Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 09 No. 235
Tuesday, 16 April 2002
CBD COP-6 HIGHLIGHTS:
MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2002
Delegates met in two Working Groups and contact
groups. Working Group I (WG-I) discussed: the ecosystem approach,
sustainable use and incentive measures; liability and redress; and
Conference Room Papers (CRPs) on dry and sub-humid lands, the Global
Taxonomy Initiative (GTI), agricultural biodiversity and the
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
Agriculture (ITPGRFA), inland waters, and identification,
monitoring, indicators and assessments. Working Group II (WG-II)
discussed Article 8(j) and CRPs on: scientific and technical
cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM); implementation
and operations of the Convention; national reports; and cooperation
with other conventions, international organizations and initiatives.
Contact groups on invasive alien species, forest biodiversity,
access and benefit-sharing (ABS) and the strategic plan also met.
WORKING GROUP I
ECOSYSTEM APPROACH, SUSTAINABLE USE AND INCENTIVE
MEASURES: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/ CBD/COP/6/1/Add.2; 4;
12, 12/Add.2 and 3; INF/24 and INF/24/ Add.1-3.
Sustainable Use and Tourism: Reflecting on
the intersessional workshops, CUBA recommended a thematic approach
and longer, multi-lingual meetings. Others noted the need for
broader and more balanced participation and for involvement of all
stakeholders. INDIA and KENYA emphasized women’s role. NORWAY and
BURKINA FASO suggested synthesis of workshops’ results. Spain, on
behalf of the EU, welcomed synergies with the CSD and the World
Tourism Organization. On tourism, Ethiopia, on behalf of the AFRICAN
GROUP, emphasized rural tourism, a broader scope to include natural
sites and elements, public awareness and private sector involvement,
and participation of local communities. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION
recommended further identification of sustainable use practices and,
with ARGENTINA, supported workshops to finalize guidelines and
principles before COP-7. CAMEROON stressed tourism as a source of
livelihood for local communities. The FOREST ALLIANCE OF BRITISH
COLUMBIA called for independent third-party forest certification to
achieve sustainability. CHINA recommended developing guiding
principles for case studies.
Ecosystem Approach: The EU recommended
operationalization through monographic studies and application at
national, regional and international levels. INDONESIA proposed
synthesizing case studies and preparing guidelines for COP-7.
Brazil, on behalf of GRULAC, recommended further regional and
national level developments. SWITZERLAND suggested regional
guidelines and stressed mainstreaming into policy making. BURKINA
FASO and others called for a practical definition. MALAWI
highlighted community based-management. MEXICO said that application
of the ecosystem approach should not be a condition for financial
Incentive Measures: The EU suggested
developing proposals for mitigating perverse incentives, while
ARGENTINA and AUSTRALIA highlighted their removal. NORWAY
recommended evaluating both negative and positive incentives. The
AFRICAN GROUP called for information on addressing perverse measures
and work on appropriate measures for conservation of natural
resources that are a basis of livelihood. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION
highlighted the importance of work on perverse incentives for
economies in transition. SWITZERLAND advocated certification in the
field of ABS. Delegates also underscored capacity building and use
of case studies.
WG-I Chair Peter Schei (Norway) said a Chair's
text will be drafted.
LIABILITY AND REDRESS: The Secretariat
introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/6/12/Add.1; 1/Add.2; and INF/5. The Chair of
the Workshop on Liability and Redress (Paris, June 2001) reported on
the meeting. Many delegates supported the draft decision. The
AFRICAN GROUP highlighted the need for studies on restoration and
compensation. The EU said work under the CBD Article 14.2 and
Biosafety Protocol Article 27 should be based on the same principles
and be mutually supportive. NORWAY noted the potential for synergies
Regarding convening an expert group, delegates
called for balance between technical and legal experts and in
geographic representation. KENYA emphasized enforcement of
judgments. JAPAN said it was premature to consider proposing
elements on damage to biodiversity in existing liability and redress
regimes, given current lack of information. Delegates also stressed
the need for capacity building and financial resources. Draft text
incorporating comments will be prepared.
DRY AND SUB-HUMID LANDS: The Secretariat
presented UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.I/CRP.3. Delegates adopted the document
with an amendment on interlinkages with other thematic work
GLOBAL TAXONOMY INITIATIVE: The Secretariat
presented UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.I/CRP.4. Delegates suggested addressing
creation of a permanent post in the Secretariat in the budget
discussions and adopted the document.
AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY AND THE ITPGRFA:
The Secretariat presented UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.I/ CRP.5-6. Delegates
adopted CRP.5 with minor changes, adding reference to "small-holder
farmers." Concerns of ARGENTINA and TURKEY over reference to
farmers’ rights will be reflected in the meeting’s report. Delegates
also adopted CRP.6 with minor amendments.
INLAND WATERS: The Secretariat presented UNEP/CBD/
COP/6/WG.I/CRP.7. Delegates adopted the document, with TURKEY making
a reservation on the reference to the report of the World Commission
on Dams. The section on the financial mechanism will be referred to
WG-II’s contact group on financial resources and mechanism.
IDENTIFICATION, MONITORING, INDICATORS AND
ASSESSMENTS: The Secretariat presented UNEP/CBD/COP/6/ WG.I/CRP.8.
Delegates deleted reference to reviewing potential indicators and
adopted the document with other minor corrections.
WORKING GROUP II
ARTICLE 8(j): An elder of the INTERNATIONAL
INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY (IIFB) delivered an opening prayer.
The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/6/7. The IIFB, supported by
ECUADOR, called for support of internationally recognized indigenous
rights, including land rights, prior informed consent (PIC),
effective participation and protection of intellectual property
rights (IPR) according to indigenous laws. Many supported two
intersessional meetings of the Working Group on Article 8(j), and
effective indigenous participation in consultation mechanisms and
decision-making. AUSTRIA, with TOGO, called for universal
commitment to indigenous rights including by companies operating in
indigenous territories. AUSTRALIA noted the voluntary nature of the
Working Group’s recommendations and, with MALAYSIA, proposed that
they be subject to national legislation and policy. Many countries
supported the composite report’s outline, while JAMAICA qualified it
as ambitious. Delegates prioritized linguistic diversity,
protected areas, women, endangered species and the ecosystem
Regarding impact assessment, Brazil, on behalf of
GRULAC, and TURKEY noted that some elements are outside the CBD’s
scope. JAMAICA, with the US, proposed that PIC for impact
assessments be in accordance with national legislation. AUSTRALIA,
CANADA and MALAYSIA opposed reference to PIC, supporting
consultation with indigenous and local communities. INDIA, NORWAY
and some NGOs supported retaining PIC. ETHIOPIA, with KENYA and the
US, proposed that bracketed language on biotechnology refer to the
Countries highlighted linkages with the FAO,
TRIPS, WIPO and the International Labour Organization. LIBERIA and
the PHILIPPINES supported work on approaches and methodologies to
develop and maintain registries of traditional knowledge. Several
delegates cautioned against developing databases without appropriate
protection of traditional knowledge. Many prioritized work on sui
The AFRICAN GROUP opposed patents based on
traditional knowledge and proposed a legally binding international
instrument on ABS. Several delegations stressed clarifying the
relation between the Working Groups on Article 8(j) and ABS, with
SWITZERLAND calling for consideration of ABS guidelines by the
Working Group on Article 8(j). Mexico, on behalf of the GROUP OF
LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES, stated that IPR systems should
consider traditional knowledge in evaluating patent applications,
including determination of origin.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE CHM:
WG-II Chair Elaine Fisher (Jamaica) invited comments on UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.II/CRP.3/Rev.1.
Delegates debated language on communication networks for use by
indigenous and local communities, and suggested use of national
focal points, existing networks or indigenous organizations.
Following consultations, agreed text incorporates both existing
network and focal points, as appropriate, and states that these
networks should not be used to exchange or disclose traditional
knowledge. The CRP was adopted with these amendments.
IMPLEMENTATION AND OPERATIONS OF THE CONVENTION:
Delegates discussed UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.II/ CRP.2. The EU proposed
presenting the development of a monitoring system for CBD
implementation to SBSTTA-9. NEW ZEALAND requested funding for the
SBSTTA Chair and Bureau members. Delegates also discussed
establishing an NGO liaison unit or focal point in the Secretariat.
The Chair will prepare a revised document.
NATIONAL REPORTS: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/
COP/6/WG.II/CRP.1. Delegates debated proposals on delaying
submissions of reports on mountain ecosystems and agreed that the
COP and SBSTTA Bureaus would consider the matter. On references to
protected areas, the EU requested mention of areas where special
measures need to be taken, and requested that the Executive
Secretary, not the technical expert group, conduct work on the third
national report’s format. With these amendments, WG-II approved the
COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS, INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS AND INITIATIVES: Chair Fisher introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/6/WG.II/CRP.4.
Delegates debated language on consistency between the Biosafety
Protocol and the relevant WTO agreements. They agreed not to
reference consistency, but did not reach consensus on language. The
EU suggested urging the joint liaison group with the UNFCCC and the
CCD to become fully operational. Discussion on the document will
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: Regarding the
precautionary approach, delegates agreed to reference risk analysis
in accordance with the other guiding principles. On the draft
decision, delegates deleted text on standards, guidelines and
recommendations, and added text emphasizing the urgency of action
concerning the International Maritime Organizationï¿½s instrument on
ballast water. On national biodiversity strategies and action plans,
delegates added text urging regional cooperation, and agreed that
strategies should consider effects of alien species on populations
and naturally occurring genetic diversity. Amendments and additions
were made on: regional and global initiatives; the role of
indigenous knowledge; capacity building; on-line educational
programs for assisting in implementation; implementation of
International Plant Protection Convention; and assessment,
information and tools. A Chairï¿½s draft will be prepared.
FOREST BIODIVERSITY: In debating a draft text
prepared by the "Friends of the Chair," delegates disagreed on
language noting the need for urgent action on certain forest types.
On finance and guidance to the GEF, some preferred, and others
opposed, urging donors to provide "new and additional" financial
resources. Discussions continued into the night.
ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: Delegates
discussed a Co-Chairsï¿½ text on the draft Bonn guidelines and the
role of IPRs, agreeing to most proposed amendments, including
alternative language to inventions and patents, and references to
indigenous and local communities throughout the guidelines. On the
use of terms, the group discussed the identity of "providers,"
disagreeing over language referencing: countries of origin; Parties
holding genetic resources received in accordance with the CBD terms;
and reference to mutually agreed terms for third-party transfers.
The group was unable to address intersessional steps regarding the
use of terms.
STRATEGIC PLAN: Delegates fine-tuned language
on strategic goals and objectives, particularly defining the CBDï¿½s
leadership role vis-ï¿½-vis other biodiversity-related conventions and
on capacity to implement the Convention.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As the time and patience of delegates were being
stretched in the forest and ABS discussions, some noted that
negotiations were hitting a low point with some expecting
discussions to continue throughout the week. Others highlighted the
inevitability of such events to pinpoint fundamental differences in
the search for compromise language.
As the Ministerial segment approaches, delegates
were on the lookout for a revised ministerial statement addressing
concerns expressed about the lack of clarity and focus of the first
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00
am in the Prins Willem Alexander Hall to review CRPs on liability
and redress, and invasive alien species.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will convene at 10:00
am in the Van Gogh Hall to resume discussion of the CRP on
cooperation with other conventions. The contact group on financial
resources and mechanism is also expected to convene.