The various contact and other informal groups met until all hours over the weekend in their attempts to resolve outstanding issues before the high-level segment commences on Wednesday. Several commented on the sense of crowd and urgency that dominated the Conference Centre Monday morning. Despite the patina of confusion, Mondays full day of contact group meetings succeeded in advancing discussion on several fronts. Notwithstanding the resolution of many key matters, several NGOs perceived a weakening of many of the conservation issues within the context of the medium-term work programme discussions. They cited, in particular, the way in which delegates appeared to be postponing the decision on the modalities for a biosafety protocol by merely recommending a process that would lead to the eventual consideration of the matter. NGOs have been equally concerned about the lack of enthusiasm to include the forests issue in the medium-term work programme. There is, however, greater optimism on a number of issues such as incentives, which have been brought forward from the 1997 programme and incorporated into the work for 1996.