Biodiversity and Wildlife
FOURTH SESSION OF THE WIPO INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND GENETIC RESOURCES, TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE
The fourth meeting of WIPO's Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore took place from 9-17 December 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The meeting focused on possible ways of providing legal protection for traditional knowledge and folklore, including through the use of databases, a multilateral sui generis system and disclosure requirements for country of origin, benefit sharing and prior informed consent in patent applications. On the sidelines of the meeting, a group of indigenous experts launched the “Call of the Earth” initiative, aiming to respond to the “threats and challenges of emerging international intellectual property policies that do not adequately reflect or respond to the concerns of indigenous peoples.” For more information on the Committee's fourth meeting, visit: http://www.wipo.int/globalissues/igc/documents/index.html#4
and BRIDGES Trade BioRes, Vol.2 No. 20 (20 December 2002) at: http://www.ictsd.org
For more information on the “Call of the Earth” initiative, visit: http://www.earthcall.org
MEETING OF LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES
Ministers and high-ranking representatives of the “Like-Minded Megadiverse” countries assembled from 27-29 November 2002 in Cusco, Peru, to discuss access to genetic resources, traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights.
The ministerial meeting attended by officials from Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Venezuela was preceded by an expert meeting on access and benefit sharing. The high-level representatives agreed, inter alia, to formulate a strategy and action plan to develop joint coordination, to establish a mechanism for cooperation and exchange of information among their countries, to establish an ad hoc working group on mechanisms for fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge, and to urge the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to initiate the negotiations for an international regime on benefit sharing, called for by the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The full text of the Cusco Declaration is available at: http://www.comunidadandina.org/ingles/document/cusco29-11-02.htm
Global Mountain Summit
1 November 2002: This feature event of the International Year of Mountains (IYM) convened from 29 October 2002-1 November 2002 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The Government of Kyrgyzstan with support from UNEP and other partners organized the first-ever Global Mountain Summit, which was attended by over 600 people from 60 countries. The Bishkek Mountain Platform – the Summit's main output – is designed to guide governments and other actors involved with mountain issues toward achieving the objectives of improving mountain people's livelihoods, protecting mountain ecosystems and using mountain resources wisely. The Platform also supports the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions, agreed to at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), as the framework to provide follow-up to the IYM. The Platform will be forwarded to the United Nations General Assembly by the Government of Kyrgyzstan.
Italy and Switzerland have pledge support to help FAO, the lead agency of the IYM, and UNEP to ensure that follow-up institutional arrangements are made, including support to the proposed creation of a Network of Development Mountain States and Regions, which will form part of the Partnership. Norway announced at the Summit that it would help clean up nuclear waste dumps in Kyrgyzstan's mountains to prevent a potentially devastating environmental disaster in one of the most densely populated areas of Central Asia.
For more information contact: Andrei Iatsenia, UNEP Mountains Programme Coordinator; tel: +41-22-917-8273; fax: +41-22-917-8036; e-mail: email@example.com
; Internet: http://www.globalmountainsummit.org/Home_Page.html
NINTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
The ninth regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-9) was held from 14-18 October 2002, at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, following the first Meeting of the CGRFA acting as the Interim Commission for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR).
Approximately 288 participants from 103 countries and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.
CGRFA-9 considered agenda items related to animal genetic resources (AnGR), including the report of the second session of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources (ITWG-AnGR), its future work and the Report on the State of the World's AnGR. Regarding plant genetic resources, delegates discussed: the report of the first session of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Plant Genetic Resources (ITWG-PGR) and its future work; implementation and monitoring of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) and preparation of the second Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources; the facilitating mechanism for the GPA's implementation; and other elements of the FAO Global System for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA). The Earth Negotiations Bulletin final report outlining these discussions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/vol09/enb09246e.html
Second Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
18 October 2002: The second Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) convened from 16-18 October 2002 in Beijing, China.
The Assembly gathered Ministers and high-level officials from GEF Member States to exchange views on the policies and operations of the GEF. During the three-day Assembly, delegates heard statements from approximately 80 representatives, including ones by the President of the People's Republic of China, the CEO/Chair of the GEF, the heads of the GEF's Implementing and Executing Agencies, and representatives of multilateral environmental conventions, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
During the Assembly, participants considered the Second Overall Performance Study of the GEF, the CEO'S Report on the Policies, Operations and Future Development of the GEF, Proposed Amendments to the Instrument, the Report on the Third Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund, and the Report on Membership. A roundtable of ministers and other heads of delegations and several panels also convened. At the close of the meeting, participants adopted the Summary of the Second GEF Assembly, which includes the Beijing Declaration and a summary of the decisions of the Assembly.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/gef/assembly2/sdvol14num7.html
FIRST MEETING OF THE CGRFA ACTING AS INTERIM COMMITTEE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
The first Meeting of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) acting as the Interim Committee for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) was held from 9-11 October 2002, at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome.
Approximately 280 participants from 99 countries and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting.
The Interim Committee was convened to: adopt its rules of procedure; consult with the International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) on the agreements to be signed with the Treaty's Governing Body; agree on the terms of reference (TOR) for the expert group on the terms of the standard Material Transfer Agreement (MTA); and initiate cooperative arrangements with the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
During the Committee's first session, delegates adopted the rules of procedure for the Interim Committee and established an open-ended expert working group to propose draft rules of procedure and financial rules, and draft procedures for compliance. They also finalized the TOR for the expert group on the MTA. The other elements of the work programme, namely consultation with the IARCs, international cooperation and the funding strategy for the Treaty will be considered at the second session of the Interim Committee, which is to be held by 2004. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/vol09/enb09245e.html
Second Biennial GEF International Waters Conference
30 September 2002: The Second Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters Conference was held from 25-29 September 2002 in Dalian, China.
Over 180 participants representing 55 different GEF-IW projects were in attendance. Participants met to review the GEF's Global International Waters portfolio and to share experiences and best practices for international waters management.
Participants convened in Plenary sessions and parallel working groups on four thematic issues : Working Together – Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses, Strategic Action Programme, and Participatory Processes; Large Marine Ecosystems and Coasts – Experiences and Lessons Learned; Freshwater Basin Management – Experiences and Lessons Learned; and Building Sustainability – Partnerships and Finance. Delegates also learned about the GEF IW:LEARN programme, an Internet-based "global knowledge community" designed to increase capacity among transboundary water resource projects worldwide. For more information visit: http://www.iwlearn.org
CMS COP-7 AND AEWA MOP-2
The seventh Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) was held from 18-24 September 2002, in Bonn, Germany.
The meeting, attended by approximately 300 participants, representing 70 countries, 17 inter-governmental organizations, and 28 non-governmental organizations, discussed, inter alia, amendments to the Convention's Appendices; measures to improve the conversation status of Appendix I and II species; institutional, financial and administrative arrangements; and reviewed the implementation of the CMS's current agreements, and developments for future agreements.
The 11th Meeting of the CMS Scientific Council and the 24th Meeting of the CMS Standing Committee were held prior to COP-7 on 14-17 September and 17 September, respectively. The second Meeting of the Parties (MOP-2) to the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) followed CMS COP-7 on 25-27 September.
CMS COP-7 started on a high note with the signing of a Headquarters Agreement between the German Government and the CMS Secretariat, which officially established Bonn as the CMS Secretariat's headquarters, the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), and the addition of 15 new Parties to the Convention. By meeting's end, 37 species were added to Appendices I and II; 20 on Appendix I and 21 on Appendix II. The Fin, Sei and Sperm whales, and the Great White Shark were listed on both. However, the rapidly growing Convention, offset by a restricted budget, will have significant implications for the CMS Secretariat's ability to carry out its ambitious agenda, developing countries' ability to implement their Convention obligations, and future projects to be developed. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/vol18/enb1821e.html
International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions
20 June 2002: The International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions (SARD-M2002) was held from 16-20 June 2002 at the Kirchgemeindehaus, Adelboden, Switzerland.
The conference was organized by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, in conjunction with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Over 200 participants attended the meeting, including government ministers and other senior officials, as well as representatives of different local populations, academic and research institutions, intergovernmental organizations, business and industry, non-governmental organizations, and the media.
The conference aimed to promote mutual understanding, solidarity and information sharing regarding the challenges and possibilities of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) in mountain regions. It sought to enhance networking and the creation of strategic alliances between various stakeholders, as well as to provide a forum to articulate concerns, share ideas and make recommendations for the future of SARD in mountain regions.
Participants heard keynote speeches, and engaged in panel and audience discussions to consider cross cutting themes in SARD. Participants then divided into eight working groups to study specific local initiatives and programmes, highlight lessons learned, define specific priorities for action, and formulate concrete recommendations. The recommendations flowing from the working groups formed the basis for the Adelboden Declaration on SARD Mountains.
The Declaration will be considered by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Johannesburg, 26 August-4 September 2002, and the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit, Kyrgyzstan, 29 October-1 November 2002, and is expected to promote and catalyze further implementation of Agenda 21.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/mountains/sard/
12TH MEETING OF THE CITES PLANTS COMMITTEE
The 12th meeting of the Plants Committee (PC-12) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 13-16 May 2002, in Leiden, the Netherlands.
The meeting drew together nearly 70 participants from States, and international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. Participants met in Plenary all day on Monday and Tuesday, 13-14 May, and on Thursday, 16 May, into the evening to complete all of their agenda items, which included consideration of the following: follow-up of decisions taken at the 11th Conference of Parties (COP-11); technical and species proposals for COP-12; significant trade in plants; medicinal plants; review of the Appendices; checklists and nomenclature; strategic planning; and evaluation of certification schemes. An excursion was offered on Wednesday, 15 May, to view the flower exchange in Amsterdam, as well as several plant propagation nurseries.
With an atmosphere of genial camaraderie and a minimal amount of divisive politics and controversy, the Plants Committee finished its meeting a day earlier than scheduled. Numerous issues under consideration, including de-listing of artificially propagated orchid hybrids and potential future listings, such as Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum), will be forwarded to COP-12. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/cites/CITP2/
The third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held at the Netherlands Congress Centre in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 22-26 April 2002.
Approximately, 580 participants from 147 countries and 100 intergovernmental, non-governmental and industry organizations attended. Delegates met in Plenary, two working groups and two contact groups. Working Group I addressed: information sharing; handling, transport, packaging and identification (HTPI); monitoring and reporting; and other issues necessary for the Protocol's effective implementation. Working Group II addressed: liability and redress; compliance; and capacity building, including the roster of experts. ICCP-3 adopted thirteen recommendations, which will be considered by the first Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (MOP).
The most contentious areas of discussion at ICCP-3 concerned compliance, liability and redress, and HTPI, particularly regarding provisions in Article 18.2 on documentation for living modified organisms (LMOs) for food, feed or processing (LMO-FFPs), contained use and intentional introduction. Many delegates highlighted difficulties with the pace and sense of urgency of ICCP-3, noting its role as an interim preparatory body until the Protocol enters into force. Extensive, contentious discussions over process and texts to be transmitted to MOP-1 had many noting the end of the "Montpellier spirit," which reflected the goodwill established at ICCP-1. Looking ahead, most participants eagerly await the Protocol's entry into force as a means to re-engage in substantive decision-making regarding elements and procedures for the Protocol's implementation. MOP-1 will be held in conjunction with an extraordinary Conference of the Parties (COP) if the Protocol enters into force within a year, or in conjunction with CBD COP-7 in 2004, if later. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/vol09/enb09244e.html
Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
19 April 2002: The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place from 7-19 April 2002, at the Netherlands Congress Centre in The Hague.
Approximately 2000 participants attended, representing 176 governments, as well as UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), indigenous and local community organizations, and others. Delegates to COP-6 considered and adopted 36 decisions on the following substantive topics: forest biodiversity; alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats and species; identification, monitoring, indicators and assessments; the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI); the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC); the ecosystem approach; sustainable use; incentive measures; liability and redress; progress on ecosystem themes; access and benefit-sharing (ABS); the strategic plan, national reporting, CBD operations, and the multi-year work programme; financial resources and mechanism; scientific and technical cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM); education and public awareness; cooperation with other conventions and international initiatives; a contribution to the ten-year review of Agenda 21; and Article 8(j) on traditional knowledge. A High Level Segment on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), including a Ministerial Round Table, and a multi-stakeholder dialogue were convened during the second week of the meeting.
COP-6 was arguably the busiest COP to date, with afternoon and evening contact groups throughout. Despite contentious debates, the COP's highlights included adoption of a revised forest work programme, the Bonn Guidelines on ABS, the Strategic Plan and guiding principles for alien species. The meeting also served as an opportunity to review the Convention's activities in light of the upcoming WSSD and the long-term Strategic Plan. In addition to the substantive discussions, procedural questions were raised about the correlation of the Ministerial Declaration with the COP's decision on forest biodiversity, as well as the decision-making procedures regarding consensus and adoption of the guiding principles over the objections of some countries. Despite these concerns, most delegates noted the significant amount of work accomplished by COP-6, which sets the stage for national and intersessional activities in the lead up to COP-7.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/vol09/enb09239e.html
18TH MEETING OF THE CITES ANIMALS COMMITTEE
The 18th meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 8-12 April 2002, in San José, Costa Rica.
The meeting drew together about 110 participants from governments, as well as non-governmental, international and intergovernmental organizations.
Participants met in Plenary sessions to consider a number of items, including: implementation and review of Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.) on significant trade reviews; periodic review of animal taxa; registering and monitoring operations breeding Appendix I species for commercial purposes; trade in traditional medicines; transport of live animals; trade in hard corals; labelling of caviar; trade in the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin; control of captive breeding, ranching and wild harvest production systems; trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles in Southeast Asia; seahorses; sharks; sturgeon; and trade in alien species.
In addition, working and contact groups were formed to address: revision of Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.); significant trade reviews of species selected by the 16th meeting of the Animals Committee; captive breeding of Appendix I species; review of animal taxa; universal labelling of caviar; transport of live animals; trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles; sharks; sturgeon; hard corals; seahorses; and ex situ production and in situ conservation.
Progress was made in a number of issues, particularly on sharks, turtles, sturgeon and revision of the process of significant trade reviews. The results of the working groups and their recommendations will be considered at the 12th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP-12), which is scheduled for 3-15 November 2002, in Santiago, Chile. The Earth Negotiations Bulleting report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/vol21/enb2118e.html
CONFERENCE ON BIOTECHNOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - VOICES OF THE SOUTH AND NORTH
This international conference was held from 16-20 March 2002 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Sponsored by the Government of Egypt, the FAO, UNESCO, World Bank and OECD, the meeting included plenary sessions on: the new life sciences; feeding the world; genetic resources and biotechnology; and policy and regulatory implications of the new life sciences. It also included a Ministerial Forum and a closing session on "mapping the future and beyond." Specific themes addressed were food and agriculture, human health, and ethics and environmental safety. During the meeting, speakers stressed that biotechnology should be "reprioritized" to meet the needs of the poor. A representative of the Rockefeller Foundation argued that "most of our brightest scientists are working in sophisticated laboratories in industrial countries and have little or no knowledge of the needs of the poor living in rural areas, a continent away. We need more of our best scientists working in well-equipped laboratories and field facilities in developing countries, where they can interact with, learn from, and address the needs of poor people." In other statements, a representative of the Egyptian Agricultural Genetic Engineering Institute highlighted co-development of technology as an alternative to technology transfer. For more information visit: http://www.egyptbiotech.com/ http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=15074&new... http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=15100&new... http://www.agbiotechnet.com/topics/Database/newsarticle.asp?...
46TH MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES (CITES)
The Standing Committee of CITES met from 12-15 March 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Participants considered, inter alia, the implementation of Strategic and Action Plans, the establishment of an Implementation Committee, arrangements for COP-12, the financing of species conservation, national implementation, conservation of and trade in specific species, and regional reports. The Standing Committee decided to lift and/or modify trade measures on the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Fiji and Vietnam regarding live birds of prey, caviar and corals, in response to pledges by these governments to reform their wildlife management and trade practices. For more information visit: http://www.cites.org/eng/news/press_release.shtml http://www.cites.org/eng/cttee/standing/index.shtml
CODEX THIRD SESSION OF THE AD HOC INTERGOVERNMENTAL TASK FORCE ON BIOTECHNOLOGY
This session of the Codex Alimentarius Task Force on Biotechnology took place from 4-8 March 2002 in Yokohama, Japan.
Over 200 delegates participated in the meeting, reaching agreement on final draft principles for the risk analysis of foods derived from biotechnology. The principles provide the framework for analyzing the safety, allergenicity and nutritional value of GM foods, and allow for pre-market safety assessments on a case by case basis. In terms of risk management, they allow for post-market monitoring and provide guidance on analytical tools and methods. The agreement also represents an advance in negotiations concerning the use of tracing systems in relation to food in international trade. The Task Force will go on to focus on risk assessment of foods derived from microorganisms. For more information visit: http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/OIS/PRESS_NE/english/2002/3050-en...
Meeting on the Third Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund
28 February 2002: A meeting on the third replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund took place from 27-28 February 2002, in Paris, France.
Participants considered: the current second replenishment and projected funding status, estimated carryover to the third replenishment period and projected investment income for the third replenishment period; procurement restrictions related to arrears in donors' contributions to the GEF; the replenishment amount; policy recommendations; and the draft replenishment document entitled "Global Environment Facility Trust Fund Replenishment Document in the Form of a World Bank Resolution." The next GEF replenishment meeting will take place from 8-9 April in Copenhagen, Denmark. To access the Co-Chairs' summary of the meeting visit: http://www.gefweb.org/Replenishment/Joint_Summaries/Summary_...
Conference of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights
22 February 2002: The Conference on "How Intellectual Property Rights Could Work Better for Developing Countries and Poor People" took place from 21-22 February 2002, at the Royal Society in London, UK.
The conference, organized by the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR), was attended by approximately 220 participants from governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and representatives of the scientific, academic and private sectors. The conference addressed seven major themes, including: agriculture and genetic resources; traditional knowledge and folklore; copyright in developing countries; technology, development and intellectual property rights (IPR); medicines and vaccines; research tools, gene patenting and public-private partnerships; and international institutions, rules and practices, and capacity building.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/sdipr/
MEETING OF THE AD HOC INTERSESSIONAL WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(J) OF THE CONVENTION ON BIODIVERSITY
The second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-Sessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place in Montreal, Canada, from 4-8 February 2002.
The meeting was hosted by the Canadian Government and had approximately 300 participants from 79 countries, indigenous and local communities and international and non-governmental organizations.
Over the course of the week-long meeting, the Working Group considered: an outline for the composite report on the status and trends regarding the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities; draft guidelines/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 intellectual property rights (IPR). Delegates adopted six recommendations on the preceding items, as well as on progress in the integration of relevant tasks of the work programme on Article 8(j) and related provisions into the CBD's thematic programmes and on progress in implementation of the priority tasks of the work programme on Article 8(j). The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/biodiv/wg8j-2/