Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 09 No. 232
Thursday, 11 April 2002

CBD COP-6 HIGHLIGHTS:
WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL 2002

Delegates met throughout the day in two Working Groups and contact groups. Working Group I (WG-I) resumed discussion on invasive alien species and considered thematic reports on implementation. Working Group II (WG-II) considered the strategic plan, national reports and operations of the Convention. The contact groups on forest biodiversity and access and benefit-sharing also met.

WORKING GROUP I

INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: Continuing discussions from Tuesday, 9 April, countries disagreed on referring to the provisions as "guidelines" or "guiding principles." On use of terms, SWITZERLAND suggested identifying a mechanism to address definitions after adoption of the principles. The US proposed that the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) convene a group of experts to compile terms. Regarding the precautionary approach, most countries preferred text based on the Rio Declaration.

IRAN and others preferred a clear reference to State’s rights, with ETHIOPIA highlighting consistency with CBD Article 3 (Principle). Other delegates preferred not addressing sovereign rights to exploit resources or defining activities that could be a risk for other States. Most Parties wanted to address border control and quarantine by, inter alia, specifying that States should put in place appropriate measures to control introductions.The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO called for comprehensive inventories.

CHILE and INDIA emphasized exchange of information at regional and sub-regional levels. SOUTH AFRICA and others called for adequate funding for GISP. POLAND supported a global system for early warning. Many delegates underscored regional and/or international cooperation. ARMENIA emphasized capacity building. Most preferred text for burden of proof on those proposing intentional introductions.

Many countries highlighted the need for financial support, with CHILE suggesting support from the private sector. Several delegates underscored the vulnerability of small island developing States (SIDS) and the need for additional resources. The FAO called for complementarity with the International Plant Protection Convention. The REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA stressed strengthening the role of national bodies for implementation of the guiding principles.

DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE said that gap analyses, capacity building, and development of a system for sharing the burden of harmful invasions should follow adoption of the principles. The SUNSHINE PROJECT called for collaboration with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

WG-I Chair Peter Schei (Norway) then asked delegates to indicate preferences on alternative texts for specific principles. Delegates agreed to form a contact group chaired by András Demeter (Hungary).

THEMATIC PROGRAMMES: The Secretariat introduced documents on the thematic programmes: UNEP/CBD/COP/6/11 and 1/add.2; INF/12-14 (inland water ecosystems); INF/32 and 41 (marine and coastal biodiversity); INF/39 (dry and sub-humid lands); and 11/add.1 and INF/1, 2, 8 and 31 (agricultural biodiversity). Chair Schei invited comments from Parties. KENYA and SRI LANKA urged financial support and capacity building for implementation, with SRI LANKA emphasizing regional cooperation.

Inland Water Ecosystems: Most delegates welcomed collaboration with the Ramsar Convention. TURKEY opposed references to the report of the World Commission on Dams.

Marine and Coastal Biodiversity: Spain, on behalf of the EU, and the US supported integration of coral reefs as a new element in the work programme. The EU also stressed further study on coral reefs and on local communities’ coastal management. BANGLADESH supported increased cooperation with the FAO on sustainable aquaculture and fisheries. MALAYSIA suggested realistic targets concerning coral bleaching and urged financial assistance. The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY (IIFB) stressed the importance of marine diversity to indigenous peoples.

Dry and Sub-Humid Lands Biodiversity: The EU with others emphasized cooperation with the UNCCD and the UNFCCC. ALGERIA recommended financial and capacity building measures. TUNISIA called for case studies. BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL and other NGOs suggested integration of UNCCD national action plans and CBD national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs).

Agricultural Biodiversity: CANADA recommended information outreach programmes for farmers, and stressed the need for more economic and scientific data on pollinators. SLOVENIA suggested further work on trade liberalization’s impacts on agricultural biodiversity. The EU, with BURKINA FASO and NORWAY, advocated CBD observer status in the WTO’s Committee on Agriculture. Regarding genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs), Uganda, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, highlighted participation of all stakeholders and regional balance in the proposed expert group. The AFRICAN GROUP also supported a precautionary approach to GURTs, while BANGLADESH, NIGERIA and the PHILIPPINES called for appropriate scientific data before field testing and commercial application. Acknowledging concerns over GURTs, AUSTRALIA and SWITZERLAND raised doubts regarding proposals for further meetings on the issue, and with the US, supported a proposal by ARGENTINA for consideration at a later date. COLOMBIA suggested incorporating GURTs-related work within the Working Group on Article 8(j)’s mandate. The US recommended careful assessment of GURTs’ impacts.

Many countries highlighted food security issues and the importance of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. POLAND emphasized animal genetic resources, with MALAYSIA calling for training and technology transfer. The ETC GROUP urged opposition to terminator technologies. The IIFB highlighted the role of ancestral production systems for seed conservation.

Chair Schei established a "friends of the chair" group to address GURTs.

WORKING GROUP II

The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/6/5; Add.1, 2/Rev.1, 3, 4 and 5; and INF/10 and 11, on the strategic plan, national reporting and operations of the Convention.

STRATEGIC PLAN: WG-II Chair Elaine Fisher (Jamaica) invited general comments. Slovenia, on behalf of the CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, stressed the need for a clear framework of strategic priorities to provide guidance and build capacities for national action. Highlighting the need for a clear message to the WSSD, the SEYCHELLES said the plan lacks strategic substance and, with KENYA, suggested it be short, concise and dynamic. The EU expressed concerns that the plan is not strategic, and suggested strengthening national capacities to facilitate implementation. PERU called for a realistic and action-oriented plan focused on national and regional implementation. SWITZERLAND said the strategic plan would provide guidance to the Parties, support the ecosystem approach and promote synergies by strengthening the CBD’s leadership, and supported its adoption.

Mexico, on behalf of the GROUP OF LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES (LMMC), called for emphasis on sustainable use and access and benefit-sharing. Supported by Brazil on behalf of GRULAC, the LMMC opposed adding new themes before implementing those currently on the agenda. GRULAC also opposed discussing the parts related to ABS until the draft Bonn guidelines are finalized. COSTA RICA supported a greater focus on ABS to balance the CBD’s objectives.

Cameroon, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, with CHINA, INDONESIA and JAPAN, advocated focus on the development of NBSAPs. The AFRICAN GROUP and POLAND stressed stakeholders’ participation, with KENYA emphasizing the role of indigenous and local communities, and differentiated capacities for implementation.

The AFRICAN GROUP, CUBA and POLAND stressed financial resources for implementation and GRENADA highlighted capacity issues for SIDS. GRULAC noted difficulties in accessing GEF funding. POLAND emphasized ABS, human health and food security, and LIBERIA suggested attention on tropical forests. The IIFB supported retaining language on IPR, sui generis rights and traditional knowledge, while JAPAN noted that IPR issues should be left to WIPO and related forums.

Chair Fisher then convened a "friends of chair" group to discuss next steps, and established a contact group to address outstanding issues on the strategic plan and a process to develop an action plan for implementation.

NATIONAL REPORTS: Chair Fisher requested comments on national reports. Several countries noted the small number of second national reports submitted, with some noting the need for timely financial support and capacity. ESTONIA emphasized efficient use of human resources. CANADA, with the EU and MEXICO, proposed that Parties provide reasons for not meeting reporting requirements. The AFRICAN GROUP stressed the need to enhance the capacity of national focal points. India, on behalf of the ASIA AND PACIFIC GROUP, endorsed the recommendations on NBSAPs.

The EU supported UNEP’s work on harmonization of national reports, while NEW ZEALAND cautioned that quality should not be compromised for harmonization purposes. COSTA RICA and JAPAN suggested simplifying the format. KENYA proposed adding stakeholder participation. PERU proposed including indicators in national reports. NICARAGUA stressed the need for a methodological, standardized and scientific approach to reporting. NEW ZEALAND said that reports should support SBSTTA’s preparatory work and, with ZAMBIA, stressed attention to the implementation of NBSAPs. The IIFB supported reporting requirements on measures to protect traditional knowledge. A number of countries highlighted national reporting processes.

IMPLEMENTATION AND OPERATIONS OF THE CONVENTION: PERU supported a legal group to review retirement of COP decisions, while the NETHERLANDS, with ARGENTINA and AUSTRALIA, proposed review by the CBD Secretariat. Regarding implementation, INDONESIA suggested examining the private sector’s impacts and role, and LEBANON proposed identifying obstacles. CANADA questioned the feasibility of the Secretariat assessing regional constraints, needs, priorities and institutions. Several developing countries emphasized the need for adequate financial and technical assistance. ERITREA requested a timeline for evaluating improved participation of one-person delegations. The AFRICAN GROUP and the LAWYERS’ ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION TEAM proposed support for developing country NGOs and two delegates per government at CBD meetings. NEW ZEALAND endorsed financial support for Bureau members from developing countries and requested reference to regional strategies.

CONTACT GROUPS

FOREST BIODIVERSITY: In the evening, delegates agreed to an outline for a conceptual framework on priorities drafted by the "friends of the chair" group. Chair Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) requested the "friends of the chair" group to continue work on the outline. Discussions on remaining paragraphs of the draft decision continued during the evening.

ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: The contact group on ABS met in afternoon and evening sessions. Delegates discussed the balance between user and provider responsibilities, with some developing countries proposing additional language on provisions for users. Others stated that user responsibilities should be binding. The group also discussed bracketed references to derivatives and products with tentative agreement on their inclusion in reference to mutually agreed terms. Some developing countries supported, and developed countries opposed, reference within the guidelines� scope.

IN THE CORRIDORS

As COP-6 entered full swing, some participants commented on the unstrategic nature of discussions on the strategic plan, noting reiterations of debates from the Intersessional Meeting. Others questioned whether the strategic plan and its accompanying action plan for implementation would streamline or further burden work under the Convention.

Elsewhere, some delegations were seen hunting for a rumored draft Ministerial Declaration with some questioning its existence and others its role in the WSSD process.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will meet at 10:00 am in the Prins Willem Alexander Hall to discuss identification, monitoring, indicators and assessments.

WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will convene at 10:00 am in the Van Gogh Hall to consider financial resources and mechanism, scientific and technical cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism, and education and public awareness.

CONTACT GROUPS: At 12:00 pm, WG-I�s contact group on alien species will meet in the Rembrandt Hall, and the "friends of the chair" group on GURTs will also be convened. WG-II�s contact group on the strategic plan is also expected to meet.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � [email protected] is written and edited by Jacob Andersen [email protected], Stas Burgiel [email protected], Teya Penniman [email protected], Charlotte Salpin [email protected], Nicole Schabus [email protected] and Elsa Tsioumani [email protected]. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon [email protected]. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. [email protected] and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI [email protected]. The Operations Manager is Marcela Rojo [email protected] and the On-Line Assistant is Diego Noguera [email protected]. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2002 is provided by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Finland, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, Swan International, and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies � IGES). The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at http://enb.iisd.org. The satellite image was taken above The Hague �2002 The Living Earth, Inc. http://livingearth.com. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin or to arrange coverage of a meeting, conference or workshop, send e-mail to the Director, IISD Reporting Services at [email protected] or call to +1-212-644-0217.

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