Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 09 No. 155
Monday, 22 May 2000

CBD COP-5 HIGHLIGHTS
FRIDAY, 19 MAY 2000

On the fifth day of CBD COP-5, delegates met in Working Groups throughout the day. Working Group I (WG-I) discussed the forest and agricultural biodiversity work programmes, the ecosystem approach and in an evening session, discussed a Conference Room Paper (CRP) on sustainable use, tourism and incentives. Working Group II (WG-II) discussed the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) and Article 8(j) and Related Provisions. A contact group on forest biodiversity met in the afternoon, and contact groups on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) and the operations of the Convention met in the evening.

WORKING GROUP I

FOREST BIODIVERSITY: Delegates resumed the debate on forest biodiversity. Numerous delegates supported an ad hoc technical expert group. The SOLOMON ISLANDS, INDONESIA, TOGO and others also supported an open-ended working group on forest policy. BRAZIL opposed such a group. Numerous delegations supported collaboration with the UNFCCC and cooperation with the proposed UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). The SOLOMON ISLANDS expressed regret that financial support is provided only for rehabilitation but not for prevention of deforestation. CHILE urged mitigation of the underlying causes of deforestation. FINLAND stressed, inter alia, the importance of criteria and indicators at the regional level, national forest programmes and protected area networks. MALAWI emphasized addressing poverty and forest valuation. ETHIOPIA, the GAMBIA, KAZAKHSTAN and others urged action to address forest fires. TURKEY called for taxonomic and ecological studies. RWANDA requested attention to mountain forest biodiversity. GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL urged the CBD to take international leadership on forest biodiversity. Chair Peter Schei (Norway) established a contact group, chaired by Oteng Yeboah (Ghana). The contact group met in the afternoon and considered the need for both a technical expert panel and an open-ended working group. The group reached consensus on having only one body, but did not determine its scope.

AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY: The Secretariat introduced background document UNEP/CBD/COP/5/11 and relevant information documents. SBSTTA-5 Chair Cristián Samper reviewed COP Decisions III/11 and IV/6 and SBSTTA Recommendations IV/5 and V/9. Most delegations highlighted the importance of the issue and expressed support for the work programme. PORTUGAL, on behalf of the EU, said the work programme should address the different functions of agricultural biodiversity. The EUROPEAN COMMISSION said it should look at possible interactions between land-use practices and sustainable use of biodiversity. KENYA and others said the work programme should be centered on farmers. AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND asked for a plan with priorities and timetables for SBSTTA’s consideration. ARGENTINA requested distinction between biodiversity components and services. POLAND called for a holistic approach and further analysis of indicators to enable assessment of agricultural biodiversity status. NORWAY said exchange of genetic resources is essential for sustainable agriculture and food security.

On cooperation with other international organizations, many delegations requested expanded cooperation with the FAO and urged completion of the revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (IU). UGANDA, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, urged Parties to sign the Biosafety Protocol and the Rotterdam Convention. ARGENTINA drew attention to the topics discussed in CSD-8.

On genetic use restriction technologies, many delegations and NGOs stressed their risks to food security and farmers’ rights, calling for a ban on the "terminator technology" and research on environmentally friendly technologies. The AFRICAN GROUP asked for a moratorium on field trials. NEW ZEALAND requested a distinction for field testing in containment. The US suggested that the discussion be science-based and involve all stakeholders.

On implementation, many delegations stressed the need for additional funds. The AFRICAN GROUP and others requested resources for capacity-building, adaptive management and mainstreaming. INDONESIA and others underlined the need for farmers’ information and awareness. POLAND identified strengthening of farmers’ capacity as key for sustainable food production. NIGERIA focused on protection of indigenous knowledge and practices. BRAZIL, supported by many, proposed an International Pollinators Conservation and Sustainable Use Initiative. Chair Schei formed a contact group on agricultural biodiversity.

ECOSYSTEM APPROACH: The Secretariat introduced document UNEP/CBD/COP/5/12, and SBSTTA-5 Chair Samper highlighted Recommendation V/10, including operational guidelines and 12 principles of the ecosystem approach. Numerous delegates endorsed the guidelines, but opinions varied on the principles. Many countries suggested amendments to the principles, but agreed not to reopen debate. The EU, INDIA, INDONESIA, MALAWI, NEW ZEALAND and others supported their adoption, with the understanding that they need elaboration. CANADA preferred noting, and POLAND proposed acknowledging, the principles until there is more experience with their application. COLOMBIA, HAITI, TURKEY and others called for case studies, pilot projects and workshops to improve understanding of the approach. The SEYCHELLES proposed instructing the GEF to consider funding projects that utilize other systems. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION requested recognition of the transboundary nature of biodiversity and encouraged regional cooperation. TONGA requested that small island developing states’ special ecological conditions be taken into consideration when revising the principles. IUCN highlighted upcoming workshops to examine case studies and evaluate the principles. UNESCO highlighted biosphere reserves' value for case studies. Chair Schei said a Chair’s text would be drafted.

SUSTAINABLE USE, TOURISM AND INCENTIVES: Delegates considered a CRP containing revised draft decisions for sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue, tourism and biodiversity, and incentive measures, and made minor textual amendments. Regarding collaboration with relevant organizations on sustainable use, delegates agreed not to specify the IUCN Sustainable Use Initiative. Regarding international guidelines for sustainable tourism, NAMIBIA requested text to ensure that such guidelines would apply to activities within and outside protected areas. The Working Group adopted the text with one textual bracket.

WORKING GROUP II

CLEARING-HOUSE MECHANISM: Delegates continued discussions on the CHM. The EU reaffirmed the importance of the CHM in technology transfer and capacity-building and called for prioritization in the long-term work program. KENYA, NORWAY, UGANDA and others supported the strategic plan and called for strengthening national focal points. BELGIUM, FINLAND and ITALY called for partnership among Parties through CHM national focal points. FIJI, on behalf of the PACIFIC ISLAND STATES, and MEXICO supported regional and sub-regional focal points. JORDAN noted the importance of information exchange at the national level. GERMANY commented that the CHM should focus on CBD implementation and be a platform for technological and scientific cooperation. BURKINA FASO requested reference to technology transfer. SWITZERLAND noted the need for involving targeted user groups in the process, particularly NGOs, and for exploring additional funding other than the GEF. BANGLADESH, CHAD and IRAN stated that the GEF should increase financial support to the CHM.

ARTICLE 8(J) AND RELATED PROVISIONS: Delegates first considered the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (UNEP/ CBD/COP/5/5). A number of indigenous representatives supported continuing the INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM’s mandate to work with the CBD, and requested support to enable effective participation. The indigenous representatives called for, inter alia: full and direct participation of indigenous women and communities in all levels of CBD policy formulation and implementation; recognition of the collective dimensions of indigenous knowledge; assistance in protecting and reversing the loss of their languages, cultures and traditions; recognition of the link between indigenous knowledge and territories; use of mutually agreed terms and prior informed consent; and direct involvement of indigenous technical experts. One representative emphasized the integration of cultural and environmental paradigms, incorporating land and territorial rights, worldviews and ways of life, political and economic decisions, and cultural and social relations between humans and biodiversity.

Many speakers generally supported the recommendations and continuation of the working group. Many delegations requested full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in CBD processes. The EU underlined the need to develop legal and other systems to protect traditional knowledge and, with INDIA, highlighted collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization. MEXICO considered poverty alleviation as the main objective of Article 8(j) and, with VENEZUELA, stressed the importance of benefit-sharing. NORWAY requested a reference to indigenous people as social, cultural and political entities in line with ILO Convention #169 and, with the NETHERLANDS, suggested strengthening relations with the future UNFF. INDIA highlighted national efforts to protect traditional knowledge, such as traditional knowledge digital libraries. BOLIVIA, CUBA and others stressed linkages with ABS. ETHIOPIA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, referred to CBD Article 16.5, stressing the promotion of appropriate forms of intellectual property protection and stated that sui generis laws are applicable. The NETHERLANDS supported pilot activities and workshops during the intersessional period. UGANDA stressed the need for capacity-building and training. The US emphasized empowering indigenous communities to exercise control over their knowledge. UNCTAD referred to its relevant work on trade and development issues, including a workshop in October 2000.

Many delegations supported the work programme for the working group. The EU said that it should be recognized in national programmes and strategies, and SWEDEN said it should focus on legal protection. ECUADOR noted the lack of time frames and, with INDONESIA, underscored the importance of undertaking work in stages. NORWAY offered a list of priority tasks such as capacity-building and participation. CANADA called for clarification of how the guidelines should be developed, and prioritization of the work programme�s tasks. The UNITED KINGDOM highlighted capacity-building aspects. COLOMBIA stressed the importance of information processing, benefit-sharing and sui generis systems. SPAIN highlighted the definition of legal and policy frameworks at the national level. The US stated that the work programme must stay within Article 8(j)�s mandate. SWITZERLAND, with the NETHERLANDS and the UNITED KINGDOM, called for careful consideration of the timing of future meetings.

CONTACT GROUPS: The contact group on ABS, chaired by A.H. Zakri (Malaysia), met in an evening session and discussed language on voluntary guidelines for ABS, relations between the CBD and the IU and the need to continue the expert panel or establish a working group to develop guidelines for ABS. The contact group on operations of the Convention, chaired by Jonathan Tillson (United Kingdom), met in an evening session to discuss implementation issues, specifically the need for a Subsidiary Body on Implementation.

IN THE BREEZEWAYS

As COP-5 moves into its second week and delegates combat colds and bellyaches, discussions in the breezeways naturally turned to invasive species and a proposal for a Protocol. Participants supporting a binding agreement noted the need to achieve parity in any trade conflicts that could arise with the WTO. Delegates preferring the guidelines stressed the need for measured progress at the policy level and the most expeditious means to secure national implementation.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: Plenary will meet at 10:00 am in Room 2 to review progress in the Working Groups.

WORKING GROUPS: The Working Groups will reconvene following Plenary. Expect draft text on agricultural biodiversity, coastal and marine biodiversity, inland water biodiversity and the ecosystem approach for WG-I, and possibly on ABS and operations of the Convention for WG-II.

 

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Chango Bai <changbobai@hotmail.com>, Stas Burgiel <stas@iisd.org>, Laura Ivers <laurai@iisd.org>, Jessica Suplie <jsuplie@iisd.org> and Elsa Tsioumani <elsa@iisd.org>. The Digital Editors are Andrei Henry <andrei@iisd.org> and Nabiha Megateli <nmegateli@iisd.org>. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Managing Director is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA and DFAIT), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission (DG-ENV). General Support for the Bulletin during 2000 is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU) and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment of Austria, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment of Finland, the Government of Sweden, the Government of Australia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and BP Amoco. Logistical support has been provided at this meeting by UNEP. The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at <enb@iisd.org> and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at <info@iisd.ca> and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at http://www.iisd.ca/. The satellite image was taken above Nairobi �2000 The Living Earth, Inc. http://livingearth.com. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, send e-mail to the Managing Director at <kimo@iisd.org>.

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