BIOSAFETY: The drafting group considered alternate versions of the terms of reference (TOR) of a potential working group whose task it might be to elaborate a biosafety protocol. A small group combined bracketed text into a single annex containing draft TOR, including the mandate, composition, time frame and guiding principles of the group. Wording referring to the need for a protocol on the safe "transfer, handling and use" of living modified organisms (LMOs), or solely on transboundary "transfer" or "movement" was discussed, as was bracketed text referring to the protocol as part of an international framework. The drafting group reconvened for a night meeting.
MARINE AND COASTAL and TERRESTRIAL ISSUES: The contact group chaired by A.K. Ahuja (India) met in the evening and adopted the draft statement to IPF on biodiversity and forests with minor amendments. In morning and afternoon sessions, the drafting group chaired by Brazil revised the contact group Chair's draft. Delegates added a reference to fragmentation in a section on biodiversity loss. They amended a sentence on exploring environmental goals to request that IPF note CBD work in that area, and added a statement that all stakeholders should engage in a transparent and participatory decision-making process. The drafting group also incorporated text summarizing CBD provisions on indigenous and local communities, and providing inputs for two future IPF meetings.
The marine group chaired by Peter Bridgewater (Australia) reviewed the draft decision and terms of reference for an ad hoc panel as well as related SBSTTA recommendations during a morning meeting. The recommendation regarding subsidies for fisheries in paragraph 14 generated debate.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM AND RESOURCES: The contact group, chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), reached consensus on the seventh draft of the Chair's text. Previously bracketed text now states that the GEF will continue to serve as the interim financial mechanism and COP-3 "shall endeavor" to decide on permanent designation. The Secretariat is requested to submit a revised draft MOU for consideration at COP-3 based on consultations with Parties. The GEF is recommended to explore, inter alia, the feasibility of a grants programme for medium-sized projects, taking into account eligibility criteria set out by COP-1.
BUDGET AND PROGRAMME OF WORK: The group, chaired by Peter Unwin (UK), met in the afternoon to consider a revised budget proposal, the financial rules for the administration of the Trust Fund, and a revised version of the medium-term work programme for 1996-97. Paragraphs dealing with scale of contributions to the Trust Fund and rules of procedure governing agreement on the budget remained bracketed. There was substantial agreement on the items to be covered during 1996-97 in the work programme, but final decisions regarding the distribution of work between the two years remained pending.
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