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A Brief Introduction to the CBD, including the COP, SBSTTA, and Working Groups on Access and Benefit-Sharing, Article 8(J), Review of Implementation and Protected Areas

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, and entered into force on 29 December 1993. With 191 Parties as of August 2008, the CBD is a legally binding instrument that aims to promote "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources."

A landmark in international law, the CBD establishes the principle of national sovereignty over natural resources. It recognizes for the first time that the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind and an integral part of the development process. It covers all ecosystems, species and genetic resources, and also addresses the field of biotechnology, including technology transfer and development, benefit-sharing and biosafety. It sets policies and general obligations, and organizes technical and financial cooperation. Implementation, however, is required at the national level and responsibility rests with national governments.
Conference of the Parties

The Conference of the Parties (COP), the CBD’s governing body, consists of all governments and regional organizations that have ratified the Convention. The COP reviews progress, identifies new priorities and adopts work programmes, advancing implementation of the Convention through its decisions. As of August 2008, the COP had held nine ordinary and one extraordinary meeting.

The COP has initiated work on a number of thematic work programmes, addressing:
marine and coastal biodiversity;
agricultural biodiversity;
forest biodiversity;
island biodiversity;
inland water ecosystems;
dry and sub-humid lands; and
mountain biodiversity.

At the same time, the COP has addressed a number of other items covering key cross-cutting issues of relevance to all thematic areas, including:
access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing;
invasive alien species;
traditional knowledge;
biodiversity and tourism;
climate change and biodiversity;
incentive measures;
ecosystem approach;
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation;
2010 target of significantly reducing the current rate of biodiversity loss;
Global Taxonomy Initiative;
impact assessment;
identification, monitoring, indicators and assessments;
liability and redress;
protected areas;
communication, education and public awareness;
sustainable use; and
technology transfer and cooperation.   

COP-1: At the first COP (November-December 1994, Nassau, the Bahamas), delegates set the general framework for the Convention’s implementation, by establishing the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), and by designating the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the interim financial mechanism.

COP-2: At the second COP (November 1995, Jakarta, Indonesia), delegates adopted a decision on marine and coastal biodiversity (the Jakarta Mandate) and established the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety to elaborate a protocol on biosafety, specifically focusing on transboundary movement of any living modified organism (LMO) that may have an adverse effect on biodiversity. Montreal, Canada, was designated as the permanent location of the Secretariat.

COP-3: At its third meeting (November 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina), the COP decided to establish work programmes on agricultural and forest biodiversity, adopted a Memorandum of Understanding with the GEF, and called for an intersessional workshop on Article 8(j) and related provisions.

COP-4: At its fourth meeting (May 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia), the COP established a Working Group on Article 8(j), a panel of experts on access and benefit-sharing (ABS), and the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI). The COP adopted work programmes on marine and coastal biodiversity and inland waters, as well as decisions on agricultural and forest biodiversity, and cooperation with other agreements.

ExCOP: Following six meetings of the Biosafety Working Group between 1996 and 1999, delegates at the first Extraordinary Meeting of the COP (ExCOP) (February 1999, Cartagena, Colombia) did not agree on a compromise package that would finalize negotiations on a biosafety protocol, and the meeting was suspended. Following three sets of informal consultations, the resumed ExCOP (January 2000, Montreal, Canada) adopted the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and established the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to undertake preparations for the first Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol. The Protocol addresses the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs that may have an adverse effect on biodiversity, taking into account human health, with a specific focus on transboundary movements.

COP-5: At its fifth meeting (May 2000, Nairobi, Kenya), the COP established a Working Group on ABS, and adopted a multi-year work programme on agricultural biodiversity, including a ban on field testing of genetic use restriction technologies, and work programmes on dry and sub-humid lands, incentive measures and Article 8(j). Other decisions addressed the ecosystem approach, sustainable use, biodiversity and tourism, invasive alien species (IAS) and the GTI.

COP-6: At its sixth meeting (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), the COP adopted the Convention’s Strategic Plan, including the target to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The meeting also adopted: an expanded work programme on forest biodiversity; the Bonn Guidelines on ABS; guiding principles for IAS; the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; a work programme for the GTI; a work programme for the Global Initiative on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA); and decisions on incentive measures and Article 8(j).

COP-7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP adopted work programmes on mountain biodiversity, protected areas (PAs), and technology transfer and cooperation, a revised work programme on inland waters and an elaborated work programme on marine and coastal biodiversity, and mandated the Working Group on ABS to initiate negotiations on an international regime on ABS. The COP also adopted: a decision to review implementation of the Convention, its Strategic Plan and progress towards achieving the 2010 target; the Akwé: Kon Guidelines for cultural, environmental and social impact assessments; the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for sustainable use; and a decision on incentive measures.

COP-8: At its eighth meeting (March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), the COP adopted a work programme on island biodiversity; and instructed the ABS Working Group to complete its work with regard to an international regime on ABS at the earliest possible time before COP 10, to be held in 2010. The COP also adopted decisions on: goals and targets for the work programme on dry and sub-humid lands; Article 8(j), including criteria for the operation of a voluntary funding mechanism; CEPA implementation; a framework for monitoring implementation of the 2010 target and integration of targets into the thematic work programmes; private sector engagement; and PAs, including high seas PAs.

COP-9: At its ninth meeting (May 2008, Bonn, Germany), the COP adopted: a Resource Mobilization Strategy; scientific criteria and guidance for marine protected areas, including in open ocean waters and deep sea habitats; and a roadmap for the negotiation of an international ABS regime, ensuring that three ABS Working Group and three expert group meetings will take place before the 2010 deadline for completion of negotiations. The COP also reviewed the work programme on agricultural biodiversity and adopted decisions on biofuels and biodiversity; forest biodiversity, including genetically modified trees; and biodiversity and climate change, including language cautioning against ocean fertilization.
SBSTTA

The Convention’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) is an intergovernmental advisory body established pursuant to Article 25 of the CBD to provide the COP with "timely advice" relating to implementation of the Convention. Its functions include: assessments of the status of biological diversity, and of the effects of the types of measures taken in accordance with the Convention; identification of technologies relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and response to questions that the COP may put to the body.

SBSTTA-1: At its first meeting (September 1995, Paris, France), SBSTTA adopted recommendations on: its modus operandi;components of biodiversity under threat; access to and transfer of technology; scientific and technical information to be contained in national reports; contribution to the FAO 1996 International Technical Conference on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; and marine and coastal biodiversity. SBSTTA-1 requested flexibility to create: two open-ended working groups to meet simultaneously during future SBSTTA meetings; ad hoc technical panels of experts as needed; and a roster of experts.

SBSTTA-2: At its second meeting (September 1996, Montreal, Canada), SBSTTA adopted recommendations on: monitoring and assessment of biodiversity; capacity building for taxonomy and for biosafety; economic valuation of biodiversity; access to, and transfer of, technology; agricultural, terrestrial, and marine and coastal biodiversity; traditional knowledge; and the CHM.

SBSTTA-3: At its third meeting (September 1997, Montreal, Canada), SBSTTA adopted recommendations on: the implementation of the CHM's pilot phase; marine and coastal, forest, and agricultural biodiversity; biodiversity indicators; and participation of developing countries in the Convention process.

SBSTTA-4: During its fourth meeting (June 1999, Montreal, Canada), SBSTTA made recommendations on: SBSTTA work programme; the GTI; dryland biodiversity; guiding principles on alien species; consequences of use of the technology for the control of plant gene expression; incorporation of biodiversity considerations into environmental impact assessment; and sustainable use, including tourism.

SBSTTA-5: The fifth session of SBSTTA (January-February 2000, Montreal, Canada) adopted recommendations on, inter alia: the pilot phase of the CHM; the GTI review; guiding principles for alien species; inland water, marine and coastal, forest, dryland and agricultural biodiversity; the ecosystem approach; biodiversity indicators; sustainable use; and the second national reports.

SBSTTA-6: The sixth meeting of SBSTTA (March 2001, Montreal, Canada) focused on invasive alien species. The meeting also produced recommendations on: ad hoc technical expert groups; marine and coastal biodiversity; inland water ecosystems; scientific assessments; the GTI; biodiversity and climate change; and migratory species.

SBSTTA-7: The seventh session of SBSTTA (November 2001, Montreal, Canada) focused on forest biodiversity and its draft work programme, while also producing recommendations on: agricultural biodiversity, including the International Pollinators Initiative; the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; incentive measures; monitoring and indicators; environmental impact assessment; and sustainable use and sustainable tourism.

SBSTTA-8: The eighth meeting of SBSTTA (March 2003, Montreal, Canada) focused on drafting a work programme on mountain biodiversity, and also adopted recommendations on: inland waters; marine and coastal biodiversity; dry and sub-humid lands; biodiversity and tourism; and SBSTTA operations.

SBSTTA-9: The ninth meeting of SBSTTA (November 2003, Montreal, Canada) focused on protected areas, and technology transfer and cooperation. The meeting also adopted recommendations on: the GTI; the ecosystem approach; sustainable use; forest and mountain, biodiversity; perverse incentives; monitoring and indicators; biodiversity and climate change; integration of outcome-oriented targets into the CBD work programmes; the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; and invasive alien species.

SBSTTA-10: The tenth meeting of SBSTTA (February 2005, Bangkok, Thailand) developed a work programme on island biodiversity and confirmed the suitability of various indicators to assess progress towards the 2010 target of reducing the current rate of biodiversity loss significantly. The meeting also adopted recommendations on: the integration of global, outcome-oriented targets into the Convention’s work programmes; steps for the review of implementation of the GTI work programme; options for a cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition; and the application of ways and means to remove or mitigate perverse incentives. SBSTTA-10 also adopted terms of reference for an ad hoc technical expert group on biodiversity and climate change, and transmitted its comments on the report of the expert group on genetic use restriction technologies to the Working Group on Article 8(j).

SBSTTA-11: At its eleventh meeting (November-December 2005, Montreal, Canada), SBSTTA focused on dry and sub-humid lands and the GTI. It also adopted recommendations on: implications of the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; sustainable use; synergy among activities addressing biodiversity, climate change, land degradation and desertification; marine and coastal biodiversity; inland waters; incentive measures and valuation tools; and invasive alien species.

SBSTTA-12: At its twelfth meeting (July 2007, Paris, France), SBSTTA adopted recommendations on: strategic issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, including improving SBSTTA’s effectiveness; scientific and technical issues of relevance to achieving the 2010 target, focusing on biodiversity and climate change, and dry and sub-humid lands; and the new and emerging issue of liquid biofuel production.

SBSTTA-13: At its thirteenth meeting (February 2008, Rome, Italy), SBSTTA adopted recommendations on: the in-depth reviews of the work programmes of agricultural and forest biodiversity; scientific and technical issues of relevance to the implementation of the 2010 target relating to marine and coastal biodiversity, inland waters, invasive alien species, and biodiversity and climate change; and the modus operandi for addressing new and emerging issues.
Working Group on Access and Benefit-Sharing

The Convention contains provisions on access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising out of their use, which address both users and providers, in Articles 15 (Access to Genetic Resources), 16.3 (access to and transfer of technology that makes use of genetic resources), 19.1 (participation in biotechnological research on genetic resources) and 19.2 (access to results and benefits from biotechnologies). The Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) was established by COP Decision V/26.

COP-4: The Convention’s work on ABS was initiated at COP-4 (May 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia), when parties decided to establish a regionally balanced panel of experts on ABS, appointed by governments and composed of representatives from the private and public sectors, and indigenous and local communities, with the mandate to develop a common understanding of basic concepts and to explore options for ABS on mutually agreed terms (MAT). The COP also decided that an intersessional meeting on the operations of the Convention (ISOC) hold a preparatory discussion on ABS to provide input into COP-5.

ISOC: The ISOC (June 1999, Montreal, Canada) made recommendations for the preparation, composition and agenda of the panel of experts on ABS and for future work to develop a common appreciation of the relationship between intellectual property rights (IPRs) and relevant provisions of the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the CBD.

ABS EP-1: The first meeting of the panel of experts on ABS (October 1999, San José, Costa Rica) focused on: ABS arrangements for scientific and commercial purposes; legislative, administrative and policy measures at the national and regional levels; regulatory procedures and incentive measures; and capacity building. The Panel developed a set of recommendations, which included general conclusions and specific points on prior informed consent (PIC), MAT, information needs and capacity building.

COP-5: At its fifth meeting (May 2000, Nairobi, Kenya), the COP established the Working Group on ABS to develop guidelines and other approaches on: PIC; MAT; roles, responsibilities and participation of stakeholders; aspects of in situ and ex situ conservation and sustainable use; mechanisms for benefit-sharing; and the preservation and maintenance of traditional knowledge. COP-5 also decided to reconvene the panel of experts on ABS to conduct further work on user and provider experience in ABS and stakeholder involvement.

ABS EP-2: The second meeting of the panel of experts on ABS (March 2001, Montreal, Canada) produced a report and conclusions on: user and provider experience in ABS processes; approaches for stakeholder involvement; and complementary options to address ABS within the CBD framework, including possible elements for guidelines. The Panel’s report and conclusions were forwarded to the first meeting of the Working Group on ABS.

FIRST MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON ABS (ABS-1): At its first meeting (October 2001, Bonn, Germany), the Working Group on ABS developed the draft Bonn guidelines on ABS and also: identified elements for a capacity-building action plan; called for an open-ended workshop on capacity building for ABS; and considered the role of IPRs in implementation of ABS arrangements.

COP-6: At its sixth meeting (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), the COP adopted Decision VI/24 which addresses: the Bonn Guidelines on ABS, aimed to assist governments and other stakeholders when establishing legislative, administrative or policy measures on ABS and/or when negotiating contractual ABS arrangements; other approaches, including capacity building; the role of IPRs in the implementation of ABS arrangements; the relationship with TRIPS; cooperation with other relevant intergovernmental organizations; information related to ABS arrangements; and ex situ collections acquired prior to the CBD’s entry into force and not addressed by the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

WSSD: In the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa) called for negotiation, within the CBD framework, of an international regime for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.

MYPOW: The Open-ended Intersessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work for the CBD COP up to 2010 (March 2003, Montreal, Canada) discussed the WSSD call to negotiate an international regime for benefit-sharing, and recommended that the Working Group on ABS consider the process, nature, scope, elements and modalities of an international regime on ABS at its second meeting, on the basis of governments’ submissions.

ABS-2: At its second meeting (December 2003, Montreal, Canada), the ABS Working Group adopted recommendations on: experience with the Bonn Guidelines; an international ABS regime; use of terms; other approaches for implementing the CBD provisions on ABS; measures to ensure compliance with PIC and MAT; and capacity building. Although much time and effort was devoted to debating the process, nature, scope, elements and modalities of an international ABS regime, a heavily bracketed text was forwarded to COP-7.

COP-7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP adopted Decision VII/19, which addresses: the Bonn Guidelines; the use of terms and the need for definitions and/or glossary; other approaches, complementary to the Bonn Guidelines; measures to support compliance with PIC and MAT; capacity building for ABS; and the negotiations of an international ABS regime. The COP adopted the Action Plan on capacity building for ABS, and further decided to mandate the ABS Working Group to negotiate an international ABS regime and agreed on the terms of reference for such negotiation, including the process, nature, scope and elements for consideration.

ABS-3: At its third meeting (February 2005, Bangkok, Thailand), the ABS Working Group initiated negotiations on an international regime on ABS. It also addressed: additional approaches to complement the Bonn Guidelines on ABS, such as an international certificate of origin/source/legal provenance; measures to ensure compliance with PIC and MAT; and options for indicators for ABS.

ABS-4: At its fourth meeting (January-February 2006, Granada, Spain), the ABS Working Group continued talks on an international ABS regime and concluded with a draft text to serve as the basis for future negotiations. It also discussed issues related to an international certificate of origin/source/legal provenance, and measures to ensure compliance with PIC and MAT.

COP-8: At its eighth meeting (March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), in Decision VIII/4, the COP instructed the ABS Working Group to complete its work with regard to the international ABS regime at the earliest possible time before COP 10, to be held in 2010, under the co-chairmanship of Fernando Casas (Colombia) and Timothy Hodges (Canada). The COP also established a group of technical experts to explore options of an internationally recognized certificate of origin/source/legal provenance. Following a lengthy controversy over the status of the ABS 4 outcome, the COP decided to transmit it to ABS 5, along with the outcomes of the group of experts on the certificate. The COP also requested the Working Group on Article 8(j) to contribute to the mandate of the ABS Working Group on issues relevant to traditional knowledge.

ABS-5: At its fifth meeting (October 2007, Montreal, Canada), the ABS Working Group considered substantive elements of an international regime on ABS, including: access to genetic resources; fair and equitable sharing of benefits; compliance with prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms; an internationally recognized certificate of origin/source/legal provenance; traditional knowledge and genetic resources in the context of ABS; and capacity building. Delegates also discussed two informal documents tabled by the Co-Chairs, the Co-Chairs’ notes on proposals made at the meeting and their reflections on progress made, and agreed they would be circulated to parties as information documents.

ABS-6: At its sixth meeting (January 2008, Geneva, Switzerland), the ABS Working Group focused on the main components of the international regime, including fair and equitable sharing of benefits, access to genetic resources, compliance, traditional knowledge and genetic resources, and capacity building. The Working Group made considerable progress in producing a short and concise working document on the international regime, consisting of sections on the main components and lists of items “to be further elaborated with the aim of incorporating them in the international regime” in the case of agreement in principle, or “for further consideration,” in the case of disagreement or need for further clarification.

COP-9: At its ninth meeting (May 2008, Bonn, Germany), the COP adopted a roadmap for the negotiation of the international regime, ensuring that the ABS Working Group will meet three times before the 2010 deadline for completion of negotiations. The COP also established three expert groups on: compliance; concepts, terms, working definitions and sectoral approaches; and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. It instructed the ABS Working Group to finalize the international regime and to submit an instrument/instruments for consideration and adoption by COP-10, and transmitted to ABS-7 the working document produced at ABS-6 as amended by the COP, as the basis for further negotiation.
Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions

Article 8(j) of the CBD states that Parties will, subject to national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of knowledge-holders; and encourage the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices. Related provisions of the Convention include: Article 10(c), which calls on Parties to protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices; Article 17.2, which addresses scientific and technical information exchange with specific reference to traditional knowledge; and Article 18.4, which states that Parties shall encourage and develop methods of cooperation for the development and use of technologies, including indigenous and traditional technologies, pursuant to the CBD objectives. Additionally, CBD discussions on cross-cutting issues, such as the ecosystem approach, ABS, and the CHM, as well as the specific ecosystem themes, have addressed the integration of considerations relating to Article 8(j) and indigenous and local communities. The Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions was established by Decision IV/9.

COP-3: At its third meeting (November 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina), the COP adopted Decision III/14 on implementation of Article 8(j), which: requests Parties to develop national legislation to implement Article 8(j); establishes a process to advance work on implementation of Article 8(j), including the organization of an intersessional workshop, with representation by governments and indigenous and local communities; and requests the interim financial mechanism to examine support of capacity-building projects for indigenous and local communities.

WORKSHOP ON TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: The Workshop on Traditional Knowledge and Biological Diversity (November 1997, Madrid, Spain) prepared a report for COP-4, containing an extensive list of options for a work programme on: participatory mechanisms; status and trends in relation to Article 8(j); traditional cultural practices for conservation and sustainable use; equitable sharing of benefits; exchange and dissemination of information; and monitoring and legal elements. The report also includes recommendations for actions at the national and international levels, and suggests terms of reference for an open-ended working group or a subsidiary body on Article 8(j).

COP-4: At its fourth meeting, the COP decided to establish an Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-sessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions, with representation from indigenous and local communities to the widest possible extent, to provide advice on the development of a work programme on Article 8(j) and its implementation, on the basis of the report of the Madrid workshop. The COP also requested the Executive Secretary to apply for observer status in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and to enhance cooperation with it.

FIRST MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(J): The first meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) (March 2000, Seville, Spain) considered elements for a work programme on Article 8(j), including: participatory mechanisms for indigenous and local communities; equitable sharing of benefits; legal elements; status and trends in relation to Article 8(j) and related provisions; traditional cultural practices for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use; exchange and dissemination of information; and monitoring. The Working Group also addressed: the application and development of legal and other appropriate forms of protection for traditional knowledge; international cooperation among indigenous and local communities; and opportunities for collaboration and implementation of the work programme.

COP-5: At its fifth meeting (May 2000, Nairobi, Kenya), by Decision V/16, the COP adopted a work programme on Article 8(j) divided into two phases, comprising elements and tasks on: participatory mechanisms; status and trends of traditional knowledge; traditional cultural practices for conservation and sustainable use; equitable sharing of benefits; exchange and dissemination of information; and monitoring and legal elements. The decision extends the mandate of the Working Group to review progress in implementation and recommend further action, and explore ways for increased participation by indigenous and local communities in other CBD thematic work programmes. It also notes the importance of case studies and sui generis systems for protecting traditional knowledge, while recognizing the importance of maintaining cultural identities and the material base of such knowledge. It requests Parties to support the development of traditional knowledge registers, and emphasizes cooperation and information exchange among indigenous and local communities.

SECOND MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(j): At its second meeting (February 2002, Montreal, Canada), the Working Group considered: an outline for the composite report on the status and trends of traditional knowledge; recommendations for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding developments proposed on or impacting the lands of indigenous and local communities; participatory mechanisms; and the effectiveness of existing instruments impacting the protection of traditional knowledge, particularly IPRs.

COP-6: At its sixth meeting (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), the COP considered the progress made in the integration of Article 8(j) into the CBD thematic work programmes, and identified actions to be taken with respect to forest, marine and coastal, inland water, and agricultural biodiversity. Decision VI/10 also calls for progress reports on implementation of the work programme and on the integration of Article 8(j) into the CBD thematic work programmes. COP-6 adopted the outline of the composite report on the status and trends of traditional knowledge, and the recommendations for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments. It requests the Working Group on Article 8(j) to further work on guidelines for impact assessments, and to address sui generis systems for the protection of traditional knowledge and equitable sharing of benefits. It invites WIPO to consider mechanisms to protect traditional knowledge in IPR applications, and calls for cooperation with other relevant organizations. It also calls for funding, improved communication and capacity building for indigenous participation through the establishment of a thematic focal point in the CHM.

THIRD MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(J): At its third meeting (December 2003, Montreal, Canada), the Working Group on Article 8(j) adopted recommendations on: integration of the work programme on Article 8(j) into the CBD thematic areas; progress in the implementation of the work programme; recommendations from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII); genetic use restriction technologies; elements for a sui generis system for the protection of traditional knowledge; participatory and communication mechanisms for the effective involvement of indigenous and local communities; the Akwé: Kon guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments; the composite report regarding traditional knowledge; and technology transfer and cooperation.

COP-7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP adopted: the Akwé: Kon guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding developments proposed to take place on, or which are likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities; and a series of decisions regarding participatory mechanisms, with a view to increasing the participation of indigenous and local communities in the work of the Convention, including establishment of a voluntary funding mechanism, and development of the CHM thematic focal point and communication networks and tools. The COP decided that further work be undertaken to complete the first phase of the composite report on the status and trends of traditional knowledge and initiate the second. It mandated the Working Group on Article 8(j) to: further develop elements for sui generis systems of traditional knowledge protection, assess the role of registers and databases, review the relevance of the Bonn Guidelines on ABS, and make recommendations regarding the international ABS regime; develop elements of an ethical code of conduct to ensure respect for the cultural and intellectual heritage of indigenous and local communities, in response to a recommendation of the UNPFII; and consider the potential socioeconomic impacts of genetic use restriction technologies on indigenous and local communities.

FOURTH MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(J): At its fourth meeting, (January 2006, Granada, Spain), the Working Group established a process aiming to adopt, by COP-9, an ethical code of conduct for the respect of the cultural and intellectual heritage of indigenous and local communities, and created a voluntary funding mechanism for indigenous representatives to participate in the CBD process. The meeting also discussed indigenous participation in the ABS Working Group, and adopted recommendations on: potential socioeconomic impacts of genetic use restriction technologies; indicators of progress towards the 2010 target linked to Article 8(j); elements for sui generis systems of traditional knowledge protection; recommendations to the UNPFII; and a composite report on status and trends of traditional knowledge.

COP-8: At its eighth meeting (March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), in Decision VIII/5, the COP requested the Article 8(j) Working Group to address, as a priority, the timeframe to initiate work on the remaining tasks of the work programme, and to contribute to the mandate of the ABS Working Group by providing views on the elaboration and negotiation of an international regime on access and benefit-sharing relevant to traditional knowledge. It also urged governments to further advance the elements of the plan of action for the retention of traditional knowledge, and adopted criteria for the operation of the voluntary funding mechanism.

ARTICLE 8(J) WG-5: At its fifth meeting (October 2007, Montreal, Canada), the Working Group on Article 8(j) adopted recommendations on: the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; the composite report on the status and trends of traditional knowledge; the traditional knowledge action plan; sui generis systems for traditional knowledge protection; and an ethical code of conduct. Delegates did not reach agreement on a recommendation on inputs from the Working Group to the negotiation of an international regime on ABS, due to divergence of views with regard to both procedural and substantive issues.

COP-9: At its ninth meeting (May 2008, Bonn, Germany), in Decision IX/13, the COP decided to initiate work on tasks 7 (guidelines for benefit-sharing and PIC), 10 (guidelines for prevention of unlawful appropriation of traditional knowledge), 12 (guidelines to guarantee indigenous rights over traditional knowledge) and 15 (repatriation of information) of the work programme; encouraged submissions on the desirability and potential elements of a strategy for conservation and sustainable use, including customary use, of biodiversity by indigenous and local communities, and requested the Working Group on Article 8(j) to further develop the draft elements of a code of ethical conduct and to submit them to COP-10.
Working Group on the Review of Implementation

The Working Group on the Review of Implementation (WGRI) was established by COP-7, with the mandate to address a range of implementation-related issues.

ISOC: The Intersessional Meeting on the Operations of the Convention (June 1999, Montreal, Canada) considered possible arrangements to improve preparations for, and conduct of, COP meetings. It also held discussions on ABS, in preparation for COP-5.

MYPOW: The Open-ended Intersessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work for the CBD COP up to 2010 (March 2003, Montreal, Canada) adopted recommendations on: achieving the 2010 target; the multi-year work programme of the COP up to 2010; legal and socioeconomic aspects of technology transfer and cooperation; the WSSD outcome as it relates to the Convention process; an international regime for ABS; and future progress evaluation in implementing the Convention and the Strategic Plan.

COP-7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP established the Working Group on the Review of Implementation, with the mandate to address a range of implementation-related issues, including: progress in the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan and achievements leading up to the 2010 target, particularly at the national level; impacts and effectiveness of Convention processes and bodies; cooperation with other conventions, organizations and initiatives; stakeholder engagement; monitoring, reporting and evaluation processes; and means of identifying and overcoming obstacles to the effective implementation of the Convention.

WGRI-1: At its first meeting (September 2005, Montreal, Canada), the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation adopted recommendations on: implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan; the 2010 target; impacts and effectiveness of Convention processes and bodies; cooperation with other conventions, organizations and initiatives; stakeholder engagement; and monitoring, reporting and evaluation processes.

COP-8: At its eighth meeting (March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), the COP decided to reconvene the Working Group on Review of Implementation, to undertake an in-depth review of the implementation of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan, in accordance with decisions VIII/8 and VIII/13 on national biodiversity strategies and action plans, financial resources and the financial mechanism. The COP made additional requests to the Working Group concerning guidance to the financial mechanism, the Global Biodiversity Outlook and Operations of the Convention.

WGRI-2: At its second meeting (July 2007, Paris, France), the Working Group on Review of Implementation adopted recommendations on: the implementation of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan (national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and capacity building, access to and transfer of technology and technology cooperation); options and a draft strategy for resource mobilization; opportunities for streamlining guidance provided to the GEF; and operations of the Convention.

COP-9: At its ninth meeting (May 2008, Bonn, Germany), in accordance with the Working Group’s recommendations, the COP adopted a strategy for resource mobilization and a decision on review of implementation of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan. The COP decided to convene a third meeting of the Working Group on Review of Implementation, to prepare a revised and updated Strategic Plan including a revised biodiversity target, as well as a multi-year programme of work for the period 2011-2022, and proposals for the periodicity of meetings after 2010, for COP-10 consideration. It also requested the Working Group to undertake an in-depth review of progress towards goals 1 (fulfillment of the Convention’s leadership role in international biodiversity issues) and 4 (better understanding, and broader societal engagement in CBD implementation) of the current Strategic Plan, and further requested the Working Group to consider the outcome and implications of the ad hoc open-ended intergovernmental multi-stakeholder meeting, to be convened by UNEP, to consider establishing an efficient international science-policy interface on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being.
Working Group on Protected Areas

The Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas was established by COP-7, to support and review the implementation of the work programme on protected areas. Its mandate included: exploring options for cooperation for the establishment of marine protected areas in marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, consistent with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and based on scientific information; exploring options for mobilizing as a matter of urgency through different mechanisms adequate and timely financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work by developing countries and countries with economies in transition; contributing to the further development of tool kits for the identification, designation, management, monitoring and evaluation of national and regional systems of PAs, including ecological networks, ecological corridors, buffer zones, with special regard to indigenous and local communities and stakeholder involvement and benefit-sharing mechanisms; and recommending to COP ways and means to improve implementation of the work programme on PAs;

COP-4: At its fourth meeting (May 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia), the COP decided to consider protected areas (PAs) as one of the three main themes for COP-7. It encouraged the CBD Executive Secretary to develop relationships with other processes with a view to fostering good management practices in several areas related to PAs, including ecosystem and bioregional approaches to PA management and sustainable use of biodiversity, mechanisms to enhance stakeholder involvement, and transboundary PAs. It also established an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on marine and coastal PAs. PAs formed a central element of the thematic work programmes on marine and coastal biodiversity, and inland water ecosystems.

COP-6: At its sixth meeting (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), the COP adopted the expanded work programme on forest biodiversity, which contains a number of activities related to PAs, and calls for work on the role and effectiveness of PAs. It also adopted the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which specifies that by 2010 at least 10% of each of the world’s ecological regions should be effectively conserved, implying increasing representation of different ecological regions in PAs, and improving effectiveness of PAs; and protection of 50% of the most important areas for plant diversity should be ensured through effective conservation measures, including PAs. COP-6 further established an ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG) on PAs to prepare consideration of the issue by SBSTTA-9 and COP-7.

MYPOW: The Open-ended Inter-sessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work of the CBD COP up to 2010 (March 2003, Montreal, Canada) requested that the AHTEG on PAs, SBSTTA-9 and COP-7 consider the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa), which called for supporting initiatives for hotspot areas and other areas essential for biodiversity, and for promoting the development of national and regional ecological networks and corridors (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, paragraph 44(g)).

SBSTTA-9: On the basis of the work of the AHTEG on PAs, SBSTTA-9 (November 2003, Montreal, Canada) considered PAs as one of the themes for in-depth consideration and proposed a work programme.

COP-7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP adopted the work programme on PAs, aiming to support the establishment and maintenance by 2010 for terrestrial and by 2012 for marine areas of comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional systems of PAs. The work programme consists of four interlinked elements on: direct actions for planning, selecting, establishing, strengthening and managing PA systems and sites; governance, participation, equity and benefit-sharing; enabling activities; and standards, assessment and monitoring. COP-7 further decided to establish an Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on PAs and assess progress in the implementation of the work programme at each COP meeting until 2010.

WGPA-1: The first meeting of the Working Group on PAs (June 2005, Montecatini, Italy) adopted recommendations on: options for cooperation for establishing marine protected areas beyond national jurisdiction; further development of toolkits for the identification, designation, management, monitoring and evaluation of national and regional PA systems; options for mobilizing adequate and timely financial resources for the implementation of the work programme by developing countries and countries with economies in transition; and a process for the review of implementation of the work programme.

COP-8: At its eighth meeting (March 2006, Curitiba, Brazil), the COP assessed the implementation of the work programme for 2004-2006 and decided to convene a second meeting of the Working Group on PAs to evaluate progress and elaborate recommendations for improved implementation of the work programme. The COP also invited parties to elaborate financial plans incorporating national, regional and international sources, to meet the costs to effectively and sustainably implement and manage national and regional PA systems. Regarding options for cooperation for the establishment of marine PAs in marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, the COP recognized the UN General Assembly’s central role in addressing this issue and invited UNGA to decide, at its sixty-first session, to establish a timely follow-up process for the enhanced conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The COP recognized that the CBD has a key role in supporting the work of the General Assembly by focusing on provision of scientific and, as appropriate, technical information and advice relating to marine biodiversity, the application of the ecosystem approach and the precautionary approach, and in delivering the 2010 biodiversity target, and decided to establish an expert workshop on ecological criteria and biogeographic classification systems for identifying marine areas in need of protection.

WGPA-2: At its second meeting (February 2008, Rome, Italy), the Working Group on PAs adopted two heavily bracketed recommendations on the review of implementation of the work programme and on options for mobilizing financial resources for its implementation. Concerns were voiced with regard to the lack of full consideration of financing needs and the low level of political impetus in the context of PAs, as well as to procedural shortcomings.

COP-9: At its ninth meeting (May 2008, Bonn, Germany), in Decision IX/18, the COP welcomed the efforts of the LifeWeb Initiative, and urged parties, to finalize, no later than 2009, the ecological gap analysis to achieve the 2010 and 2012 targets and other targets of the programme of work. The COP invited parties to improve and diversify and strengthen PA governance types, in accordance with appropriate national legislation, including recognizing and taking into account indigenous, local and other community-based organizations. In Decision IX/20, the COP adopted scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas in need of protection, and scientific guidance for designing representative networks of marine PAs, requested the Executive Secretary to transmit them to the relevant General Assembly processes, and urged parties to apply them, as appropriate, with a view to implement conservation and management measures, including the establishment of representative networks of marine PAs. The COP further decided to convene an expert workshop to provide scientific and technical guidance on the use and further development of biogeographic classification systems, and guidance on the identification of areas beyond national jurisdiction, which meet the scientific criteria.
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