Report of main proceedings for 11 April 2002
CBD COP 6
Delegates met throughout the day in two Working Groups and contact groups. Working Group I (WG-I) discussed identification, monitoring, indicators and assessments, and the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI). Working Group II (WG-II) discussed financial resources and mechanism; scientific and technical cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM); and education and public awareness. Contact groups on invasive alien species, forest biodiversity, the strategic plan, and access and benefit-sharing (ABS) met.
WORKING GROUP I
IDENTIFICATION, MONITORING, INDICATORS AND ASSESSMENTS: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/ 6/12; 1/Add.2; INF/25; and INF/38. On monitoring and indicators, the SLOVAK REPUBLIC emphasized exchange of information and increased synergies for efficiency, and, with HUNGARY, highlighted regional cooperation for enhanced monitoring. INDIA highlighted capacity building and financial mechanisms. Spain, on behalf of the EU, stressed developing key global and national level indicators before COP-7. NEW ZEALAND emphasized developing a menu of potential indicators, stressing attention to national and regional contexts. NORWAY called for an overview of indicators used, but supported the OECDs "Drivers Pressure State Impact Response" model. TURKEY highlighted indicators related to thematic areas and cross-cutting issues.
On assessments, Slovenia, on behalf of the CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, underscored sub-global assessments and political and socio-economic conditions. MALAYSIA highlighted experts involvement in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. CANADA supported compiling experiences in applying the guidelines and, with INDIA, questioned the value of a SBSTTA work programme before application and assessment of the guidelines. CUBA and others called for strengthening national capacity and urged flexibility in implementation. NORWAY suggested reporting mechanisms. SIERRA LEONE proposed further research on resource valuation. BANGLADESH suggested adding ethnic impact assessment. Ethiopia, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed public participation, and suggested sharing experiences through national reporting.
WG-II Chair Peter Schei (Norway) will draft revised text.
GLOBAL TAXONOMY INITIATIVE: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/6/12; 1/Add.2; and INF/23. Many delegates, NGOs and IGOs expressed strong support for the GTI. Delegates supported a permanent GTI programme officer at the Secretariat and emphasized the need for building and strengthening regional and local capacity; financial resources; and regional cooperative programmes. The AFRICAN GROUP requested harmonization with needs assessment and alien species. MEXICO called for increased access to information, and JAPAN, with CANADA, highlighted access to specimens. The EU said focal points should be indicated on a national scale and Parties should assess their own capacity and taxonomic needs. TUNISIA emphasized implementation at genetic, species and ecosystem levels. BOLIVIA urged supporting national institutions working on taxonomy. MALAYSIA called for repatriation of information and specimens. INDIA, TOGO and UGANDA noted difficulties in attracting students to taxonomic studies. INDIA called for support to strengthen reference collections. SWEDEN, with KENYA, proposed financial support for pilot projects. The CZECH REPUBLIC and others called for linkages with the CHM. CANADA and others stressed linkages with ABS. CAPE VERDE supported macro and micro level initiatives.
JAPAN highlighted the need for taxonomic work on soils and suggested coordination between the GTI and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC raised the need to involve local communities given their indigenous knowledge of plants and other life forms. CANADA recommended electronic information exchange on invasive alien species. CHINA highlighted the need for public awareness campaigns, especially in hotspots. BANGLADESH suggested recognizing centers of excellence for establishing effective networks.
NORWAY and TOGO called for improved institutional cooperation between developed and developing countries. TURKEY suggested using the GTI as a coordination mechanism to develop planned activities with SBSTTA before COP-7. ARMENIA suggested the Secretariat facilitate inter-regional seminars to determine future activities. The GBIF described its efforts to make scientific information globally available. UNESCO underscored the need to insert the GTI into all thematic activities, as well as work on Article 8(j).
WG-II Chair Schei will draft revised text.
WORKING GROUP II
FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISM: The Secretariat introduced the documents: UNEP/CBD/COP/6/1/ Add.2; 9, 9/Add.1; 13, 13/Add.1; 14; INF/4; and INF/29. Many delegates supported the draft decision. CHINA and MOROCCO requested deleting a proposal to elaborate guidelines for reviewing national budgets and monetary policies. Regarding additional resources, numerous countries proposed identifying other sources of funding, including bilateral and multilateral funds and the private sector. INDIA, on behalf of the ASIA AND PACIFIC REGION, stressed that official development assistance should not be reduced. JAPAN questioned wording on highly indebted countries. CANADA, DENMARK, the EU, the UK and the US noted commitments to increase their funding levels.
Regarding the GEF, numerous delegates supported the results of the independent evaluation. Several developing countries noted difficulties in accessing GEF funds and proposed: further streamlining, simplification, flexibility and transparency; convening regional and sub-regional workshops with the GEF and its Implementing Agencies; and funding for capacity building, national reports and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs). Several countries expressed support for the GEFs third replenishment. HAITI called for a better regional balance in allocating GEF funds.
DENMARK underscored COP Decision V/20 on incorporating guidance into a single decision. BRAZIL and DENMARK supported COP guidance to the GEF on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. INDONESIA proposed developing a new funding mechanism under the CBD.
Delegates also highlighted the special needs of small island developing States (SIDS) and countries affected by war. LATVIA, supported by ARGENTINA, requested assessment of funding needs of developing countries and countries in transition. CANADA cautioned against overburdening the GEF with recommendations and another assessment. Several countries stressed the need to address national debt, poverty alleviation and integration of biodiversity concerns into national development plans. The EU and SWITZERLAND supported work on financial incentives and removing perverse incentives. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION supported developing national biodiversity investment portfolios. RWANDA emphasized financial mechanisms and synergies under the WSSD.
SWITZERLAND supported a global task force on banking, business and biodiversity, and the NATURE CONSERVANCY highlighted a new conservation finance alliance for identifying innovative funding mechanisms and providing technical support. The GEF announced an action plan in response to recommendations on its second assessment and country communication workshops.
A chairs text will be prepared.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE CHM: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/ COP/6/13; 1/Add/2; INF/18; and INF/19. Delegates supported the draft decision on establishing or strengthening national and regional focal points for the CHM. NORWAY proposed developing guidelines to assist focal points and, with COLOMBIA, emphasized the CHMs goal to facilitate scientific and technical cooperation to promote CBDs implementation. The EU supported including further activities in the CHM, providing use of Internet servers to developing countries, and, with GABON, stressed the need for training. CHINA noted the CHMs role in enhancing awareness. CANADA, supported by the IIFB, stressed the need to develop communication means for indigenous communities. BELGIUM recommended developing the CHM toolkit and highlighted efforts to enable all Parties to take part in the CHM. The ASIAN REGIONAL CENTER FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION expressed willingness to support CHM focal points in Asia.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/6/1/Add.2; 13; and 13/Add.2. UNESCO highlighted its work on the Global Initiative on Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA), noting its objectives to build a network of actors and knowledge holders, identify and collect expertise, and build capacity. Several delegations supported adoption of the work programme and others noted important links with CBD implementation. KENYA and NIGERIA proposed making education a central part of the strategic plan. Numerous countries requested alternatives to Internet communication, while JAMAICA opposed development of a separate network and supported use of the CHM.
Delegates noted the need for technical capacity, interpersonal communication, case studies and demonstration projects, and use of existing initiatives such as those of IUCN, UNEP and UNESCO. Delegates also stressed involving local NGOs, using local languages and targeting numerous audiences, including the private sector, authorities, women, and indigenous and local communities. NORWAY called for improved CBD outreach, noting the UNFCCCs high profile. CANADA supported networks of CEPA experts identified by Parties. CHINA and SENEGAL suggested focusing on biodiversity-rich areas with impoverished populations. NORWAY and UNESCO supported budgetary allocations for the work programme, while AUSTRALIA noted lack of funds for implementation. DENMARK highlighted an upcoming conference to develop a manual and a code of best practices for nature interpretation.
Chair Fisher noted that a chairs text would be produced.
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: The contact group, chaired by Andrs Demeter (Hungary), considered the precautionary approach, with delegates agreeing to reference both Article 15 of the Rio Declaration and the CBD Preamble. On State responsibility, some supported reference to responsibility, but others, concerned about financial implications and potential liability, opposed it. Some delegates stressed corresponding rights of States, and called for financial support to developing countries and SIDS for control and mitigating measures. Delegates discussed border control and quarantine measures, with developing countries emphasizing subjection to national legislation.
FOREST BIODIVERSITY: The "Friends of the Chair" group reported on progress in their work on priorities. Delegates debated language regarding reporting on implementation, with some noting the need to reduce national reporting requirements. Some delegates called for strengthening references to the human dimension of forests in the chapeau of the work programme, with others questioning its relation to the chapeau of the draft decision. Chair Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) referred the discussion of the work programmes chapeau to the "Friends of the Chair" group.
STRATEGIC PLAN: The contact group, chaired by David Brackett (Canada) and Mary Fosi Mbantenkhu (Cameroon) gathered suggestions on the structure and consolidation of the strategic plan, with one group suggesting an ambitious vision and others preferring an operational and realistic plan. The chairs will draft a working document.
ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: In an evening session, the contact group reached a compromise regarding derivatives and products, adding the reference to the provisions on prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms and removing it from the provision on scope. Under scope, the group added a reference to benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources. The group concluded discussions on the appendices, and addressed user and provider responsibilities.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As the first week of COP-6 comes to a close, some discussions appeared to be coming full circle. Noting difficulties in reaching agreement on priorities in the forest biodiversity contact group, some delegates felt that the SBSTTA recommendation was too expansive and wished to reopen it. Others said that reopening the body of the work programme would disturb the delicately balanced work of SBSTTA and make agreement at COP-6 impossible.
On access and benefit-sharing, some delegates commented on deliberate attempts to block progress on the guidelines. While immediately unsuccessful, they prompted a reconsideration of positions, which may have led to the agreement on derivatives and products.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00 am in the Prins Willem Alexander Hall to discuss the Global Plant Conservation Strategy and from 4:00-5:00 pm to hear reports from contact groups on forest biodiversity and invasive alien species.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will convene at 10:00 am in the Van Gogh Hall to discuss cooperation with other conventions and the contribution to the ten-year review of Agenda 21. Look for a possible draft text on national reports and the operations of the Convention.
CONTACT GROUP: The contact group on invasive alien species will meet from 12:00-4:00 pm in the Rembrandt Hall.
PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 5:00 pm in the Prins Willem Alexander Hall to review progress.