Report of main proceedings for 8 April 2002
CBD COP 6
At the first Plenary, delegates heard opening remarks, elected officers, adopted the agenda and addressed pending issues. Statements were delivered on behalf of regional preparatory meetings and international institutions and processes. Delegates also heard reports on intersessional activities and considered the budget.
OPENING REMARKS: COP-6 President Geke Faber (the Netherlands) stressed her mandates objective: to shift from policy formulation to implementation and from conservation to sustainable use. CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan mentioned the CBDs role in achieving sustainable development and implementing Agenda 21, and thanked the governments of Canada and the Netherlands, as well as Australia, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom for their financial support. He highlighted COP-6 priorities regarding: review of the programme of work and reports on thematic issues, liability and redress, Article 8(j), the status of the Biosafety Protocol, the strategic plan, guidelines on access and benefit-sharing (ABS), the expanded work programme on forests, and interim guidelines on alien species. He also stressed education and public awareness, cooperation with international organizations and the need for increased financial resources for implementation.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Election of regional representatives to the COP-6 Bureau was postponed until Tuesday, April 9. Delegates elected Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) as the Chair of the ninth and tenth meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). President Faber introduced the revised provisional agenda (UNEP/ CBD/COP/6/1/Rev.1), which was adopted without amendments. Plenary established two working groups as proposed in the annotated provisional agenda (UNEP/CBD/COP6/1/Add.1/Rev.1), and elected Peter Schei (Norway) as Chair of Working Group I and Elaine Fisher (Jamaica) as Chair of Working Group II.
PENDING ISSUES: Noting that no agreement had been reached on Rule 40.1 of the COPs Rules of Procedure, COP-5 President Joseph Kamotho (Kenya) reminded the Parties of the recommendation of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol (ICCP) to reconsider the issue. COP-6 President Faber suggested revisiting the issue at the end of the meeting. Financial rules 4 and 16 for the administration of the trust fund for the Convention are still pending.
STATEMENTS: President Faber invited reports from regional groups. Kenya, on behalf of AFRICA, underlined the need for adequate and predictable financing to implement the Convention and said that Global Environment Facilitys (GEF) procedures should be further streamlined. He also called for rapid implementation of the CBDs objective on equitable benefit-sharing. Bangladesh, on behalf of ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, emphasized the role of women in implementing the Convention. Regarding invasive species, he drew attention to maritime transport and impacts on small island developing States (SIDS). He noted the complexity of GEF funding and requested funding for more than one delegate from developing countries at COPs.
Jamaica, on behalf of the GROUP OF LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES, said that the strategic plan should be balanced between the Conventions objectives and not overly ambitious. She called for more transparent GEF criteria, highlighting the difficulties for SIDS. Hungary, on behalf of EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, stressed the CBDs role as a lead agency for forest biodiversity and said the strategic plan should provide guidance on overcoming obstacles to implementation. Spain, on behalf of the EU, said that biodiversity loss should be halted by 2010 and called for a more strategic and prioritized approach through a clear and focused strategic plan. He recommended adoption of an action-oriented work programme on forest biodiversity, including timetables and performance measures. Mexico, on behalf of the GROUP OF LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES, noted the groups recent formation and its mandate to cooperate on ABS, sustainable use, ex situ and in situ conservation, information exchange, the legal status of genetic resources, scientific research and development of a sui generis framework to protect traditional knowledge.
The UN CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION (CCD) highlighted joint activities with the CBD and national and international initiatives to promote synergies among the CBD, CCD and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES (CMS) noted its focus on implementation, which fully supports CBD efforts, its role in UNEPs work on cooperation between biodiversity-related conventions and its upcoming COP-7. The RAMSAR CONVENTION ON WETLANDS OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE highlighted collaboration on a draft third work programme with the CBD, inland water biodiversity, marine and coastal protected areas, the River Basin Initiative and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA).
The GEF highlighted accomplishments in providing funding for the conservation, management and sustainable use of biodiversity, with projects focused on: arid and semi-arid ecosystems; coastal and marine freshwater ecosystems; threatened forests; and mountain ecosystems. The CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES) emphasized the goals, activities and priorities common to CBD and CITES and expressed hope for increased linkages and collaboration between the two conventions. The UN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME stressed the importance of biodiversity for human development and poverty alleviation and referenced its assistance to governments and local communities to integrate biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into development activities. The UN EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION presented a video on communication, education and public awareness for biodiversity.
The UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) highlighted the importance of conservation for food security and mentioned the cooperative process between the FAO and CBD regarding agrobiodiversity and animal genetic resources. The Chair of the COMMISSION ON GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE described the key principles of the International Treaty on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture adopted in November 2001. The WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO) reported on progress on intellectual property and genetic resources and the protection of traditional knowledge and stressed cooperation with the CBD and FAO.
The UN FORUM ON FORESTS mentioned its lead role in sustainable forest management and noted synergies with the CBD, especially the forthcoming work programme on forest biodiversity and the proposals for action of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and Intergovernmental Forum on Forests, to be strengthened through the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL TIMBER ORGANIZATION underlined sustainable forest management and the need for more protected areas, and noted its guidelines for the conservation of biodiversity. The MA requested guidance from the COP and SBSTTA regarding assessment priorities and the preparation of synthesis reports.
The GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FORUM stressed the need for involvement of the business sector in CBD implementation, support for application of the ecosystem approach, and communication with and involvement of all stakeholders. The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY noted the fundamental role of indigenous peoples in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, stressed the role of indigenous women, and called for full participation at all levels. The NGO CAUCUS advocated a short, concise and forward-looking strategic plan that would halt biodiversity loss by 2010. He expressed concern that agreements reached at the Doha Ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO) would undermine CBD implementation of the CBD and urged participants to oppose patenting of life.
Another NGO CAUCUS representative urged adoption of the full work programme on forests as recommended by SBSTTA-7, and called for targets to guide implementation. He added that the "golden chainsaw award" would be given to the party that does the most to block progress on the forest work programme. KIDS FOR THE FORESTS, assuming the voice of a forest animal, urged delegates to act now to stop the loss of ancient forests.
REPORTS: Cristin Samper (Colombia), Chair of SBSTTA-6, introduced document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/3. He reviewed recommendations on: ad hoc technical groups; marine and coastal biodiversity; inland waters; alien invasive species; scientific assessment; the Global Taxonomy Initiative; climate change; migratory species and the CMS; and the Global Biodiversity Outlook. He outlined improvements related to the functioning of the SBSTTAs Bureau; agendas; documentation; technical expert groups; and cooperation with other groups, and noted the need for a SBSTTA strategic plan and for strengthened links with the Clearing-House Mechanism and the scientific community.
Jan Plesnk (Czech Republic), Chair of SBSTTA-7, introduced document UNEP/CBD/COP/6/4. He reviewed SBSTTAs work on, inter alia: forest biodiversity; the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC); incentive measures; progress reports; ad hoc technical groups; and assessment processes. He noted the contribution of the ad hoc expert group on status and trend of and threats to forest biodiversity, the establishment of targets under the GSPC and the proposed guidelines for integrating biodiversity considerations into environmental impact assessment legislation.
Reuben Olembo (Kenya), presented the Report of the Open-ended Inter-sessional Meeting on the Strategic Plan, National Reports and Implementation (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/5). He noted that recommendations addressed: a draft strategic plan, including the mission statement, vision, constraints, and operational goals with specific parameters (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/5/Add.1); assessment of the second national reports (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/INF/10 and 11); implementation of priority actions in national biodiversity strategies and action plans; formats for thematic reports (UNEP/CBD/ COP/6/5/Add.5) and operations of the Convention.
A representative of Germany introduced the Report of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on ABS (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/6), noting its adoption of the draft Bonn guidelines and recommendations for further work on capacity building and with the FAO, WIPO, the WTO and the UN Conference on Trade and Development. On the draft Bonn guidelines, he noted outstanding issues regarding the use of terms, inclusion of product derivatives and stakeholder involvement. Reuben Olembo (Kenya) introduced the Report of the Working Group on Article 8(j) (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/ 7), highlighting progress on an outline for a composite report on status and trends, the conduct of social, environmental and cultural impact assessments, participatory mechanisms and the effectiveness of existing mechanisms, particularly those relating to intellectual property rights.
Ambassador Philmon Yang (Cameroon) introduced the Report on the Status of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (UNEP/CBD/ COP/6/8) and drew attention to the Reports of ICCP-1 and 2 (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/8/Add.1 and Add.2). He outlined progress achieved and urged agreement on the pending issue of Rule 40.1 of the COPs Rules of Procedure highlighting its implications for the Meeting of the Parties. After brief discussion, delegates agreed that Ambassador Yang would conduct informal consultations on developing a draft COP decision.
The GEF presented its report (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/9 and Add.1) highlighting: project activities and funding allocation in biodiversity; steps taken for the implementation of the Biosafety Protocol; the Capacity Development Initiative; the conclusion of the second study of GEFs overall performance; and the third replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund.
Zedan introduced the Report on the Administration and Budget for the Trust Fund of the Convention (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/10), as well as on the Budget for the Programme of Work for the Biennium 2003-2004 (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/16, Corr.1 and Add.1). He noted that, due to the increased number of intersessional activities, the Secretariat needs more financial and human resources. President Faber proposed and delegates accepted establishing a contact group for the budget, chaired by Ambassador John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda).
IN THE CORRIDORS
As COP-6 moved through opening statements and reports, delegates were already milling about in the corridors considering the major issues ahead. Significant attention focused on the draft Bonn guidelines on ABS and the extent to which they would be re-opened beyond the existing bracketed text. Forest biodiversity also attracted significant attention, particularly on how to channel SBSTTAs output into a manageable work programme. Several delegates were cautiously optimistic about the possible outcome. Finally, delegates noted there could be significant debate over the strategic plan, particularly as a measure of the CBDs focus going into the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and over alien species, particularly the guiding principles and use of terms.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will meet at 10:00 am in the Prince Willem Alexander Hall to discuss forest biodiversity.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will meet at 10:00 am in the Van Gogh Hall to discuss access and benefit-sharing.