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Sixth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing of the Convention on Biological Diversity (ABS 6)

21 - 25 January 2008 | Geneva, Switzerland

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ABS 6 Highlights: Wednesday, 23 January 2008

On Wednesday morning, the Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) met in plenary to hear a report from the contact group on the objective and establish a process to move forward. Following a break to allow for regional consultations, a contact group on the components of the regime met in the afternoon. A contact group on a draft decision to be considered by the Conference of the Parties (COP) met in the evening.

Plenary Session

Working Group Co-Chair Timothy Hodges (Canada) opened the meeting, highlighting the progress made in the contact group on the objective, and noting the Co-Chairs’ intention to move forward with discussion on the main components of the regime.
Co-Chair of the contact group on the objective, René Lefeber (the Netherlands), highlighted the consolidated text on the objective as contained in a new non-paper on the international regime.
Jan Borring, Norway, referenced the COP 8 decision calling for the facilitation of indigenous participation in the ABS negotiations.
Matthias Buck, the EU, asked that the report of the meeting clarify the current status of the consolidated text on the objective as contained in the non-paper.
Joseph Toussaint, Haiti, called for technology transfer to be included as a key component of the regime.
Echirk Djamel, Algeria, preferred to continue negotiating the regime's objectives before considering its main components.
Following a query by Weizue Cheng, China, the Co-Chairs clarified that the contact group will focus on the objective and main components of the regime.

Regional and small group consultations

Contact Group on Components

Co-Chair René Lefeber asked whether any party supported the text on the objective proposed in Tuesday evening’s contact group by the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity.
Co-Chair Pierre du Plessis called on delegates to make proposals with regard to the list of main components included in the non-paper on the international regime.
Carolyn Schwalger, New Zealand, proposed principles for traditional knowledge protection. On benefit-sharing, Matthias Buck, for the EU, suggested a number of measures.
Subject to benefit-sharing and prior informed consent (PIC), the African Group proposed access for environmentally sound uses and called for the protection of traditional knowledge and indigenous practices. Gurdial Nijar, Malaysia, for the Like-minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC), requested more time for consultations.
Girma Balcha, Ethiopia
James Seyani, Malawi
Ossama El-Tayeb, Egypt
Dave Gordge, Australia, proposed non-binding guidelines on benefit-sharing and referenced the CBD’s central provisions and the Bonn Guidelines.
Jimena Nieto, Colombia, explained that GRULAC and the LMMC needed more time to respond.
Mario Rodriguez, Mexico, asked the Co-Chairs for guidance regarding the status of the texts tabled by delegations.
Sem Shikongo, Namibia, noticed increased convergence in the positions of different delegations and invited the Co-Chairs to develop a text reflecting this convergence overnight.
Joseph Toussaint, Haiti, stressed the need for clarification of methodology and procedure.
Fernando Coimbra, Brazil, expressed concerns about the contact group moving away from its terms of reference.

The Co-Chairs consult and consider advice on the best way to proceed.

Around the venue

Web coverage:
Monday, 21 Jan - Tuesday, 22 Jan - Wednesday, 23 Jan - Thursday, 24 Jan - Friday, 25 Jan

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