This bracketed text is divided into two parts: the first is of a general nature and the second outlines 13 more specific priorities. Agreement has been reached on eight of the 13 programme priorities; the other five remain bracketed. The agreed paragraphs include: (i) projects that have national priority status; (ii) development of national strategies; (iv) identification and monitoring of biodiversity components, in particular those under threat; (v) capacity building and/or strengthening the preparation of national reports; (vii) projects that promote the sustainability of project benefits and that may have application elsewhere; (viii) activities that leverage other funds: (x) projects that strengthen the involvement of local people; (xi) priority to coastal and marine resources under threat, arid, semi-arid and mountainous regions; and (xii) projects aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of endemic species.
Among the outstanding issues are paragraphs (iii) and (xi), which are strongly supported by small island States and prioritize "coastal and marine resources under threat." Japan and Austria did not want reference made to particular geographic circumstances because many other resources are just as important and priority should not be given to particular areas. Others noted that only coastal and marine resources "under threat" are prioritized and, therefore, should not be of concern to States without coastal areas. The final draft makes reference to coastal and marine resources in the agreed text of paragraph (xi). Reference to coastal and marine resources in paragraph (iii) remains bracketed, as do other aspects of the paragraph.
The majority of time was spent discussing paragraph (vi), which lists the development and transfer of technology as a programme priority. It is strongly supported by the G-77 and China. However, the developed countries, while agreeing that technology transfer is an important goal of the Convention, do not agree that it should be a programme priority for financial support under the Convention. Again, no compromise was reached and the G-77 and OECD groups each provided their own texts to the Chair. Both of these texts appear bracketed in the report provided to the COP.
Confusion surrounding the term "opportunity costs foregone" has resulted in the bracketing of paragraph (ix). Austria suggested that to "forego costs" means that costs are not incurred, whereas this paragraph addresses issues of costs incurred by local communities. Several developing countries insisted that "opportunity" remain even if "foregone" was removed. However, other countries expressed a lack of understanding of this term and the paragraph remains bracketed.
Paragraph (xii), which prioritizes "projects aimed at conservation and sustainable use which contribute to the eradication of poverty," was a highly controversial item. Many developing countries insist that the reference to poverty remain as it is a key underlying cause of many threats to biological diversity. However, several developed countries, while acknowledging the link between poverty and threats to biodiversity, argue that the Convention does not have poverty eradication as a priority. The paragraph remains bracketed. [Return to start of article]