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COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Chair Currat (Switzerland) suggested that delegates’ decisions put less burden on the Secretariat and more on themselves. The Bureau will make a proposal to COP-4 regarding the use of small groups.

AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY: SWITZERLAND said sustainable agriculture requires combining the wisdom of traditional methods with the efficacy of modern ones and agreed with SBSTTA's call for a gap analysis, to be conducted in close collaboration with the FAO. INDONESIA and GHANA stressed the need to recognize animals and microorganisms as forms of agricultural biodiversity. COLOMBIA called for a study on farmers’ rights encompassing agricultural and cultural aspects and technology transfer. SOUTH AFRICA noted the need to harmonize sustainable agricultural production with biodiversity conservation and apply an integrated approach to resource management.

SLOVAKIA, on behalf of the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries, supported global actions for conservation of agricultural biodiversity. ZAIRE called for: study of ecosystems as a form of agricultural biodiversity; a reduction in the use of pesticides; and development of guidelines on non-domestic food resources. ARGENTINA called for: development of an institutional database; intersectoral integration; and recognition of the effects of non-biodegradable chemical agents on agricultural biodiversity.

MOROCCO stated that the GPA exemplifies a wide yet fragile consensus on PGRFA that needs to be equipped with the necessary financial means to achieve its goals. A protocol to the CBD on PGRFA should be considered. JAPAN stressed the need for gap analysis and said that the proposal to establish a working group on Articles 16 and 18 on technology transfer and scientific cooperation is premature. NEW ZEALAND noted that Parties must now agree on measures for immediate action and prioritize the objectives of the CBD. SWEDEN suggested that the COP provide a mandate for sustainable agriculture based on the ecosystem approach that emphasizes indigenous knowledge and the empowerment of people. The gap analysis should focus on soils and on integrated land use and resource management. The THIRD WORLD NETWORK said the COP should send a strong message to the World Food Summit about the importance of agricultural biodiversity to world food security. She expressed concern that excessive emphasis was being placed on the role of the Bretton Woods institutions in addressing agricultural biodiversity issues.

INDIA called for the principle of sovereign rights over biological resources to be reflected in the revised International Undertaking and for the concept of farmers’ rights to be included in benefit-sharing. MALAWI called on the COP to consider under-exploited animal and plant genetic resources and the impact of structural adjustment programmes on agro-biodiversity. URUGUAY underscored the effects of subsidies on sustainable agriculture and international trade.

The US stated that in order to meet the world’s escalating needs for food, fiber and energy, countries will need to employ a portfolio of agricultural approaches. BANGLADESH called for “banking” and democratic decision-making that involves women and poor people. The PHILIPPINES called on the COP to address ex situ collections acquired prior to the CBD and stated that countries of origin should exercise sovereignty over these collections.

MAURITIUS underscored the special vulnerabilities of SIDS and called on the COP to consider agro-biodiversity and coastal and marine biodiversity in a holistic manner. ETHIOPIA and AUSTRIA took issue with the Secretariat paper’s contention that land- intensive agriculture reduces biodiversity, noting that it is misguided agricultural practices that reduce biodiversity.

The NETHERLANDS called for integration of the sustainable use of genetic resources with an agro-ecosystem approach to conservation. The EUROPEAN COMMUNITY described incentive measures aimed at farmers to conserve ecosystems and genetic resources. CANADA suggested three topics for gap analysis: land use pressures; agro- forestry; and atmospheric stress. VIA CAMPESINA listed four fundamentals: rejecting IPR on life forms and social knowledge; a moratorium on bioprospecting; food security; and the rights of farmers.

TUNISIA called for financial resources to implement the GPA and for impact studies on agricultural intensification. SOUTH KOREA highlighted the unequal distribution of agricultural genetic resources and their unequal utilization. MEXICO emphasized incentive measures to maintain agricultural crop varieties, such as organic certification.

CUBA underscored the CBD’s third objective, equitable sharing of benefits, and called for financial resources for implementation. GERMANY called upon COP-3 to take the GPA as the basis for complementary activities. BOLIVIA called for concrete recommendations to the next meeting of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources. ECUADOR stated that agro-industry should become a “point of reference” for financing agro-biodiversity programmes.

PERU called for indicators to monitor the success of in situ conservation efforts. VENEZUELA called for evaluation of techniques to monitor savannah ecosystems. IRAN called for official development assistance for research to increase public participation in species conservation. BURKINA FASO stated that the GPA’s success will depend on accompanying measures such as poverty alleviation.

HAITI emphasized the difficulty of preserving biodiversity where population growth and food security are major concerns. GUATEMALA stated that the indiscriminate use of exotic species has worsened with research on transgenic organisms. The FAO stressed support for the CBD through FAO processes. The CGIAR called the GPA a blueprint for genetic resources work.

FINANCIAL ISSUES: Peter Schei, Chair of SBSTTA-2, presented recommendations formulated at SBSTTA-2 calling on the GEF to support the Global Taxonomy Initiative, the CHM and capacity building in biosafety. Several countries supported these recommendations. Executive Secretary Juma presented documents that addressed Agenda Items 6.1 to 6.6 (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/5-10 and 37).

The G-77/CHINA, the PHILIPPINES and MALAYSIA stated that the COP must better assert its authority over the GEF. These countries and MALAWI said that it is premature to designate the final institutional structure of the financial mechanism. ARGENTINA supported the GEF in its role as the temporary institutional structure. He said the replenishment of funds is not tied to the legal status of the GEF. CANADA, the EU and AUSTRALIA supported designation at COP-3. The EU noted that donors and recipients need certainty regarding the long-term role of the GEF. SLOVAKIA, on behalf of the CEE, supported the GEF as the permanent financial mechanism, recognizing that the mechanism could be changed if necessary. MAURITIUS proposed asking the Secretariat to draft a paper identifying other possible institutional structures.

A number of countries approved of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with MEXICO calling it compatible with the CBD, NORWAY calling it a well-balanced compromise, and CHINA stating that it was acceptable. SLOVAKIA, on behalf of the CEE, approved it as well. Several countries, including MAURITIUS, POLAND and INDONESIA, desired COP-3 to take a decision on the MOU. The PHILIPPINES said the MOU must be consistent with Article 21.1 (the financial mechanism) in determining the amount of funding required for implementation of the CBD. CANADA and MALAWI supported using CBD language to improve the MOU. MALAYSIA and COLOMBIA said the MOU should contain explicit reference to the interim nature of the financial mechanism. SWITZERLAND called for an enhanced dialogue between the GEF and the COP and modifications to the MOU. ARGENTINA and SWITZERLAND will coordinate efforts to re-draft the MOU text.

IRELAND, on behalf of the EU, highlighted the COP’s responsibility in delineating policies, strategies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria for the use of the financial mechanism’s resources. The PHILIPPINES, CHINA, ZIMBABWE, NEW ZEALAND and the EU stressed the need for focused guidance from the COP to the financial mechanism. MALAYSIA noted that the Secretariat should play a proactive role in ensuring that the financial mechanism implements the COP’s decisions. NEW ZEALAND said review of GEF guidelines should be transparent and that the COP should redetermine the GEF’s status every 2-3 years. BRAZIL noted that the GEF has become more responsive to the views of the Parties. He called for refinements to the GEF guidelines and denounced joint determination of GEF funds, stating that the COP should make the full determination. MEXICO and COLOMBIA emphasized balance in implementing all three CBD goals.

ZIMBABWE called on the GEF to finance agricultural research and capacity building for proposal writing and policy analysis. COTE D’IVOIRE has had difficulty in obtaining resources for its report. ROMANIA stated that the GEF has played an important role in its domestic implementation. URUGUAY identified important project areas, such as countries with shared ecosystems. EL SALVADOR identified a need to improve the communication between national focal points and the GEF.

INDONESIA noted that GEF funds alone are not adequate, and proposed creating an OECD private sector trust fund. AUSTRALIA expressed concern that some of the data used in UNEP/CBD/COP/3/37 (additional financial resources) was not reliable, and supported an undertaking at COP-4 to examine the role that the private sector can play in CBD funding.

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