Report of main proceedings for 22 May 2000
CBD COP 5
On the sixth day of COP-5, delegates met in a morning Plenary to hear progress reports from the Working Groups and statements from international organizations, and considered decisions for adoption. Following Plenary, Working Group I (WG-I) met to address alien species and the global plant conservation initiative. Working Group II (WG-II) considered identification, monitoring and assessment, and indicators, as well as education and public awareness. Contact groups on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS), Article 8(j), agricultural biodiversity and forest biodiversity met in the evening.
COP-5 President Francis Nyenze (Kenya) opened Plenary, remarking that the CBD was adopted on this day and location in 1992. WG-I Chair Peter Schei (Norway) reported that WG-I had considered: sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue, along with tourism and incentive measures; dryland biodiversity; progress reports on inland waters, marine and coastal and forest biodiversity; agricultural biodiversity; and the ecosystem approach. He noted that draft decisions were prepared for sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue, biodiversity and tourism, and incentive measures (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/L.3). Delegates adopted the decisions with minor textual changes.
WG-II Chair Elaine Fisher (Jamaica) reported that WG-II had discussed: ABS; national reporting; financial resources and mechanism; scientific and technical cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM). Amb. John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), Chair of the budget contact group reported that consultations are ongoing. The Plenary approved the report on the credentials, presented by Ilona Jepsen (Latvia), and elected Jan Plesnik (Czech Republic) Chair of SBSTTA-7 and 8.
STATUS OF THE BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL: COP-5 President Nyenze introduced for adoption the report on the status of the Biosafety Protocol and the work plan for the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol (ICCP) (UNEP/ CBD/CBD/5/L.2). ARGENTINA and the US expressed concern over the work plan, emphasizing that Article 18 (Handling, Transport, Packaging and Identification) should be addressed at the ICCPs second meeting. ARGENTINA stated that ICCP-1 should limit its work to capacity-building, information sharing and the CHM. Emphasizing that the ICCPs mandate is confined to preparatory work, MEXICO and ETHIOPIA, supported by BOLIVIA, BOTSWANA, CHAD, CHINA, COLOMBIA, the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, HAITI, INDIA, JAPAN, KENYA, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MOROCCO, SWITZERLAND, TOGO, VENEZUELA and ZIMBABWE supported adoption of the work plan. The US stated that pharmaceuticals should remain outside the work plan as they are beyond the Protocols scope, and requested clarification on selection of the biosafety CHM Technical Experts Group. The Secretariat explained that the ICCP Bureau would make that decision. After consultations with Argentina, Amb. Philmon Yang (Cameroon), Chair of the ICCP Bureau, supported by AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, CANADA, PORTUGAL on behalf of the EU and the US, proposed a compromise, moving consideration of modalities for developing standards under Article 18 to the section on capacity-building. After some debate, the decision and work plan were adopted in their original format.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS STATEMENTS: The GEF highlighted its biodiversity projects and new programmes on ecosystem management and agrobiodiversity, and offered GEF's assistance in mobilizing additional financial resources. He noted a recently approved capacity development initiative in cooperation with UNDP in areas of biodiversity, climate change and land degradation.
The CITES SECRETARIAT underscored the importance of enhancing cooperation between CITES, the CBD and other biodiversity-related conventions. He reported that at the recent CITES COP-11, delegates endorsed proposals for synergy on, inter alia, scientific and technical cooperation, enforcement, capacity-building and fund-raising.
UNDP noted its continuous commitment to CBD implementation, highlighting activities in areas such as biosafety, forests and indigenous peoples. He also highlighted GEF projects intended to help countries implement the CBD: the Biodiversity Planning Support Programme; the country dialogue workshop programme on access to funding; and the Small Grants Programme.
WORKING GROUP I
ALIEN SPECIES: The Secretariat introduced document UNEP/CBD/COP/5/12. SBSTTA-5 Chair Cristin Samper reviewed COP Decisions IV/1C and IV/16, and SBSTTA Recommendations IV/4 and V/4. Several countries supported SBSTTA Recommendation V/4 and the interim guiding principles, while noting the need for their further development. Some supported such consideration at SBSTTA-6. Several countries called for a more proactive approach. The SEYCHELLES, supported by a number of island States, called for special attention to island States. AUSTRALIA, HUNGARY and INDIA highlighted collaboration with other organizations. A number of countries called for financial support for capacity-building, control, eradication, national focal points, research and taxonomy. DENMARK invited developing countries to include alien species in their development cooperation programmes. The EU, supported by LATVIA, MONACO, TUNISIA and DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE, proposed considering the development of an international instrument under the CBD. CANADA stated that this would require further consideration, and NEW ZEALAND opposed such action.
Several countries supported submission of case studies and further work on standardizing terminology. SWITZERLAND said case studies should be conducted on a regional basis. ARGENTINA, CANADA and the SOLOMON ISLANDS called for use of national and regional databases. SENEGAL requested that the CHM be used for monitoring. Some countries highlighted prevention measures and others mitigation measures. OMAN, the SOLOMON ISLANDS and ZIMBABWE highlighted public awareness. JAPAN and NORWAY proposed using a sectoral approach. BURKINA FASO, the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA highlighted work with countries of origin of invasive species.
The EU proposed addressing subspecies, varieties of species and genotypes. CHINA proposed addressing GMOs, and, with IRELAND, genotypes. AUSTRALIA expressed concern over expanding to the species level. AUSTRALIA, CAMEROON, SAMOA and the DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE expressed support for the Global Invasive Species Program (GISP). IUCN, on behalf of GISP, noted its ongoing activities, including compilation of best practices, development of tools and assessment of existing scientific work. The FAO noted its willingness to provide assistance on risk assessment. Several countries expressed concern over biological control agents to eradicate cultivated plant varieties. NEW ZEALAND and the US noted that biological agents are often necessary to control alien species. The SUNSHINE PROJECT, on behalf of a number of indigenous groups and NGOs, stated that development of biological agents runs counter to the CBDs objectives and may have negative impacts on indigenous and local communities.
GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR PLANT CONSERVATION: COLOMBIA and BRAZIL introduced a draft decision for an initiative on plant conservation, for development and consideration at COP-6. SLOVENIA, speaking for the CEE, NIGERIA speaking for the G-77/CHINA, and others supported the proposal. CAMEROON and PAKISTAN proposed including reference to animal conservation initiatives. The G-77/CHINA highlighted the importance of medicinal plants. INDONESIA supported cooperation with the FAO, IUCN and UNESCO, and, with INDIA, asked for linkage with the forest and agricultural biodiversity work programmes. The SEYCHELLES called for cooperation with the GISP. MEXICO and VENEZUELA called for linkage with the Global Taxonomy Initiative. NEW ZEALAND said the global strategy should support local initiatives. SOUTH AFRICA asked for integration of in situ and ex situ national and regional conservation activities. BOLIVIA stressed that taxonomic analysis should not exclude ecosystem analysis.
WORKING GROUP II
IDENTIFICATION, MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, AND INDICATORS: The Secretariat introduced the document UNEP/CBD/COP/5/11 and the draft decision taken from SBSTTA Recommendation V/11. INDIA, supported by JAPAN, endorsed SBSTTAs recommendations, especially with regard to national programmes, stressed the importance of considering socioeconomic circumstances and underlined the need for comprehensive and adequate data. NEW ZEALAND, supported by COLOMBIA, opposed development of global indicators, noting that these would hinder management. The EU, supported by SWITZERLAND, stressed the need to develop a sound set of principles, key questions and state pressure response indicators, and, with MEXICO and AUSTRALIA, stressed the importance of regional cooperation and information exchange. SLOVENIA stated that the CEE would prepare indicators as a long-term goal. KENYA called for strategies for resource owner participation. GERMANY suggested mechanisms to ensure effectiveness and development of indicators for thematic programmes, in cooperation with the roster of experts. SWITZERLAND stressed coordination with competent organizations, such as the OECD and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. BRAZIL, GRENADA, SUDAN, VENEZUELA and others underscored capacity-building and technology transfer. ETHIOPIA and BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL called for consideration of, inter alia, environmental, social, cultural and institutional aspects. Noting proliferation of indicator development, the UNITED KINGDOM urged the CBD to take a leadership role.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/5/Inf.5, UNEP/ CBD/COP/5/2, 13 and 1/Add.2. UNESCO commented on the UNESCO/CBD Global Initiative, noting the need to involve relevant organizations and focus on formal and informal education. NORWAY stated that the initiative is extremely ambitious and expressed concern over its implementation. ECUADOR, supported by IRAN and PERU, noted that the initiative does not cover cross-cutting and thematic issues, particularly Article 8(j) and capacity-building, and proposed an intersessional review mechanism prior to COP-6. The EU supported the integration of education and public awareness within national biodiversity action plans. KENYA proposed including training for biodiversity managers, and requested the COP to set aside additional funding for this in the 2000-2001 biennium work programme. RWANDA proposed including biodiversity education in formal curricula. INDIA supported inclusion of education in COP discussions on thematic issues. GERMANY and CANADA underlined that education programmes should be closely linked to the CHM. COLOMBIA, supported by SLOVENIA, proposed changing the date of the International Biodiversity Day. NAMIBIA called for strengthening communication with local peoples. SPAIN asked the COP to advise on how museums can improve public awareness. The NETHERLANDS urged the Secretariat to increase outreach.
AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY: The group reviewed the draft decision on agricultural biodiversity, including a multiyear work programme.
FOREST BIODIVERSITY: The contact group finalized its work on the draft decision on forest biodiversity.
ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES: The contact group considered a draft decision based on consultations, which took place during the afternoon. The group adopted the decision with minor changes and an addition to include a provision for information on the origin of genetic resources for IPR applications.
ARTICLE 8(j) AND RELATED PROVISIONS: The contact group considered the draft work programme for the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j ). The group supported the Working Group's continuation and the work programme. Many delegations proposed prioritizing the specific tasks.
IN THE BREEZEWAYS
While delegates await the arrival of Ministers and the signing of the Protocol, the ghosts of Cartagena and Montreal reared their heads in Plenary discussion on the ICCPs work plan. Many of the voices were the same as those heard at the biosafety roundtable negotiations, and the issue of identification and documentation was the same one that concluded the negotiations in Montreal. Delegates noted that such tensions might be inevitable in a preparatory process that is supposed to facilitate the Protocols implementation on core, and sometimes contentious items, while supposedly not being substantive negotiations themselves.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUPS: WG-I will meet at 10:00 am in Room 2 to discuss the Global Taxonomy Initiative. WG-II will convene at 10:00 am to address impact assessment, liability and redress.
MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE: The Ministerial Roundtable hosted by Kenya on "Capacity Building in Developing Countries to Facilitate the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety" will convene from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.
DELEGATE ROUNDTABLE: "Making the CBD Work," a delegate roundtable on improving the effectiveness of the CBD sponsored by Canada will be held from 1:00 3:00 pm in the large tent near the fountain.
TOURISM WORKSHOP: A workshop on indigenous peoples and tourism will take place in Tent 2 from 1:00-2:00 pm.