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Report of main proceedings for 16 February 2004

CBD COP 7 and 1st Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 1)

COP-7 delegates met throughout the day in two Working Groups (WGs). WG-I discussed monitoring and indicators, biodiversity and climate change, the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI), the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), the ecosystem approach, and sustainable use. WG-II addressed liability and redress, incentive measures, and cooperation with other conventions, and also considered conference room papers (CRPs) on technology transfer and on scientific and technical cooperation and the Clearing-house Mechanism (CHM). A brief Plenary was held in the afternoon. Contact groups on the budget, access and benefit-sharing (ABS) and protected areas (PAs) convened.

WORKING GROUP I

MONITORING AND INDICATORS: The Secretariat introduced relevant SBSTTA recommendations (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/ 1/Add.2). NORWAY, CANADA and SWITZERLAND requested that SBSTTA review the Millennium Ecosystem Assessments report. NORWAY and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and Acceding Countries, Bulgaria and Romania (EU), suggested harmonizing procedures. SWITZERLAND recommended a flexible approach to indicators. SAUDI ARABIA, CHINA and LIBERIA called for capacity building to develop national strategies.

UNESCO, for World Bank, FAO, the World Health Organization and UNDP, outlined ongoing assessments on the role of agricultural biodiversity in poverty reduction.

BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/1/4 and 13. Horst Korn (Germany) presented the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on biodiversity and climate change. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) presented the outcomes of UNFCCC COP-9.

Many delegates supported further synergies between the CBD, UNFCCC and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and requested financial and technical assistance for developing country Parties. The EU encouraged discussion on synergetic pilot projects.

While FINLAND supported further work on adaptation, VANUATU, the MALDIVES and PALAU urged addressing the causes of climate change. CANADA, WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL and the GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT CENTRE stressed the need to minimize degradation of areas that have sequestration capacities. TANZANIA, the SEYCHELLES, CAMEROON and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION called for addressing knowledge gaps.

The INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF RUSSIA, supported by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, suggested references to impacts on areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE expressed regret that the UNFCCC allows for afforestation and reforestation projects under the Clean Development Mechanism that make use of genetically modified organisms.

GTI: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/ COP/7/4 and 13. Many delegates emphasized the need for financial support, capacity building and improved infrastructure. BANGLADESH called for guidelines on monitoring. CANADA suggested limiting the scope of the GTI review. JAPAN said ABS regulations should not inhibit the transfer of genetic resources for taxonomy purposes.

GSPC: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/ COP7/4 and 13. While many delegates supported integrating the GSPC targets into all relevant thematic and cross-cutting work programmes, CANADA objected to their incorporation into the work programmes on agricultural and forest biodiversity. NEW ZEALAND and COSTA RICA said the GSPC is a flexible framework within which regional and national targets may be developed. SAUDI ARABIA emphasized reporting on progress in implementing the GSPC.

ECOSYSTEM APPROACH: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and 13. IUCN stressed the need to make the guidelines more easily accessible. Many delegates requested that the guidelines be adapted to local needs and circumstances. NIGERIA called for awareness raising. Syria, for the ARAB GROUP, the EU and AUSTRALIA said the ecosystem approach requires implementation rather than further elaboration. Opposed by NORWAY, CANADA supported adopting an increasingly outcome-oriented approach.

THAILAND, MALAYSIA and NEW ZEALAND supported using the sustainable forest management concept. THAILAND, BANGLADESH and BULGARIA called for using other approaches, including integrated river basin management and integrated marine and coastal area management. The NETHERLANDS and SWITZERLAND stressed the need for multi-stakeholder and private sector involvement. TURKEY said the guidelines extend beyond the CBDs scope and are not science-based.

The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY called for full and effective indigenous and local participation in implementing the approach.

SUSTAINABLE USE: The Secretariat introduced relevant documents, including the draft Addis Ababa Principles for Sustainable Use (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4), which many delegates supported.

The ARAB GROUP said their implementation should be based on national and local capacities. Ghana, for the AFRICAN GROUP, emphasized monitoring and adaptive management. Colombia, for GRULAC, requested GEF funding to implement the principles. The EU highlighted the relevance of combating perverse incentives.

NAMIBIA called for an incentive-based policy framework. YEMEN emphasized capacity building for monitoring and follow-up systems. GUATEMALA suggested taking into account the role of women and indigenous and local communities. WWF said the sustainable use approach must be based on science, adaptive management and local knowledge.

WORKING GROUP II

LIABILITY AND REDRESS: The Secretariat introduced document UNEP/CBD/COP/7/13, noting that an expert meeting on liability and redress had not been convened due to lack of funds. The EU and SWITZERLAND prioritized a regime on liability and redress under the Biosafety Protocol. Delegates approved the draft decision, urging Parties to provide funding.

INCENTIVE MEASURES: The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and INF/13. Many delegates supported SBSTTA recommendations on perverse incentives. FINLAND and TUNISIA called for cooperation with the World Bank, the GEF and the private sector. SOUTH AFRICA suggested identifying specific targets and funding sources. INDONESIA and SENEGAL called for studying and reinforcing traditional practices positively impacting biodiversity. ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA and BRAZIL suggested that SBSTTA further consider incentive measures. The EU favored informal consultations to enable the COP to adopt a decision.

WG-II Chair Desh Deepak Verma (India) deferred making a decision to allow further consultations.

COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS: The Secretariat introduced document UNEP/CBD/COP/7/9. Many delegates welcomed the proposed global partnership on biodiversity, stressing the CBDs leadership. The EU said the partnership could help achieving sectoral integration and inter-agency coordination. CAMBODIA called for evaluating the partnerships costs. AUSTRALIA enquired about the partnerships mandate and institutional nature, and NEW ZEALAND proposed to defer making a decision until these issues are clarified. The EU and MEXICO suggested that the COP reiterate the CBDs request for observer status at the WTO.

The RAMSAR CONVENTION ON WETLANDS urged Parties to develop a closer working arrangement with the Ramsar Convention through the partnership. SWITZERLAND stressed the need to further address international environmental governance issues. UNEP outlined its efforts towards improving international environmental governance. FAO outlined its activities regarding genetic resources. The UNFCCC reported on the Joint Liaison Group between the CBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Delegates discussed a CRP on technology transfer and cooperation. Delegates debated whether an expert group should be established, and agreed to Canadas proposal to extend the mandate of the CHMs informal advisory committee to address technology transfer. NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIA called for increased involvement of civil society and academia and, with CANADA, requested references to community rights using Convention language. AUSTRALIA called on Parties to invite private sector involvement.

On additional financial resources, the EU suggested that the GEF consult with multilateral financial institutions and regional banks, while BRAZIL and SENEGAL proposed to urge the GEF and invite Parties to provide adequate and timely financial support. The PHILIPPINES suggested gathering information on obstacles that impede technology transfer to developing countries.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE CHM: Delegates discussed a CRP on scientific and technical cooperation and the CHM. Regarding language on assistance to developing countries, the EU called for allowing country-to-country assistance. NEW ZEALAND spoke against extending the role of the CHM, and proposed to include technology transfer in scientific and technical cooperation. BOTSWANA opposed, and NEW ZEALAND withdrew its proposal.

Regarding language on regional workshops, TUNISIA, SENEGAL and MALI requested deleting specific reference to the Asia and the Pacific region. CANADA suggested retaining a list of international partners for collaboration. The CRP was approved as amended.

PLENARY

WG-I Chair Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) and WG-II Chair Verma reported on progress made in their respective WGs. COP President Dato Seri Law invited them to inform the Secretariat on the financial implications of their decisions.

The ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER COMMISSION called for indigenous involvement in CBD processes and PA establishment, and for a sui generis system for traditional knowledge protection based on customary law.

CONTACT GROUPS

BUDGET: On the procedure for adopting the Conventions and the Biosafety Protocols budgets, delegates reviewed a legal opinion without reaching a final decision. Delegates discussed the draft decision on the Conventions budget (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/2 and 7/10) and did not resolve issues relating to the shared cost of the Convention and the Biosafety Protocol, and to incentives or sanctions for Parties with payments in arrear.

ABS: Delegates discussed preambular paragraphs regarding an international regime on ABS, without reaching agreement on the relevance of work of other intergovernmental organizations. Delegates accepted to continue negotiations on a Friends of the Chair proposal that makes discussions on scope dependant on the removal of brackets around preambular references to Convention articles, and to the addition of elements on facilitating access, safeguarding benefit-sharing and ensuring compliance.

PAs: Delegates agreed on a definition of "global PA network." Regarding activities related to planning and managing PA systems and sites, delegates agreed that Parties should, inter alia: establish time-bound and measurable national- and regional-level PA targets and indicators by 2006; complete PA system gap analyses by 2006; and establish by 2010 terrestrial, and by 2012 marine, comprehensive and ecologically representative national and regional PA systems.

IN THE CORRIDORS

With the ABS contact group nearing deadlock, many indigenous representatives expressed frustration over the negotiations. As the proposed international regime remains based on national sovereignty over natural resources, and is left entirely in the ABS Working Groups mandate, some indigenous delegates hinted that unless clear references to their rights are secured, they may have recourse to radical options, including withdrawing from the negotiations.

At the same time, in the PA contact group, timelines and definitions were at the center of delegates attention. Anticipating prolonged night sessions to wrap up work on PAs and targets before the Ministerial Segment, some delegates have started questioning if negotiations on these issues will ever come to a satisfactory end.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00 am in the Dewan Nerdeka Hall to address biodiversity and tourism, and invasive alien species. Look for CRPs on monitoring and indicators, biodiversity and climate change, the GTI, ecosystem approach, GSPC, and sustainable use.

WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will convene at 10:00 am in Room TR4 to discuss Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure regarding elections and terms of office of Bureau members, Article 8(j), and incentive measures. Look for: L documents on liability and the CHM; CRPs on cooperation with other conventions and the multi-year programme of work; and a revised CRP on technology transfer.

CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups on the budget, PAs and ABS are expected to meet.

SIDE EVENTS: The UK Government will hold two side events on: the UKs response to the GPSC, launched by Elliot Morley, UK Minister for the Environment, at 1:15 pm; and the UK Darwin Initiative at 6:15 pm. Both side events will take place in Room 8, Level 2.

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