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COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

The draft decision on the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) (CRP.17) was adopted with amendments calling for: assistance from governments, bilateral and multilateral institutions; endorsement of the CHM newsletter; and CHM provision of information linkages to national focal points.

The draft decision concerning the implementation of Articles 6 and 8 of the CBD (conservation and in situ conservation) (CRP.12) was adopted with few amendments. The NETHERLANDS noted that given the late date of COP-4, national reports should be submitted by January 1998. The additional time should provide opportunity for the preparation of more and higher quality reports.

On the draft decision on Identification, Monitoring and Assessment (CRP.13), the EU said capacity-building for taxonomy should be restricted to relevant field activities. MALAWI’s proposal, on behalf of the African Group, for a paragraph endorsing SBSTTA Recommendation II/2 on capacity-building for taxonomy was adopted, as was the decision.

The draft decision on Terrestrial Biodiversity (CRP.10) was adopted without amendment. A number of minor amendments were made to the draft decision on the Future Programme of Work for Terrestrial Biodiversity (CRP.25), and a preambular paragraph was added, reading “the conservation and sustainable use of forests cannot be isolated from the conservation of biodiversity.” The draft decision was adopted.

The draft decision on Incentive Measures (CRP.19) was altered substantially during the morning. Proposed amendments included recognition of economic and social development and poverty eradication as overriding priorities in developing countries and the role of local and indigenous communities and the private sector in the designation of incentives. During the evening COW, following consultations, delegates considered the revised text (CRP.29) and agreed to delete the two remaining bracketed preambular paragraphs (recalling decision I/2 of the COP and recognizing development and implementation of incentive measures as the responsibility of national governments and the international community). The G-77/CHINA supported deleting the brackets around the paragraph requesting the GEF to include incentive measures among priority activities. The US said the brackets were appropriate. The paragraph was referred to the Working Group on financial issues.

On the draft decision regarding Implementation of Article 8(j) (CRP.24), the EU suggested adding a paragraph recognizing as legitimate the request of indigenous and local communities to the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of knowledge, innovation and practices of these communities. SENEGAL called for a reformulation of the paragraph on the recognition of rights, stating that rights must be given to people or communities. Text on this agenda item was not adopted.

The draft decision on the Statement to the Special Session of the UNGA (CRP.23) incorporated amendments from a working group that based its work on CRP.7. Proposed amendments included one by the EU to include a specific description of GEF biodiversity activities, and another by the G-77/China to drop a reference to biodiversity destruction by “human activities.” The groups opposed each other’s proposal. Both proposals were withdrawn and the text was adopted.

The draft decision on Access to Genetic Resources (CRP.31) was adopted with minor changes.

Delegates adopted the draft decision on Additional Financial Resources (CRP.28). On the draft decision regarding the Review of the Effectiveness of the Financial Mechanism (CRP.32), the G-77/CHINA, SWITZERLAND and AUSTRALIA supported the bracketed option for a steering panel, comprising two representatives from each regional group, to monitor and guide the review process. The EU, supported by RUSSIA, proposed deleting both that option and the option for monitoring and guidance by the Bureau plus one member from each regional group. The group adopted all of the text except for the two bracketed options, which were referred to further consultations. The Chair of the Working Group on financial issues, Mohammed Reza Salamat (Iran), began to introduce changes to the draft decision regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which included some bracketed text. The COW Chair Currat suggested waiting until an updated draft is available and asked the Working Group to complete its work.

The Chair noted that the two outstanding issues in the draft decision on Agricultural Biological Diversity (CRP.15) had been referred for consultations to the relevant groups (Access to Genetic Resources and IPR), and the draft decision was adopted in the COW.

The draft decision on the relationship of the Convention with the CSD and Other Biodiversity-Related Conventions (CRP.26) was supplemented by EU amendments (CRP.27). The G-77/CHINA consulted with the EU regarding these proposals and the text was adopted with, among other amendments: a phrase encouraging cooperative arrangements with the Scientific Council on the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals; a new paragraph urging UNEP to undertake decision II/14 of the COP (intergovernmental workshop on cooperation with other conventions); and deletion of the request to investigate an integrated database on wetlands.

The Final Report of the COW (UNEP/CBD/COP/3/L.2) was adopted with minor changes.

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