Report of main proceedings for 19 March 2003

Open-ended Inter-Sessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work for the CBD COP up to 2010 (MYPOW)

Delegates met in working groups throughout the day. Working Group I (WG-I) continued discussions on: the CBDs contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) process; an international regime for access and benefit-sharing (ABS); and legal and socioeconomic aspects of technology transfer and cooperation. It also adopted its report (UNEP/CBD/MYPOW/WG.I/L.1). Working Group II (WG-II) considered: the review of progress in implementing the Convention and the Strategic Plan; the multi-year programme of work of the Conference of the Parties (COP) up to 2010 (MYPOW-2010); and ecological networks and corridors. It also adopted its report (UNEP/CBD/MYPOW/WG.II/L.1).

WORKING GROUP I

CONTRIBUTION TO THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND THE CSD PROCESS: BRAZIL suggested that the CBD support strengthening the CSD, and highlights incorporation of WSSD outcomes. Greece, on behalf of the EU, stressed the contribution of WSSD partnerships to CBDs implementation. PAKISTAN proposed drawing upon the Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture, and Biodiversity (WEHAB) initiative and WSSD outcomes to implement CBD work programmes.

In the afternoon, delegates considered a Chairs text. AUSTRALIA, supported by many, proposed deleting recommendations related to issues addressed by WG-II. NORWAY and AUSTRALIA proposed that the Executive Secretary prepare a paper for consideration by COP-7 and, with the EU, that he report on MYPOWs discussions on the MDGs at the upcoming CSD meeting. COLOMBIA made reservations regarding including new agenda items without Parties prior agreement, and ARGENTINA, CANADA and KENYA opposed discussing the matter.

Chair Verma (India) established a drafting group. AUSTRALIA introduced the new text, highlighting streamlining and reflection of the mutual supportiveness between the MDGs and CSD with the CBDs objectives. CANADA recommended further consolidation, and delegates approved the conference room paper (CRP) with the proposed amendment.

ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/MYPOW/WG.I/CRP.1, including recommendations on: providing information on measures taken to implement the Bonn Guidelines; and submitting views on the process, scope, elements and modalities of an international regime on ABS, for a synthesis to be prepared and considered at the next meeting of the Working Group on ABS.

Regarding the preamble, Mexico, on behalf of the LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES (LMMC), suggested prioritizing the mandated international regime, while the EC stressed including WSSD references to the Bonn Guidelines. CANADA recommended input from indigenous and local communities, and reference to the Working Group on Article 8(j) on traditional knowledge. The LMMC, supported by IRAN and NORWAY, called for reference to the 57th UN General Assemblys resolution inviting the CBD COP to take action on the WSSD mandate. CANADA and SWITZERLAND supported stressing the WSSD consensus. Cameroon, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, supported by BRAZIL, COLOMBIA and GUATEMALA called for mentioning regional initiatives. While CANADA, the EC, NORWAY and SWITZERLAND called for reference to, and close cooperation with, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, BRAZIL opposed.

The LMMC and the AFRICAN GROUP, opposed by CANADA, suggested recommending that COP-7 take action to fulfill the WSSD mandate to negotiate an international benefit-sharing regime. The AFRICAN GROUP, the EC and VENEZUELA suggested information on experience in using, rather than implementing, the Bonn Guidelines on ABS. The UN UNIVERSITY called for providing information on measures taken to implement ABS-related CBD provisions. AUSTRALIA stressed that MYPOWs mandate only includes matters of process.

CANADA, the EC, EL SALVADOR, NEW ZEALAND and SWITZERLAND noted that the regimes scope should include both access and benefit-sharing. The LMMC, supported by the AFRICAN GROUP, EL SALVADOR and IRAN, and opposed by CANADA and NEW ZEALAND, suggested the ABS Working Group consider Parties views on the nature of the regime, with the AFRICAN GROUP, JORDAN and PERU, stressing the need for a legally binding regime. CANADA reiterated that the WSSD mandate does not require developing a legally binding regime at this stage. The EC suggested that the ABS Working Group discuss a compilation of Parties views, and COP-7 a synthesis, stating, with NORWAY, that the Working Group should fully address all items included in its mandate under Decision VI/24 on ABS.

In the afternoon, delegates considered UNEP/CBD/MYPOW/ WG.I/CRP.1/Rev.1, including calls for information on experience gained in the use of the Bonn Guidelines, and views on the process, nature, scope, elements and modalities of an international ABS regime, to be compiled and discussed at the next meeting of the ABS Working Group, and considered at COP-7. SWITZERLAND, with EL SALVADOR, suggested clarifying that the regime should address both access and benefit-sharing and, with the AFRICAN GROUP, AUSTRALIA, BANGLADESH, JAMAICA and the LMMC, called for adopting the document as a package. The CANADIAN INDIGENOUS BIODIVERSITY NETWORK (CIBN) expressed concerns about the lack of mechanisms for indigenous participation and invited voluntary funding for indigenous peoples participation in the process. The EC suggested, inter alia, deleting language on the ABS Working Group providing recommendations to COP-7 regarding ways to address the issue. Following consultations, delegates approved the document, agreeing that the ABS Working Group should provide advice to COP-7, and that the regime should address both access and benefit-sharing.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The Secretariat introduced a Chairs text on legal and socioeconomic aspects of technology transfer and cooperation. The EC called for consistency of mechanisms to access public domain and proprietary technologies.

Regarding a compendium of relevant technologies, the EC requested it be made available through the Clearing-house Mechanism, and ARGENTINA proposed including the ownership status of such technologies.

Regarding seeking approval from holders for technology transfer and use of traditional technologies, the EC requested specifying that holders of technologies include indigenous and local communities. The NGO CAUCUS and CIBN suggested referencing prior informed consent, rather than approval, of indigenous and local communities.

The AFRICAN GROUP suggested including local communities in partnerships, and stressed their empowerment for accessing and using relevant technologies. The NGO CAUCUS raised concerns over promoting technology transfer through non binding WSSD partnerships.

On support to developing countries from the GEF and donors, CANADA noted that a subsidiary body cannot address direct recommendations to the GEF. The EC proposed that donors facilitate access to relevant technologies, rather than provide funds. IRAN called for referencing developing countries priorities. NEW ZELAND suggested facilitating South-South cooperation and joint development of new technologies. The NGO CAUCUS and CIBN highlighted community-community exchange when promoting the use of traditional technologies and benefiting from their transfer, and called for preventing or mitigating the negative impacts of technology transfers on cultures and traditional lifestyles.

Delegates later considered a CRP. COLOMBIA suggested preambular reference to the CBD objectives. CANADA proposed replacing references to traditional technologies with CBD wording. WG-I approved the CRP with these amendments.

WORKING GROUP II

STRATEGIC PLAN: Delegates continued discussing the Chairs summary regarding future evaluation of progress on the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan. CHINA and MEXICO stressed the need to revise national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs). Regarding indicators, MEXICO requested emphasis on biodiversity loss, and COLOMBIA reference to CBD Article 7 (Identification and Monitoring). ARGENTINA recommended adding consultation with national focal points to the Executive Secretarys mandate. JAPAN stressed the need for intersessional supporting activities on reporting. The EU suggested reviewing and streamlining the papers structure. BRAZIL proposed a balanced approach between indicators and assessment, identifying obstacles, and implementation through national plans. NEW ZEALAND said the Chairs summary increased the reporting burden without improving implementation. UKRAINE requested ensuring reporting synergy under various biodiversity-related conventions. Chair Beltram (Slovenia) established a drafting group.

In the afternoon, delegates considered draft recommendations. The MALDIVES requested referencing small island developing states. CANADA asked to distinguish indigenous and local communities from stakeholders. The text was approved as amended.

MYPOW-2010: Chair Beltram introduced UNEP/CBD/ MYPOW/WG.II/CRP.1 on MYPOW-2010. The EU, opposed by BRAZIL and NEW ZEALAND, suggested in-depth reviews be based on a standard format ensuring that cross-cutting issues are dealt with consistently. BRAZIL, CANADA, the EU and NORWAY supported a paragraph reflecting the WSSD outcomes, WEHAB initiative, and the MDGs. KENYA proposed analyzing impediments to achieving the Strategic Plans goals. The AFRICAN GROUP, opposed by BRAZIL, suggested COP-7 invite Parties to submit thematic reports on forest biodiversity at COP-9, when the theme would be reviewed. BRAZIL and NEW ZEALAND opposed a ministerial level assessment of progress in achieving the Strategic Plans goals and 2010 target. Chair Beltram observed that this assessment was a SBSTTA-8s recommendation. CANADA proposed that the ministerial segment take place when possible. Delegates then adopted the draft recommendation with those amendments.

ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS AND CORRIDORS: Chair Beltram said that, in view of opening statements on the WSSD outcomes, the Bureau added ecological networks and corridors to the meetings agenda. ARGENTINA, BRAZIL and COLOMBIA prioritized biodiversity loss and suggested further studies before in-depth consideration. The EU and SWITZERLAND recommended building upon WSSD provisions on protected areas, the work programme on forest biodiversity, and SBSTTAs recommendations on coastal and marine biodiversity. Supported by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and SLOVAKIA, but opposed by CAMEROON, the EC proposed that the expert group on protected areas provide SBSTTA with recommendations on ecological corridors, and a report to be forwarded to the IUCN World Parks Congress. MEXICO suggested that SBSTTA prepare recommendations for consideration at COP-9. The CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and SLOVAKIA observed that ecological networks are broader than protected areas, and include corridors, habitat and species protection, and managed areas for conservation and sustainable use. The CZECH REPUBLIC, supported by many, called for a holistic and intersectoral approach. The AFRICAN GROUP recommended the extension of ecological corridors. UKRAINE called for field activities. The EC recalled the WSSD call for synergies between multilateral environmental agreements and endorsed an EU proposal for a Global Partnership on Biodiversity.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA and others proposed that the expert group on protected areas investigate the role of hot spots, ecological networks and corridors in reducing biodiversity loss. The EC and others recommended that the expert group, SBSTTA-9 and COP-7 address the WSSD outcome on hot spots, ecological networks and corridors under protected areas.

SWITZERLAND and MEXICO, with reservations from BRAZIL, proposed adding other relevant thematic programmes. COLOMBIA suggested referencing NBSAPs, and ARGENTINA focusing on biodiversity loss.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Priorities laboriously agreed upon, regarding the CBDs programme of work for the next seven years, satisfied most delegates, who cautiously hoped that this would help achieving the 2010 target.

Despite heated debates on the nature of an international ABS regime earlier this week, most delegates were satisfied with the cooperative spirit that allowed adopting a "carefully crafted" compromise text. Noting MYPOWs limited mandate, some were optimistic that the next meeting of the ABS Working Group and COP-7 would be opportunities for fruitful substantial discussions. Others lamented that the meeting missed an opportunity to set a specific stepwise process to address the issue in a timely and rational way.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 10:00 am to consider other matters, adopt the meetings recommendations and report, and hear closing statements.

ENB SUMMARY REPORT: On Monday, 24 March 2003, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin report containing a comprehensive summary and analysis of MYPOW will be available online at http://enb.iisd.org/biodiv/mypow/  

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