSTTA texts. The discussion continued into thenight.

FINANCE: The Working Group on finance issues, chaired by Mohammad RezaSalamat (Iran), began its work during an evening session. Draft decisions submitted bythe G-77/China were distributed as conference room papers on the following issues:amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); policy, strategy, programmepriorities and eligibility criteria relating to the access and utilization of the resources ofthe financial mechanism; guidelines for the review of the effectiveness of the financialmechanism; and additional financial resources. Delegates first considered theamendments to the MOU (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/10). They agreed to delete the paragraphnoting that the GEF will operate the financial mechanism until 1999, at which time it willbe reviewed. The discussion continued into the night.


COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: The COW will meet in Salon Dorado duringthe morning and afternoon to discuss: technology transfer, intellectual property rights,input to the Committee on Trade and Environment of the WTO and to the Special Sessionof the GA, incentive measures and the report of the Biosafety Working Group.

WORKING GROUPS: Look for the Journal announcement regarding meetingsfor the working groups on agricultural biodiversity and finance issues.

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