Chair Francesco Mauro (Italy) introduced Working Group 2 (WG2) emphasizing the need for solid and scientifically-based contributions. The order of items to be discussed was changed to the following: transfer and development of technology (Agenda Item 3.5); capacity-building for biosafety (3.7); CHM (3.8); indigenous knowledge (3.6); capacity building for taxonomy (3.4); and economic valuation of biodiversity (3.11).
In the afternoon, the Secretariat introduced the document on technology transfer, including biotechnology (UNEP/SBSTTA/2/6), which outlines technology transfer issues and recommends a liaison group to encourage private sector participation. During subsequent discussion, delegates generally agreed with the document on the role of the private sector in the CBD process. MALAYSIA called for elaboration of the linkage between biotechnology and biodiversity conservation, particularly in bio-prospecting. GERMANY, CANADA, NORWAY, COLOMBIA, the UK, FRANCE and the US questioned the need for an additional subsidiary body on technology transfer, as proposed in the Secretariats document.
GERMANY stressed the need to integrate the issue of access to and transfer of technology with other issues of the Convention. UNCTAD emphasized a number of its activities related to the biodiversity process, including work on strategic technology partnerships and launching the Biotrade Initiative promoting conservation and capacity building. CHINA called for SBSTTA to facilitate the exchange of experts and the promotion of training with regard to technology transfer.
INDIA emphasized the need to make use of genetic resources to achieve the CBDs objective of the equitable sharing of benefits. SWITZERLAND called for incentive measures, such as concessional terms, risk sharing and financial mechanisms. CANADA called on the CHM to facilitate the interaction between technology users and providers. ZIMBABWE emphasized that transferred technology can sometimes contribute to environmental degradation. Supported by THAILAND, he stressed the need for investment in capacity building. NORWAY drew attention to the importance of control and management mechanisms for biotechnology.
JAPAN suggested that the proposed liaison group distinguish needs for public versus private sector technology. COLOMBIA called upon governments of developed countries to create incentives for private sector technology transfer. The UK called for a bottom-up and a sectoral approach. FRANCE said individual states should decide whether to provide incentives for technology transfer and called for safeguards for patented technology.
The US suggested that technology tranfer could be dealt with in specific agenda items. NORTH KOREA called for priority areas for technology transfer. The PHILIPPINES called for: an inventory of needed technologies; incentives for private sector technology transfer; linking technology transfer to biosafety issues; and intellectual property protection without monopoly control. MALAWI recommended developing terms of reference for a liaison group, and the CHAIR stated that the topic would be revisited later. AUSTRALIA stressed the role of multilateral development banks and intellectual property rights to facilitate technology transfer. INDIA highlighted the transfer of indigenous technologies to developed countries.
The Secretariat next introduced the document on capacity-building in biosafety (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/2/8). The document recognizes the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety and outlines overall capacity building needs. The NETHERLANDS, supported by CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, SWITZERLAND, the UK, and INDIA, called for a twin-track approach to continue discussions on an international legal instrument on biosafety while implementing the UNEP International Technical Guidelines on Biosafety (UNEP Guidelines). Supported by most delegations, he cautioned against duplicating the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group.
The MARSHALL ISLANDS highlighted the need for capacity building. SWITZERLAND suggested funding capacity building through the GEF. INDONESIA emphasized the link between biosafety and technology transfer. The UK, supported by INDIA, suggested that COP-3 develop funding recommendations on capacity building. SOUTH KOREA highlighted insufficient capacity for risk assessment and management. ARGENTINA recommended regional training programmes on biosafety.
GERMANY suggested confining the discussion to capacity building. AUSTRIA joined GERMANY and the UK in stating that capacity building for biosafety could not be separated from other capacity building programmes. COLOMBIA stressed consideration of biotechnology products, risk assessment and management, and social and economic impacts.
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