LINKAGES UPDATE - an e-update of new additions to IISD’s Linkages website - 24 December 2004

UPCOMING MEETINGS TO BE COVERED BY THE EARTH NEGOTIATIONS BULLETIN


International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS: Port Louis, Mauritius, 10-14 January 2005
World Conference on Disaster Reduction: Kobe-Hyogo, Japan, 18-22 January 2005
 

RECENT MEETINGS COVERED BY IISD REPORTING SERVICES



UNFCCC Executive Secretary Joke Waller-Hunter presents the UNFCCC publication "Loz diez primeros anos" to Argentina’s President Nestor Kirchner
 



Mamadou Honadia hands over the COP presidency to Ginés Mario Gonzalez Garcia, Argentina’s Minister of Health and Environment
 

CLIMATE TALKS SEAL LAST-MINUTE SEMINAR, ADAPTATION DEAL
6-18 December 2004 | Buenos Aires, Argentina

The latest climate change negotiations ended with eleventh-hour agreements on adaptation and response measures, and on a new seminar arranged in view of heated discussions on how and when to begin talks about future commitments.

Post-Kyoto Commitments Create Controversy:
The well-attended meeting, which attracted over 6100 participants, went 17 hours beyond its scheduled finish as delegates struggled to agree on how to engage on commitments to combat climate change in the post-2012 period (the Kyoto Protocol sets emissions targets for the years 2008-2012). This was a particularly difficult issue because of reported sensitivities on the part of various countries. While the Kyoto deal requires Parties to begin considering the post-2012 period by 2005, this raised the thorny issue of how to include non-Parties. Having rejected the Kyoto treaty and its emissions commitments, the US was reportedly wary of talks on subsequent commitments, while some developing countries seemed determined not to entertain negotiations that might result in calls to extend emissions commitments to countries not covered by Kyoto. As a result, delegates struggled behind closed doors over the issue of exactly when and how to discuss future commitments. After a night of intense consultations, delegates finally agreed to hold one seminar in 2005 that would not open negotiations leading to new commitments.

Eleventh-hour Adaptation Package Agreed:
Another major issue at COP-10 concerned the more prominent role of adaptation. With new evidence, such as the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, pointing to the increasing impacts of climate change, a number of delegations were pushing for further support on adaptation for vulnerable countries such as SIDS and LDCs. The debate was complicated by demands from some oil-producing countries for similar assistance in adapting to a world that is being urged to respond to climate change by curtailing its fossil fuel use. The final adaptation package agreed Saturday morning—the Buenos Aires Programme of Work on Adaptation and Response Measures—supports further implementation of measures to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, while also addressing calls for economic diversification for countries affected by the global community’s response measures to deal with climate change. However, the world’s least developed countries failed to secure agreement on full-cost funding for adaptation through the Global Environment Facility. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis, and ENBOTS coverage of the side events.
 

DEVELOPMENT, ADAPTATION LINKS EXPLORED
11-12 December 2004 | Buenos Aires

Linkages between development issues and adaptation to climate change were the focus of discussions during a recent meeting in Buenos Aires. Held alongside the tenth Conference of the Parties (COP-10) to the UN Climate Change Convention, the “Development and Adaptation Days at COP-10” event took place from 11-12 December 2004. The event was convened to raise the profile of adaptation and its linkages with development concerns, with a particular focus on the effects of climate change on the world’s poor, who will be most affected by its impacts. More.

SCIENCE MEETING CONSIDERS FORESTRY, WATER LINKAGES
8 December 2004 | Bogor, Indonesia
The linkages between forestry and water issues were the focus of a recent meeting held in Indonesia. The “ASB Open Science Meeting on Tropical Forests and Water” took place on 8 December 2004 on the campus of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia. Organized by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), which is the global coordination office of the Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn (ASB) Consortium, the meeting was attended by over 100 representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. More.
 

TROPICAL TIMBER COUNCIL REPORTS PROGRESS
13-18 December 2004 | Yokohama, Japan
Progress on a range of issues has been reported from the latest meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC). The Council examined a range of issues, including: phased approaches to certification; measures to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the ITTO project cycle; enhancement of cooperation between ITTO and the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) for ramin and mahogany; strengthening the Asia Forest Partnership; forest law enforcement in the context of sustainable timber production and trade; and criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. Delegates to ITTC-37 approved 25 projects and five pre-projects and pledged US$8 million for project financing. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysisof this meeting.
 

RECENT KEY MEETINGS


UPDATE ON THE 59TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
December 2004 | UN headquarters, New York
As the year 2004 drew to a close, the 59th session of the UN General Assembly adopted a number of resolutions and decisions on issues concerning environment and sustainable development, poverty eradication, human settlements, globalization and interdependence, macroeconomic policy, and information and communications technologies for development.

On UNEP, the GA emphasizes the need for UNEP to
further contribute to sustainable development programmes, to the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation at all levels, and to the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development. The GA also notes the upcoming consideration of the question of universal membership by the Council/Forum at its 23rd session and, inter alia, requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the issue to the Assembly for consideration at its 61st session.

On the SIDS International Meeting, the GA decides to hold two days of informal consultations in Mauritius on 8 and 9 January 2005 to facilitate preparations for the International Meeting, which is to be held from 10-14 January.

On the international strategy for disaster reduction, the GA
calls for strong national strategies for disaster prevention and management, as well as resource sharing, to gain insight into the causes of such catastrophes worldwide. More.
 

SEMINAR CONSIDERS ECOSYSTEMS’ ROLE AS WATER SUPPLIERS
13-14 December 2004 | Geneva
The role of ecosystems as water suppliers was the focus of a seminar organized by the Swiss government and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Details.

WTO REVIEWS PROGRESS, PLANS FOR 2005
December 2004 | Geneva

Diplomats attending recent meetings of the World Trade Organization’s General Council and its Negotiations Committee finished the year by reflecting on progress on the Doha round and looking ahead to 2005. Details.
 

WORKSHOP ADDRESSES BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS
1-3 November 2004 | Bonn, Germany

The workshop on “capacity building and exchange of experiences as related to the implementation of paragraph 2 of Article 18 of the Biosafety Protocol” was intended to provide an opportunity for information exchange on the understanding of documentation requirements and their appropriate implementation. Details.

 

HOLIDAY GREETINGS


IISD Reporting Services and the Linkages team wishes all our readers a great holiday season and a wonderful new year.

Many thanks for your continued support and interest in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Sustainable Developments, and Linkages Update. If you are still wondering what gifts to send your friends, family and colleagues, why not send them a note inviting them to subscribe to ENB and Linkages Update? Subscriptions are free. Knowledge is priceless.
 

LINKAGES UPDATE


Linkages Update is our means of keeping you informed of what’s new on IISD Reporting Services' Linkages website. This page is updated on a fortnightly basis, while the website continually posts new information provided by our contributing writers. If you wish to submit relevant materials or subscribe to Linkages Update, e-mail prisna@iisd.org.

Linkages provides updates on:
Recent meetings
Upcoming meetings
Media reports
Key publications, online resource
Comings and goings

Click here for the online version and archives of Linkages Update.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS


Vacancies

IUCN CENTRE FOR MEDITERRANEAN COOPERATION SEEKS WATER PROGRAMME COORDINATOR
The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation in Malaga, Spain is looking to hire a new staff member to assist in setting up and implementing the emerging IUCN programme for the Mediterranean region. Applications for this position are due 31 January 2005.

WATER INSTITUTE SEEKS CAPACITY BUILDING OFFICER
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is looking for a Capacity Building Officer for the Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF), an international initiative focusing on the provision of water, food and environmental security. This position is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Applications are due 31 January 2005.


FAO SEEKS LAND AND WATER DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is seeking a Fishery Resources Manager. This is a P-4 position based at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. The deadline for applications is 20 January 2005.
 

IUCN SEEKS COUNTDOWN 2010 SENIOR ADVISOR

The IUCN Regional Office for Europe is looking to hire a Senior Advisor to its Countdown 2010 initiative. The position is located in Brussels and applications are due 15 January 2005.

Click here for complete postings on appointments, departures and vacancies.
 

ANNOUNCEMENT


linkages launches primer on The Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building 
In recent years, technology support and capacity building have become a key part of the quest for sustainable development. Issues encompassing human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional and resource capabilities are core components of the mandate and work of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and feature prominently in both Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). Capacity building, in particular, has become an explicit priority for the UN system.

Linkages website has launched a primer to provide background information on the intergovernmental process that led to the Bali Strategic Plan, agreed in December 2004 at a meeting of an intergovernmental working group that was tasked with formulating a strategic plan for technology support and capacity building. The Bali Strategic Plan is to be formally adopted at the upcoming session of the UNEP Government Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which will be held in Nairobi in February 2005. The primer outlines the history of the process, highlights the key components of the Bali Strategic Plan, and provides a comprehensive list of inks to web resources on the issue.
 

MEDIA REPORTS


2005 High-Level Plenary

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECIDES ON MODALITIES, FORMAT AND ORGANIZATION OF 2005 HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY
The UN General Assembly adopted on 17 December a resolution on the modalities, format and organization of the High-level Plenary Meeting of its 60th session.

Investment in sustainable development

UN PROMOTES INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURE

Greater investment in agriculture and rural development is needed to combat poverty and meet the MDGs, according to the FAO.


GLOBAL COMPACT LAUNCHES ANTI-CORRUPTION INITIATIVE

The Global Compact recently began an international effort to raise awareness on and increase commitment towards combating corruption.


Climate and energy

US DEFENDS CLIMATE POLICIES

The Bush administration in the US has mounted a vigorous defense of its climate change policies, promoting the benefits of voluntary measures and a focus on technological solutions.
UK Applies Pressure, US-Australia Rift Alleged:
International pressure on the US has recently been stepped up with the announcement by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he intends to push the climate change agenda at 2005’s Group of Eight meeting.

CLIMATE LAWSUITS INCREASE
The number of legal actions against governments and companies aimed at supporting action on climate change is on the rise, according to Friends of the Earth International.

EUROPE EXTENDS ENERGY PACT

The European Union has reached a deal with 11 countries in southeastern Europe that would allow them to join an EU energy treaty.
 


Forests, deserts, land

UNDP, UNCCD AGREE ON MAINSTREAMING NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES
The UN bodies responsible for development issues and desertification have agreed on a plan to help mainstream national plans to combat desertification into the broader development agenda.

FSC AWARDED US$1 MILLION FOR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has been awarded the first Alcan Prize for Sustainability—and one million dollars in prize money.

Biodiversity and wildlife


TEN PERCENT OF BIRD SPECIES TO BE EXTINCT BY 2100, WARNS STUDY

Ten percent of all bird species are set to disappear by the end of this century, according to a study by researchers at Stanford University.

KEY REPORTS, PUBLICATIONS AND ONLINE RESOURCES


Sustainable development

SECRETARY-GENERAL’S ADVANCE, UNEDITED REPORTS AVAILABLE
(UN, December 2004) The advance, unedited reports prepared by the UN Secretary-General on the three thematic clusters to be discussed at the April 2005 session of the Commission on Sustainable Development have been released. The reports identify policy options and possible actions to expedite implementation on water, sanitation and human settlements.

The report on water suggests, inter alia, that: public utilities are in need of support for strengthened governance; tariff reform and better targeted subsidies are key areas for action; and a public consensus could be sought on how best to involve the private sector in water services. The report on sanitation highlights that: providing small-scale service providers easier access to credit and service contracts can contribute towards expanding coverage; the adoption of low-cost technology options allows expanded coverage to broad segments of society; and greater community involvement, particularly of women, in water and sanitation management can promote simple technology design for easy maintenance, facilitate cost recovery, and help ensure equitable access. Finally, the report on human settlements includes suggestions that governments consider acquiring low-cost land on the urban periphery to set aside for future development of housing affordable to low-income households. It also proposes that local authorities give preference to small local businesses in contracting for the provision of basic urban services. The Secretary-General’s Reports on: water
, sanitation and human settlements.

HUMANITARIAN EARLY WARNING SERVICE WEBSITE LAUNCHED
A new website providing early warning service to support humanitarian preparedness has been launched. Developed by the World Food Programme, HEWSweb provides the latest forecasts, reports and alerts on drought, floods, tropical storms, locust infestation, El Nino, earthquakes and volcanic activity. A one-stop shop for early warning information, HEWSweb seeks to facilitate access to the latest early warnings by bringing together information from multiple specialized institutions. The resource will also soon provide a platform for sharing information on sociopolitical crises. HEWSweb is a partnership project developed by the Inter Agency Standing Committee, and is supported by a range of partners including the FAO, the World Food Programme, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP, OCHA, WHO, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as a consortium of international NGOs.

MDGs

INNOVATION: APPLYING KNOWLEDGE IN DEVELOPMENT

(UN Millennium Project Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation, January 2005) In this report, the authors underscore the importance of knowledge and innovation for development, outlining how science and technology can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It stresses the need to create space for policy experimentation and learning in developing countries, noting that development is a learning process and an expression of local initiative and international partnership. The report highlights the role of innovation in economic development and addresses how to support and advance technology through providing adequate infrastructure services, investing in education, and promoting technology-based enterprises. The report also addresses means of acquiring knowledge through capacity building, technology prospecting, attracting FDI, conducting research, and forging partnerships among others. It further highlights the role of scientific advisory groups in advising governments on science, innovation and technology, and addresses the issue of global technology governance. The primary authors for this report were Calestous Juma and Lee Yee-Cheong.

MILLENNIUM CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES WEBSITE
The United Nations Millennium Campaign has launched its global website seeking to “inform, inspire and encourage involvement and action towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” The website provides information on what actions various countries and organizations are taking to combat poverty. Comprising eight goals, 18 targets and over 40 indicators, the MDGs made their first public appearance in September 2001 in a Secretary-General’s report entitled the Road Map towards the Implementation of the UN Millennium Declaration (A/56/26), where they were formulated by members of the UN Secretariat and others to help focus national and international development priority-setting and to enable progress on the development goals adopted by world leaders at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit to be tracked. In September 2005, the United Nations General Assembly will gather for a high-level meeting to review progress in the implementation of the commitments made at the Millennium Summit.

PAYING THE PRICE: WHY RICH COUNTRIES MUST INVEST NOW IN A WAR ON POVERTY
(Oxfam International, December 2004) This Oxfam report makes the case for the importance of aid for poverty reduction, underlining that aid works and that it is a small price to pay for the benefits it brings in lifting people out of poverty. The report also discusses how both donors and developing country governments can make aid work more effectively. The report further recommends actions and measures regarding aid and debt to be undertaken by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, the World Bank and the IMF, and developing country governments. In 2005, Oxfam will participate in the Global Call for Action Against Poverty coalition, which will bring together a wide range of groups from the South and the North, including national and regional civil-society networks, trade unions, faith communities, and international organizations, that seek to eradicate poverty.


Climate change

UNEXAMINED RISK: HOW MUTUAL FUNDS VOTE ON GLOBAL WARMING SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTIONS
(CERES, December 2004) This report from Douglas G. Cogan of the Investor Responsibility Research Center considers the use of shareholder resolutions to bring about more corporate disclosure on the financial impacts of global warming. Commissioned by CERES, a
coalition of investment funds, environmental organizations, and public interest groups, the report finds that “a mere two percent of the assets of the largest 100 mutual funds in America voted in 2004 to support shareholder resolutions calling for more corporate disclosure” on global warming. The report suggested that a vast majority of investment companies resisted or failed to act on shareholder proposals on this issue. However, it noted that pension funds and other investors are supporting shareholder resolutions in growing numbers, reaching a record high of 37 percent at some recent annual general meetings. CERES has recently claimed that mutual funds are “a critical missing link in the push for better corporate disclosure about climate risk.”

Water, wetlands, oceans, coasts

STATUS OF CORAL REEFS OF THE WORLD 2004
(Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and International Coral Reef Initiative, 2004) This report documents how human activities continue to be the primary cause of the global coral reef crisis. The report details many new initiatives aimed at reversing this degradation, including efforts to conserve the biodiversity, economic value and beauty of coral reefs. It also identifies the major stresses to coral reefs, including: natural forces that they have coped with for millions of years; direct human pressures, including sediment and nutrient pollution from the land, over-exploitation and damaging fishing practices, engineering modification of shorelines; and the global threats of climate change causing coral bleaching, rising sea levels and potentially threatening the ability of corals to form skeletons in more acid waters.

TURNING THE TIDE – ADDRESSING THE IMPACT OF FISHERIES ON THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT(RCEP, 2004) The UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has recently released its report on the impact of fisheries on the marine environment. In preparing this report, the Royal Commission studied a wide range of environmental impacts associated with a variety of commercial fishing activities, including trawling, drift netting, industrial fishing and fish farming. The report also examined regulatory and management practices, the institutional and legal framework, and the state of marine science and data.

Key recommendations for the UK government include, inter alia: establishing a large-scale network of marine protected areas; developing a statutory system of marine spatial planning that covers all major uses of the sea, including fishing; introducing Marine Acts to set out the long-term goals for protecting the marine environment and to provide the necessary statutory underpinning for a marine planning system and marine reserves; initiating a decommissioning scheme to reduce the capacity of the UK fishing fleet to an environmentally-sustainable level and move towards managing fisheries on the basis of controlling fishing efforts; and halting any deep-sea trawling taking place in UK waters or being carried out by UK vessels.

CATALYZING CHANGE: A HANDBOOK FOR DEVELOPING INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND WATER EFFICIENCY STRATEGIES
(GWP, 2004) This new handbook from the Global Water Partnership (GWP) outlines practical steps for developing national water management strategies to support efforts to achieve the levels of sustainable economic development required to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The handbook seeks to encourage progress by showing how national water plans can contribute to meeting broader social and economic goals and to resolving recurrent water-related problems, such as droughts and floods. The book also offers ways to deal with potential stumbling blocks, such as lack of support, capacity or financial resources. Other topics covered in the handbook include an explanation of key concepts, such as the meaning of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and the role of an IWRM and water efficiency strategy. It also covers issues such as how to decide on the substance of a strategy, steps in developing a strategy and how to avoid potential pitfalls, as well as tips for ensuring effective implementation.

WOMEN AND WATER: AN ETHICAL ISSUE
(UNESCO, 2004) This essay, one in a series on Water and Ethics published under the International Hydrological Programme, is concerned with the ethical issues arising from the special role of women in water use and from related social and environmental problems. It discusses both the nature of some of the key problems and the efforts in recent decades by both intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to overcome these problems.

A DREAM OF WATER
(UNESCO and WWAP, 2004) This educational documentary film, produced under the auspices of UNESCO and the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), was presented to water experts and country delegations at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, on 30 November 2004. The documentary was made to raise awareness on the sustainable uses of water resources within the framework of the upcoming International Decade for Action — Water for Life: 2005-2015. It is a prototype for a series, which if produced would be used as part of awareness raising campaigns on the problems generated by water mismanagement, and would be distributed to different public broadcast services around the world.


Biodiversity and wildlife

MEASURING GLOBAL TRENDS IN THE STATUS OF BIODIVERSITY: RED LIST
INDICES FOR BIRDS

(PLoS Biology, December 2004) Researched and authored by Stuart Butchart et al., this paper presents a method for producing indices based on the IUCN Red List to chart the overall threat status of the world’s bird species from 1988 to 2004. In doing so, it provides a way to monitor progress towards achieving the 2010 target of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. Meanwhile, in a recent article published in Nature magazine, “Conservation biology: biodiversity barometers,” Brooks and Kennedy stress that “the Red List Index proposed by Butchart et al. fills a portion of ‘biodiversity indicator space’ that complements the indicators already being tested. The index measures changes in overall extinction risk for all species, worldwide, in an entire class of organisms … It therefore has both fine ecological resolution and comprehensive geographical representativeness.”

BIRDS IN EUROPE
(BirdLife International, 2004) This is a second review of the conservation status of all wild birds in Europe. Published ten years after the first report, the latest review identifies species needing priority attention to improve their status. It considers species across the entire continent, with the increased political stability in the Balkans and the Caucasus allowing data to be collected from all European countries for the first time. The report concludes that 226 of the 524 species assessed, or 43% of the European avifauna, have an unfavorable conservation status in Europe. One of the review’s key messages is that birds in Europe continue to be threatened by widespread environmental change, while the ongoing decline in the numbers of so many species sends clear signals about the state of European biodiversity and the health of the environment.

GLOBAL STATUS AND TRENDS IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CLAIMS: GENOMICS, PROTEOMICS AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
(UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, 2004) Authored by Paul Oldham, this paper considers the development of an international regime on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a review and assessment of the implications of trends in relation to genomics, proteomics and biotechnology for the development of an international regime. The first section of the paper examines the challenges and potential opportunities presented by the growth of bioinformatics and international electronic transfers of genetic data for the development of an international regime. In section two, the author examines the challenges involved in tracking intellectual property claims in relation to genetic material at the global level, while section three considers the complexity and scope of intellectual property claims in relation to biological and genetic material in the context of the rise of genomics, proteomics and biotechnology.

Oldham concludes that the genomes and proteomes of biological organisms constitute a significant gap within the existing international policy framework, noting that genomes and proteomes may extend beyond individual countries, regions, population groups and, ultimately, even generations. He proposes that genomes and proteomes could usefully be seen as “global public goods.” This, he says, may best be achieved by recognizing the legitimate rights and interests of indigenous and local communities, and of countries, as well as the need to promote research and innovation that advances implementation of the CBD and wider international policy goals.


INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN GMOS: LEGAL FRAMEWORKS AND DEVELOPING COUNTRY CONCERNS
(UNCTAD, November 2004) Written by Simonetta Zarrilli of UNCTAD, this report examines different regulatory approaches to GMOs, recognizing that the proliferation of domestic biosafety schemes is likely to further complicate international trade in agro-biotechnology products and to indirectly affect international trade in conventional agricultural products. The report suggests that agricultural biotechnology is particularly challenging for developing countries. It argues that they could be the main beneficiaries if agricultural biotechnology “keeps its promises,” but warns that they could also become the main losers if it negatively affects biodiversity or if patented biotechnology makes access to seeds more difficult or changes the structure of food production systems.

WHO OWNS THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY? POLITICAL ORGANISING BEHIND TRIPS
(The Corner House, November 2004) In this paper, Peter Drahos and John Braithwaite argue that when the
World Trade Organization's agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) was signed in 1994, the US, Europe and Japan dominated the world’s software, pharmaceutical, chemical and entertainment industries. The rest of the world had little to gain by agreeing to these terms of trade for intellectual property. They did so, say the authors, because a failure of democratic processes nationally and internationally enabled a small group of men within the US to capture the US trade-agenda-setting process, to draft intellectual property principles that became the blueprint for TRIPS and to crush resistance through US trade power.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING REGARDING GMOS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: HOW TO EFFECTIVELY INVOLVE RURAL PEOPLE
(FAO, December 2004) This FAO document provides a brief overview of the current status regarding GMOs in crops, forests, fisheries, livestock and agro-industry; discusses the decision-making areas where the public could be involved; provides a brief overview of some relevant international agreements; and discusses some of the specificities regarding information access and participation for people in rural areas in developing countries. It was published as the background document for an upcoming FAO e-mail conference of the same title (see upcoming meetings section). You can contact biotech-admin@fao.org to request a copy of the report.
 

NEW UPCOMING MEETINGS


Click here for a complete listing of upcoming meetings

Change of dates:

20TH SESSION OF THE UN-HABITAT GOVERNING COUNCIL:
4 April 2005 - 8 April 2005. Nairobi, Kenya. Among the key issues to be discussed are the UN-HABITAT work programme for 2006-2007, the budget of the UN Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation for the biennium 2006-2007, and the activities of the UN-HABITAT through a progress report of the Executive Director. The two special themes of the session are: involvement of civil society in improving local governance; and post-conflict, natural and man-made disasters assessment and reconstruction. For more information contact: Joseph Mungai, Secretary to the Governing Council and Chief, External Relations and Inter-; tel: +254-20-623-133; fax: +254-20-624-175; e-mail: Joseph.Mungai@unhabitat.org; Internet: http://www.unhabitat.org/governingbodies/gc20/default.asp

CRIC-3:
2 May 2005 - 11 May 2005. Bonn, Germany. Following deliberations of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties, CRIC-3 will be held in Bonn, Germany, from 2-11 May 2005. Consultations among country Parties of the Regional Implementation Annexes will take place on 2 and 3 May 2005. For more information contact: UNCCD Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2802; fax: +49-228-815-2898; e-mail: secretariat@unccd.int; Internet: http://www.unccd.int/cop/cric3/menu.php

FIRST MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON LIABILITY AND REDRESS UNDER THE BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL:
25 May 2005 - 27 May 2005. Montreal, Canada. This meeting is organized by the CBD Secretariat. For more information contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

SECOND MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CBD SERVING AS THE MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY:
30 May 2005 - 3 June 2005. Montreal, Canada. The Cartagena Protocol COP/MOP-2 is organized by the CBD Secretariat. For more information contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

ITTC-38:
21 June 2005 - 24 June 2005. Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The 38th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) and Associated Sessions of the Committees will convene in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in June 2005. For more information contact: Manoel Sobral Filho, Executive Director, ITTO; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: itto@itto.or.jp; Internet: http://www.itto.or.jp/live/PageDisplayHandler?pageId=189

Venue confirmed:

UNFF COUNTRY-LED INITIATIVE ON IAF:
25 January 2005 - 28 January 2005. Guadalajara, Mexico. Mexico proposed hosting this country-led initiative during the September 2004 meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Consideration with a view to Recommending the Parameters of a Mandate for Developing a Legal Framework on all Types of Forests (AHEG-PARAM). The meeting will continue discussing the future of the international arrangement on forests (IAF) in preparation for the fifth session of the UN Forum on Forests in May 2005. For more information contact: Jorge Illueca, UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3160; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: Illueca@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/gov-cli-mexico05.html


The following are
upcoming meetings recently added to Linkages website:

Sustainable development

2ND INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: ADVANCING IMPLEMENTATION ON WATER AND ENERGY:
21 March 2005 - 23 March 2005. Marrakesh, Morocco. This Forum will build on the outcomes of other international partnership discussions, including the First International Forum on Partnerships for Sustainable Development held in March 2004 in Rome, Italy. The Second Forum will focus on the issue of “Advancing Implementation on Water and Energy.” It is being organized by the Moroccan Ministry of Territory Planning, Water and Environment in cooperation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). The meeting’s outcomes will be presented during CSD-13, which will convene from 11-22 April 2005, in New York. For more information contact: Moroccan Ministry of Territory Planning, Water and Environment; tel: +212-37-77-26-62; fax: +212-37-77-26-40; e-mail: forum@minenv.gov.ma; Internet: http://www.minenv.gov.ma/forum-part.2005/

Biodiversity and wildlife

ONLINE FORUM ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING REGARDING GMOS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES – HOW TO EFFECTIVELY INVOLVE RURAL PEOPLE:
17 January 2005 - 13 February 2005. Online forum, Internet. This online forum is organized by FAO with the aim of providing quality, balanced information on agricultural biotechnology in developing countries and to provide a neutral platform for an exchange of views and experiences. For more information contact: Internet: http://www.fao.org/biotech/forum.asp

15TH MEETING OF THE CITES PLANTS COMMITTEE AND 21ST MEETING OF THE CITES ANIMALS COMMITTEE:
17 May 2005 - 25 May 2005. Geneva, Switzerland. The 21st meeting of the Animals Committee and the 15th meeting of the Plants Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are scheduled to take place back-to-back in May 2005 in Geneva. The AC and PC will address the numerous resolutions and decisions that were directed to their Committees at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CITES COP-13) held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2-14 October 2004. In addition, they will continue to undertake periodic reviews of species, in order to ensure appropriate categorization in the CITES Appendices; advise when certain species are subject to unsustainable trade and recommending remedial action; and drafting new resolutions on animal and plant matters for consideration by the Parties at the next COP, to be held in the Netherlands in 2007. For more information contact: CITES Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8139; fax: +41-22-797-3417; e-mail: cites@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.cites.org

EIGHTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES:
16 November 2005 - 25 November 2005. Nairobi, Kenya. CMS COP-8 is scheduled to be held from 16-25 November 2005 in Nairobi. For more information contact: UNEP/CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2409; fax: +49-228-815-2449; Internet: http://www.cms.int

Chemicals management

ROTTERDAM CONVENTION CHEMICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE:
11 February 2005 - 18 February 2005. Geneva, Switzerland. The first session of the Chemical Review Committee for the Rotterdam Convention is scheduled for 11-18 February 2005 in Geneva. For more information contact: Rotterdam Convention Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8296; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: pic@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.pic.int

SECOND CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE ROTTERDAM CONVENTION (PIC COP-2):
26 September 2005 - 30 September 2005. Rome, Italy. PIC COP-2 is scheduled for 26-30 September 2005, in Rome, Italy. For more information contact: Rotterdam Convention Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8296; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: pic@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.pic.int

Climate change

23RD SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE:
8 April 2005. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. IPCC-23 is scheduled for 8 April 2005 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is expected to continue preparations for the Fourth Assessment Report, scheduled for release in 2007. For more information contact: IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208/84; fax: +41-22-730-8025/13; e-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int; Internet: http://www.ipcc.ch/calendar2005.htm

22ND SESSIONS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES TO THE UNFCCC:
16 May 2005 - 27 May 2005. Bonn, Germany. The twenty-second sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB-22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place from 16-27 May 2005, in Bonn, Germany. Following an agreement at the tenth Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2004, SB-22 will be preceded by a �Seminar of Government Experts,� which will seek to promote an informal exchange of information on actions concerning mitigation and adaptation, and on policies and measures adopted by governments supporting implementation of existing commitments under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. For more information contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int

Forests

ITTO WORKSHOP ON PHASED APPROACHES TO CERTIFICATION:
1 April 2005. Bern, Switzerland. This workshop of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), which is tentatively scheduled to take place in April 2005, will seek to promote the use of phased approaches to certification in tropical timber exporting developing countries. For more information contact: Manoel Sobral Filho, ITTO Executive Director; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: itto@itto.or.jp; Internet: http://www.itto.or.jp

 
Human development

WORLD MAYORS' CONFERENCE:
21 January 2005 - 23 January 2005. Kochi, Kerala, India. The theme of this conference is �Millennium Development Goals and Role of Cities.� For more information contact: Ranjit Chavan, Director-General, All India Institute of Local Self-Government; tel: +91-22-2620-6716; fax: +91-22-2623-5386; e-mail: contact@aiilsg.org; Internet: http://www.aiilsg.org/WMC.htm

Finance

EU FUNDING AT YOUR FINGERTIPS SEMINAR:
27 January 2005 - 18 March 2005. Brussels, Belgium. Two-day seminars on how to make the most of European grants and loans will be held from 27-28 January, 21-22 February, and 17-18 March 2005. For more information contact: tel: +32-2-737-7746; fax: +32-2-732-7525; e-mail: info@eutraining.be; Internet: http://www.eutraining.be/external/Folder_EUFunding05.pdf

Water, wetlands, oceans, coasts

THIRD INTERNATIONAL WOMEN AND WATER CONFERENCE:
25 February 2005 - 28 February 2005. Dehradun, India. This conference seeks to bring together women who are concerned about water issues, disseminate what is known about water privatization in India and elsewhere, and explore partnerships for cleaner, healthier, more accessible and affordable water. Participants will also discuss how women can contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goals. For more information contact: Sue Lennox, Oz Green; tel: +61-2-9984-8917; e-mail: jlennox@ozgreen.org.au; Internet: http://www.ozgreen.org.au/womenwater/womenwater.htm

NEW CURRENTS IN CONSERVING FRESHWATER SYSTEMS: A BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM:
7 April 2005 - 8 April 2005. New York, US. This symposium, hosted by the American Museum of Natural History, will highlight recent successful initiatives in freshwater conservation, discuss cutting-edge ideas and tools, and investigate how and where these innovations might be implemented on the ground. The symposium will showcase projects that are rooted in the best available science, integrate scientific fields, and link science with other disciplines. This cross-disciplinary integration is expected to generate a way forward in freshwater conservation. For more information contact: Fiona Brady, American Museum of Natural History; tel: +1-212-496-3431; fax: +1-212-769-5292; e-mail: brady@amnh.org; Internet: http://cbc.amnh.org/symposia/freshwater/

EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL RIVER SYMPOSIUM:
6 September 2005 - 9 September 2005. Brisbane, Australia. River Symposium 2005 will focus on some of the pressing issues in water and food security, such as transboundary catchment conflicts and resolutions, water scarcity and urban and rural tensions over sharing water resources. Institutional and legal arrangements for river management will be featured along with work on rivers as corridors. For more information contact: International River Festival; tel: +61-7-3846-7444; fax: +61-7-3846-7660; e-mail: glenn@riverfestival.com.au; Internet: http://www.riverfestival.com.au/2004/content/standard.asp?name=RiverSymposium
 

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