6.2 INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE TO OPERATE THE FINANCIAL MECHANISM UNDER THE CONVENTION: The Committee opened with a G-77 statement recommending the GEF as the interim, rather than the permanent institutional structure.
The G-77s main points included:
Mauritius said that after the GEF Chairs comments he was more convinced than ever that the GEF should not become the permanent mechanism. Germany, on behalf of the EU, said it was disappointed in the G-77 and China proposal. He had hoped that uncertainty over the financial mechanism would be replaced by certainty regarding the predictability of the flow of funds. He said the Convention had no provision for multiple institutional structures for a financial mechanism. He added that the Convention had no provisions for new sources of funding, and that there is no clear role for an additional trust fund nor was the EU prepared to contr ibute to on e. He recommended that the Secretariat survey the availability of funds from existing institutions. The World Resources Institute supported the GEF as the permanent financial mechanism. Opposing the GEF could affect funds committed to the Convention. Austria said the COP was preparing to send a signal of hesitation, distrust and dogmatism, that the goodwill of donor countries might be weakened, and that the COP was engaging in an act of self-mutilation. Cuba endorsed the G-77 and expressed surprise at the EU statement on additional funds. Norway said that to avoid duplication of time and resources, the GEF should be designated the permanent mechanism. Australia and Switzerland called for the GEF as the permanent mechanism. The US, noting that the GEF restructuring was undertaken to address the needs of the Biodiversity and Climate Conventions, suggested the COP build on the progress made by the GEF. Malaysia, speaking in support of the G-77 and China, refuted the perceived threat that the replenishment of funds is contingent on selection of the GEF as the permanent mechanism. She said the only certainty was that the GEF remains an interim mechanism under Article 39 until the COP decides on a permanent mechanism. The Chair, on suggestions by Hungary and Guinea Bissau to initiate informal negotiations, said he would establish an open-ended and transparent contact group to address unresolved issues under Agenda Items 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3. The group will meet outside the hours of the formal sessions, with its draft decisions to be formally considered by the Committee of the Whole. The Chair designated Dr. John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) as coordinator of the group.
9 MEDIUM-TERM PROGRAMME OF WORK OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: A number of delegations expressed their views on the issue of standing and rotating agenda items within the medium term programme of work. Germany, on behalf of the EU, supported by Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States and others, endorsed the medium-term programme of work. He suggested that COP-2 focus on the link between national reporting and work programs. Australia noted that more immediate attention was required on capacity building, national reports, the clearing-house mechanism, a nd the is sue of in situ and ex situ genetic resources. Brazil supported by Colombia, India and others, proposed the following agenda items for COP-2: an ad hoc intersessional working group on the adoption of a biosafety protocol; access to genetic resources and the equitable sharing of benefits; knowledge and practices of indigenous and other local communities; and the relationship with the CSD. The items proposed for COP-3 included: access, transfer, and deve lopment of technology; incentive measures; special session of the General Assembly to review Agenda 21 ; and matters pending from COP-2. France said the COP will have to conduct a survey of global biodiversity on the basis of national inventories and highlighted the importance of conservation. India stressed the importance of addressing in situ and ex situ genetic resources and the knowledge and practices of indigenous and local communities and sharing of benefits with these communities. Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China said that the G-77 would have recommendations shortly and agreed with the EU on the review of work programme by the COP but emphasized the need to focus on issues relevant to developing country needs. A representative of the Caucus of the Indigenous Peoples Preparatory Committee urged the COP to reorganize the work programme to include the rights of indigenous peoples within the Convention, in particular: knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples currently scheduled for 1997 to be moved to 1995. Chee Yoke Ling, of the Third World Network, on behalf of the NGO Task Force on Biosafety, stressed that guidelines would not be an acceptable substitute to a biosafety protocol. Ian Fry, Greenpeace Australia emphasized the importance of a biosafety protocol and highlighted the issue of poverty eradication in relationship to the CSD and the sustainable use of biodiversity. Sweden said the perennial issues before the COP were: financial matters, transfer of technology and scientific cooperation. He suggested considering: all the ecosystems in relation to the objectives of the Convention; a thematic review linked to the CSD process; and work done by the FAO for consideration by COP-3. Norway stressed issue prioritization for the COP-2 and recommended that a biosafety instrument should be developed. The US said the COP should establis h both a permanent and a rotating agenda. Malaysia reiterated the importance of convening a working group on biosafety. Kenya urged for COP-2 consideration of biosafety, ex situ<D> collections, IPRs, incentives and indigenous knowledge. Germany, on behalf of the EU, called on COP-2 to address: national strategies; biodiversity indicators; determination of biodiversity components under threat and the action needed; management of and possible extension of nature conservation areas; and conservation and sustainable use of mar ine biod iversity. The EU suggested that COP-3 address: financial mechanism effectiveness; policies, strategies and eligibility criteria and the list of incremental costs; the role of in and ex situ conservation; land-use planning; the FAO initiative on plant and genetic resources; indigenous rights; review of the global biodiversity assessment; scientific and technical programs; and conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in agricultural eco systems. New Zealand suggested that the permanent agenda address the consideration of the reports of the Conventions subsidiary bodies and communications with other conventions and processes involved with conservation. China called for the first two years to focus on: the clearing-house mechanism; SBSTTA; and technical and technological exchanges and human resources training. China also supported a working group to establish biosafety guidelines with a view towards the possible negotiation of a protocol. Denmark urged consideration of: access to genetic resources; biosafety; and knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples and other local communities. Germany, on behalf of the EU, supported the creation of international voluntary guidelines on biosafety and called on the COP to consider the need for, and modalities of a binding instrument, as well as the establishment of an ad hoc work group of technical experts to assist the COP.
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