The Working Group (WG) began deliberations on the revised draft GPA (Document ITCPGR/96/5-Rev1) The Chair, Fernando Gerbasi of Venezuela, emphasized that the WG had been given a clear mandate to discuss only bracketed text, and urged delegates to make concrete proposals. SWEDEN and POLAND requested re-insertion of earlier text that had been removed by the Rome Working Group (10-12 June), but accepted the CHAIRs request to re-introduce text either in plenary or after all current bracketed text had been discussed.
In discussing a paragraph with a reference to forests, delegates debated whether or not to retain a quote from the Report of the Second Extraordinary Session of the CGRFA which agreed that forestry would not be included in the GPA to be discussed at Leipzig.... Delegates also considered whether the next sentence which stated that future refinements of the Plan could include other subsets of PGR should be retained. While consensus was initially achieved on removing brackets from the first sentence, COLOMBIA, PERU and ARGENTINA requested deletion of the second sentence. On request, the Secretariat clarified that other sub-sets of PGR referred to forests. AUSTRALIA, supported by FRANCE, BRAZIL and NIGERIA, reiterated that the placing and wording of the sentence represented a delicate balance between those who wanted no reference to forests in the GPA, and those who did. Following the explanation by NIGERIA that in regions of Africa, PGR issues were closely tied to forests, and hence national programmes in this area could not be formulated in complete isolation from them, COLOMBIA withdrew its objections to retaining the reference to other sub-sets of PGR and brackets from the text were removed.
Delegates then discussed the paragraph on components of the GPA. Discussion started with the subparagraph that read, to promote a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of PGRFA [or from the use of the knowledge, practices or innovations associated with such resources]. The US, later supported by CANADA and JAPAN, proposed deletion of the bracketed text altogether. As a second option, the US proposed to re-introduce some of the original text which had been deleted: within and with countries, and with farmers and communities. VENEZUELA, later supported by PERU, the AFRICAN GROUP, SWEDEN, CAMEROON, BOLIVIA, KENYA, EGYPT, SPAIN, MALAYSIA and ITALY proposed to drop the brackets and replace or from the use of with and before the knowledge, practices or innovations.
NORWAY, later supported by PERU, proposed using language from the CBD text, Article 8(j). CANADA noted that it had originally bracketed the phrase due to reasons associated with CBD Article 8(j), arguing that if the purpose of the phrase is to refer to the CBD, this reference should be explicit, precise and complete. He then cited Article 8(j) in its entirety, including the phrases subject to national legislation and in situ conservation of PGRFA as well as the qualifier as far as possible and appropriate.
The AFRICAN GROUP questioned the wisdom of recalling Article 8(j). INDONESIA and ZIMBABWE proposed deleting the brackets but did not specify whether they supported Venezuelas wording. The US expressed grave reservation about the course of the discussion and noted that any reference to the CBD would need to include national legislation and the qualifier as far as possible and appropriate or should simply reference Article 8(j) itself.
GERMANY proposed the addition of subject to national legislation as a compromise to Venezuelas proposal. COLOMBIA expressed concern with the useless attempt to rewrite CBD Articles and proposed referring to the CBD Preamble due to its broader treatment of benefit-sharing. Noting broad support for the Venezuelan proposal, the CHAIR called on Canada, Colombia, Germany, Norway, Venezuela and the US to consult and provide a proposal at the next WG session.
Under the same paragraph, the subparagraph calling for strengthened national programmes on PGRFA and enhanced institutional capacity building of those aspects which today are non-existent, was amended to strengthen, in particular, national programmes, as well as regional and international. The text following institutional capacity building was dropped, and the subparagraph was adopted.
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