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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 guidelinesï¿½ 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-Iï¿½s 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-IIï¿½s
contact group on the strategic plan is also expected to meet.