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WORKING GROUP II

Prof. al-Kassas reported that the Sub-Working Group on Article 1 (Use of Terms) met Tuesday morning with almost all regions represented. All the technical terms on sub-paragraphs (a),(b),(c),(d) and (h) have been revised and the final text in English will be distributed later. The Group proceeded to discuss Articles 18, 19 and 20.

ARTICLE 18 -- INFORMATION COLLECTION, ANALYSIS AND EXCHANGE: No consensus was reached on the chapeau, which urges Parties to integrate and coordinate information collection, analysis and exchange. The EU proposed deleting the sentence regarding early warning. The UK's proposal to delete the redundant phrase, "In meeting their obligations under the Convention," in Article 18, was adopted and applied to Articles 19 and 20.

Paragraph (a) and Sub-paragraphs (i),(ii) and (iii) were merged and amended to read "facilitate and strengthen the functioning of a global network of institutions and facilities for information collection, analysis, exchange and monitoring at all levels, which shall inter alia, [endeavor to use] compatible standards and systems, encompass relevant data and stations including in remote areas, and use and disseminate modern technology for data collection, transmission and assessment..."

Sub-paragraph (iv) was retained at the insistence of Sudan. Paragraph (g), stressing the need to compensate and protect indigenous and traditional knowledge, was left in brackets pending discussion of the same issue in Article 20. Canada wanted this text to be consistent in the use of the terms "local," "indigenous" or "traditional" knowledge, and a clarification of what constitutes "appropriate" or "adequate" compensation.

ARTICLE 19 -- RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: Paragraph 1: Delegates amended the text to read: "The Parties undertake to promote technical and scientific cooperation in the fields of [combatting] desertification and the mitigation of the effects of drought through appropriate national, sub-regional, regional and [existing] international institutions. To this end, they shall support research activities that:".

The last part of sub-paragraph 1(b) now reads, "..that improve the living standards of people in the affected areas." Sub-paragraph 1(c) was left in brackets. Sub-paragraph 1(d) now reads "develop and strengthen national and sub-regional research capabilities especially in affected [developing] countries [needing assistance] including the development of local skills and the strengthening of appropriate capacities, in countries where the research base is very weak, giving [greater importance][due attention] to [appropriate] multi-disciplinary and participative socio-economic research:". No consensus was reached on sub-paragraph 1(e), which addresses the relationship between poverty and desertification.

Paragraph 2 was revised with research priorities to be included in both the regional implementation annexes and the national action programmes, to be reviewed by the Conference of the Parties. Reference to the Permanent Secretariat's task in maintaining an inventory of research institutions was deleted.

ARTICLE 20 -- TRANSFER, ACQUISITION, ADAPTATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY: The Chair asked the different regional groups to work out compromise language on paragraph 1 since consensus could not be reached.

Sub-paragraph 1(b): The EU wanted to delete the reference to "facilitating access for developing countries on favorable terms..." There was some discussion that the language here should be consistent with Chapter 34 in Agenda 21. Canada proposed that relevant language from the Biodiversity Convention should be used instead. Discussion was postponed. Sub-paragraph 1(c) and (d): Several delegations suggested merging these two paragraphs and two alternatives were provided by the EU, supported by the US, and Morocco, supported by Benin. The EU proposal urges Parties to "facilitate and extend technology cooperation relevant to combatting desertification, through financial assistance, where mutually agreed, or other appropriate means." Morocco proposed that Parties "facilitate and extend technology cooperation among affected country Parties, particularly among those, in Africa, in the fields of combatting desertification, and including sectors that foster alternative livelihoods through financial assistance or other appropriate means." Discussion was postponed.

Sub-paragraph 1(e): Consensus text was provided by the EU, which reads: "take appropriate measures to create domestic market conditions and incentives, fiscal or otherwise, conducive to the development, transfer, acquisition and adaptation of suitable technology and knowledge..." Sub-paragraph 1(f) had three options which were reduced to two by merging the two last options. The first option remains as is. The third option was also retained with brackets placed around the phrase, "and ventures between suppliers and recipients of relevant technologies..."

There was no consensus on paragraph 2, which stresses the need to either, "protect, promote and use" or "give special attention to the protection, promotion and use" of relevant traditional and local technology, know-how, knowledge and practices. The EU, supported by Cameroon, preferred the second alternative, while Brazil preferred the stronger language. The US supported the EU and added: "subject to their national laws."

Sub-paragraph 2(a): Sweden pointed out that the bottom-up approach to information dissemination was getting lost and called for new wording. Cameroon and Brazil suggested compromise text: "make inventories of such technologies, knowledge, know-how and practices, and its potential uses with the participation of the local populations and disseminate information on this subject, where appropriate, in cooperation with relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations." This paragraph was not discussed further.

The Chair noted that discussion on Articles 18(g), 19(e) and most of Article 20 presented problems and proposed creation of another Sub-Working Group. This Group, chaired by Cameroon, will meet each morning to discuss Articles 18, 19 and 20.

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