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Fourth meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing of the Convention on Biological Diversity


30 January - 3 February 2006 | Granada, Spain

 

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Highlights for Tuesday, 31 January 2006



Delegates to the fourth meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group (WG) on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in a Committee of the Whole, and addressed the elements and objectives of an international regime on ABS, a certificate of origin/source/legal provenance, and measures to ensure compliance with prior informed consent (PIC) and mutually agreed terms (MAT). A Friends of the Chair group met in the afternoon to discuss participation of indigenous and local communities in the ABS negotiations.

Above photo L-R: Caribbean delegates, Ruleta Camacho (Antigua and Barbuda), Randolph Edmead (Saint Kitts and Nevis) and Deon Alexander Stewart (Bahamas) in consultation.


COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE



INTERNATIONAL REGIME ON ABS:




Venezuela, on behalf of GRULAC, prioritized: capacity 
building; protection of traditional knowledge; financial mechanisms to guarantee the regime’s 
implementation; and a certificate of legal provenance generated by countries of origin.


Above photo L-R:
CÚsar Molina and Jes˙s Ramos (Venezuela)

India, on behalf of the LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES (LMMC), said the regime should implement the CBD objectives and include benefit-sharing, compliance measures, a certificate of legal
provenance, traditional knowledge protection, effective implementation and financial mechanisms.

Above photo: Desh Deepak Verma (India)

SWITZERLAND proposed 
regrouping the list of elements into clusters on: access; benefit-sharing; traditional knowledge; compliance, including prior informed consent (PIC), mutually agreed terms (MAT) and certificates of legal provenance; and capacity building.

Above photo L-R: Robert Lamb and Franšois Pythoud (Switzerland)




COSTA RICA said access to genetic resources falls under national sovereignty and does not require an international instrument other than for providing legal certainty. 

Above photo: Martha JimÚnez Fernßndez (Costa Rica)

AUSTRALIA said access is a fundamental building block of the regime. 



Above photo L-R: Anne Marie Watt, Geoff Burton, David Cunningham and Susan Jones (Australia)




The UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES stressed that any instrument must conform to existing and emerging international law relating to indigenous rights.

Above photo: Pashuram Tamang (UNPFII)

The UN CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT (UNCTAD) drew attention to its study of options for implementing disclosure of origin requirements in intellectual property right (IPRs) applications. 

Above photo: Sophia Twarog (UNCTAD)

The INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NEW VARIETIES OF PLANTS (UPOV) said the principles of plant variety protection and breeders' rights should be recognized in the regime.


Above photo L-R: Makoto Tabata and Rolf J÷rdens (UPOV)





WIPO reported on the preparation a technical paper contributing to international discussions on ABS and IPRs and clarifying legal questions for submission to COP-8.



Above photo: Shakeel Bhatti (WIPO)

The WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO) reported on the activities of the Council on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the consultative process on outstanding implementation issues, including on the TRIPS-CBD relationship.

Above photo: Jayashree Watal (WTO)

The IIFB highlighted human rights instruments, and noted that the recognition and protection of indigenous rights is not a single element but a crosscutting issue.




Above photo: Le'a Malia Kanehe (IIFB)




CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN/SOURCE/LEGAL PROVENANCE:




Chair Margarita Clemente ( Spain ) opened the discussion on other approaches, including the design of an international certificate of origin/source/legal provenance.


Above photo L-R: The COW dais with Valerie Normand (CBD), WG ABS-4 Chair Clemente and Dan Ogolla (CBD)

The EU said an international certificate could be a key component of an international ABS regime, while cautioning against a “one-size-fits-all” certificate and high transaction costs.

Above photo: Elfriede Anna More (Austria on behalf of the EU)




BRAZIL supported a certificate of legal provenance of genetic resources, derivatives and traditional knowledge as one of the central elements of an international benefit-sharing regime.

Above photo: Hadil Fontes Da Rocha Vianna and Henrique Choer (Brazil)

MEXICO , supported by many, said a certificate should provide an international instrument to trace genetic resources across the entire reach of CBD obligations, and have clear triggers to activate disclosure requirements.


Above photo L-R: Margarita Palafox,
Hesiquio Benitez-Diaz and Mariana Bellot Rojas and Jesus Vega Herrera (Mexico)

EL SALVADOR said that certification of legal provenance is a key element to certifying legality of access, and it should be complemented by a national regime. 

Above photo: Jorge Ernesto Quezada Diaz (El Salvador)


CHINA proposed using certificates of origin and, when varieties are improved ex situ, certificates of source including breeding categories and genetic characteristics.

Above photo: Dayuan Xue (China)

NAMIBIA supported an international certificate of origin and the establishment of additional conditions through material transfer agreements.

Above photo: Pierre du Plessis (Namibia)

SINGAPORE said certificates would be useful as long as they do not bar IPR requests.




Above photo: Nigel Goh (Singapore)



COMPLIANCE WITH PIC AND MAT:



CANADA highlighted the need for: efficient and timely administrative processes, proper identification of knowledge holders, respect for decision-making processes of indigenous communities, and common understanding of the consequences of granting PIC for providers and users of traditional knowledge.

Above photo: Sophie Bernier (Canada)

THE PHILIPPINES requested considering the special situation of shared resources in ensuring compliance with PIC.








Above photo:
Virgilio Vitug and Elpidio Peria (The Philippines)

SOUTH AFRICA underlined the role of national measures to ensure disclosure of origin and benefit-sharing.








Above photo: Maria Mbengashe (South Africa)

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