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DRAFTING GROUP C

The Chair, Henry Aryamanya-Mugisha, noted the draft terms of reference for the forest panel had been circulated.

SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT: Switzerland amended paragraph 37 (human resources) to better reflect the socio-economic conditions in mountain ecosystems. The G-77/China proposed a new paragraph 38 bis on new and additional financial resources and technical cooperation. In paragraph 39 (mountain development programmes), the EU added language about the need to maintain stable forest cover and the importance of strengthening the knowledge base. Several delegates questioned the negotiation of agreements on mountains, as proposed in paragraph 41.

The US expressed concern about calling for another major international conference in paragraph 44 (awareness raising). Switzerland, the EU and New Zealand suggested 'possibly a wider international meeting.'

CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: The US noted that some of the language re-opens controversial issues covered by the Biodiversity Convention. The EU said the text was too long and deleted numerous paragraphs. Many amendments stressed the work of the Biodiversity COP. The EU proposed paragraph 67 bis on the relationship between forests and biodiversity. In paragraph 68 (IPRs), Japan proposed including the TRIPS Agreement and Switzerland added reference to WIPO and other 'relevant' organizations. The US and the EU questioned the 'realization' of Farmers' Rights. The EU urged that the chapeau to paragraph 71 (actions to be taken) note that these activities must be implemented through the Biodiversity Convention. Most of the amendments to these sub-paragraphs were aimed at ensuring that the actions are in line with the Convention.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY: In paragraph 73 (reports), the G-77/China added references to information on ecological, ethical, safety and socio-economic effects of genetic engineering. Canada added a reference to the effects on health. In paragraph 74 (management of biotechnology), Canada urged UN agencies to assess the viability of biotechnical engineering. In paragraph 75 (regulation), the US and the EU proposed deleting reference to indigenous knowledge. Australia added a reference to a system for assessing the impact of biotechnology. In sub-paragraph 77(a) (actions), the G-77/China added references to IPR, capacity building and biosafety research. In sub-paragraph 77(b) (integrating biotechnology concerns into policies), the G-77/China added a reference to resource development and capacity building in developing countries. The US objected to the reference to lack of IPRs for biotechnology. The G-77/China proposed deleting sub-paragraph 77(e) (international voluntary guidelines). The G-77/China also proposed adding a paragraph on indigenous knowledge.

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