Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 09 No. 233
Friday, 12 April 2002
CBD COP-6 HIGHLIGHTS:
THURSDAY, 11 APRIL 2002
Delegates met throughout the day in two Working
Groups and contact groups. Working Group I (WG-I) discussed
identification, monitoring, indicators and assessments, and the
Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI). Working Group II (WG-II) discussed
financial resources and mechanism; scientific and technical
cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM); and education
and public awareness. Contact groups on invasive alien species,
forest biodiversity, the strategic plan, and access and
benefit-sharing (ABS) met.
WORKING GROUP I
IDENTIFICATION, MONITORING, INDICATORS AND
ASSESSMENTS: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/ 6/12;
1/Add.2; INF/25; and INF/38. On monitoring and indicators, the
SLOVAK REPUBLIC emphasized exchange of information and increased
synergies for efficiency, and, with HUNGARY, highlighted regional
cooperation for enhanced monitoring. INDIA highlighted capacity
building and financial mechanisms. Spain, on behalf of the EU,
stressed developing key global and national level indicators before
COP-7. NEW ZEALAND emphasized developing a menu of potential
indicators, stressing attention to national and regional contexts.
NORWAY called for an overview of indicators used, but supported the
OECD’s "Drivers Pressure State Impact Response" model. TURKEY
highlighted indicators related to thematic areas and cross-cutting
On assessments, Slovenia, on behalf of the
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, underscored sub-global
assessments and political and socio-economic conditions. MALAYSIA
highlighted experts’ involvement in the Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment. CANADA supported compiling experiences in applying the
guidelines and, with INDIA, questioned the value of a SBSTTA work
programme before application and assessment of the guidelines. CUBA
and others called for strengthening national capacity and urged
flexibility in implementation. NORWAY suggested reporting
mechanisms. SIERRA LEONE proposed further research on resource
valuation. BANGLADESH suggested adding ethnic impact assessment.
Ethiopia, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed public
participation, and suggested sharing experiences through national
WG-II Chair Peter Schei (Norway) will draft
GLOBAL TAXONOMY INITIATIVE: The Secretariat
introduced UNEP/CBD/COP/6/12; 1/Add.2; and INF/23. Many delegates,
NGOs and IGOs expressed strong support for the GTI. Delegates
supported a permanent GTI programme officer at the Secretariat and
emphasized the need for building and strengthening regional and
local capacity; financial resources; and regional cooperative
programmes. The AFRICAN GROUP requested harmonization with needs
assessment and alien species. MEXICO called for increased access to
information, and JAPAN, with CANADA, highlighted access to
specimens. The EU said focal points should be indicated on a
national scale and Parties should assess their own capacity and
taxonomic needs. TUNISIA emphasized implementation at genetic,
species and ecosystem levels. BOLIVIA urged supporting national
institutions working on taxonomy. MALAYSIA called for repatriation
of information and specimens. INDIA, TOGO and UGANDA noted
difficulties in attracting students to taxonomic studies. INDIA
called for support to strengthen reference collections. SWEDEN, with
KENYA, proposed financial support for pilot projects. The CZECH
REPUBLIC and others called for linkages with the CHM. CANADA and
others stressed linkages with ABS. CAPE VERDE supported macro and
micro level initiatives.
JAPAN highlighted the need for taxonomic work on
soils and suggested coordination between the GTI and the Global
Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The CENTRAL AFRICAN
REPUBLIC raised the need to involve local communities given their
indigenous knowledge of plants and other life forms. CANADA
recommended electronic information exchange on invasive alien
species. CHINA highlighted the need for public awareness campaigns,
especially in hotspots. BANGLADESH suggested recognizing centers of
excellence for establishing effective networks.
NORWAY and TOGO called for improved institutional
cooperation between developed and developing countries. TURKEY
suggested using the GTI as a coordination mechanism to develop
planned activities with SBSTTA before COP-7. ARMENIA suggested the
Secretariat facilitate inter-regional seminars to determine future
activities. The GBIF described its efforts to make scientific
information globally available. UNESCO underscored the need to
insert the GTI into all thematic activities, as well as work on
WG-II Chair Schei will draft revised text.
WORKING GROUP II
FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISM: The
Secretariat introduced the documents: UNEP/CBD/COP/6/1/ Add.2; 9,
9/Add.1; 13, 13/Add.1; 14; INF/4; and INF/29. Many delegates
supported the draft decision. CHINA and MOROCCO requested deleting a
proposal to elaborate guidelines for reviewing national budgets and
monetary policies. Regarding additional resources, numerous
countries proposed identifying other sources of funding, including
bilateral and multilateral funds and the private sector. INDIA, on
behalf of the ASIA AND PACIFIC REGION, stressed that official
development assistance should not be reduced. JAPAN questioned
wording on highly indebted countries. CANADA, DENMARK, the EU, the
UK and the US noted commitments to increase their funding levels.
Regarding the GEF, numerous delegates supported
the results of the independent evaluation. Several developing
countries noted difficulties in accessing GEF funds and proposed:
further streamlining, simplification, flexibility and transparency;
convening regional and sub-regional workshops with the GEF and its
Implementing Agencies; and funding for capacity building, national
reports and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and
action plans (NBSAPs). Several countries expressed support
for the GEF’s third replenishment. HAITI called for a better
regional balance in allocating GEF funds.
DENMARK underscored COP Decision V/20 on
incorporating guidance into a single decision. BRAZIL and DENMARK
supported COP guidance to the GEF on the Cartagena Protocol on
Biosafety. INDONESIA proposed developing a new funding mechanism
under the CBD.
Delegates also highlighted the special needs of
small island developing States (SIDS) and countries affected by war.
LATVIA, supported by ARGENTINA, requested assessment of funding
needs of developing countries and countries in transition. CANADA
cautioned against overburdening the GEF with recommendations and
another assessment. Several countries stressed the need to address
national debt, poverty alleviation and integration of biodiversity
concerns into national development plans. The EU and SWITZERLAND
supported work on financial incentives and removing perverse
incentives. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION supported developing national
biodiversity investment portfolios. RWANDA emphasized financial
mechanisms and synergies under the WSSD.
SWITZERLAND supported a global task force on
banking, business and biodiversity, and the NATURE CONSERVANCY
highlighted a new conservation finance alliance for identifying
innovative funding mechanisms and providing technical support. The
GEF announced an action plan in response to recommendations on its
second assessment and country communication workshops.
A chair’s text will be prepared.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE CHM:
The Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/ COP/6/13; 1/Add/2;
INF/18; and INF/19. Delegates supported the draft decision on
establishing or strengthening national and regional focal points for
the CHM. NORWAY proposed developing guidelines to assist focal
points and, with COLOMBIA, emphasized the CHM’s goal to facilitate
scientific and technical cooperation to promote CBD’s
implementation. The EU supported including further activities in the
CHM, providing use of Internet servers to developing countries, and,
with GABON, stressed the need for training. CHINA noted the CHM’s
role in enhancing awareness. CANADA, supported by the IIFB, stressed
the need to develop communication means for indigenous communities.
BELGIUM recommended developing the CHM toolkit and highlighted
efforts to enable all Parties to take part in the CHM. The ASIAN
REGIONAL CENTER FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION expressed willingness
to support CHM focal points in Asia.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: The
Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/6/1/Add.2; 13; and
13/Add.2. UNESCO highlighted its work on the Global Initiative on
Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA), noting its
objectives to build a network of actors and knowledge holders,
identify and collect expertise, and build capacity. Several
delegations supported adoption of the work programme and others
noted important links with CBD implementation. KENYA and NIGERIA
proposed making education a central part of the strategic plan.
Numerous countries requested alternatives to Internet communication,
while JAMAICA opposed development of a separate network and
supported use of the CHM.
Delegates noted the need for technical capacity,
interpersonal communication, case studies and demonstration
projects, and use of existing initiatives such as those of IUCN,
UNEP and UNESCO. Delegates also stressed involving local NGOs, using
local languages and targeting numerous audiences, including the
private sector, authorities, women, and indigenous and local
communities. NORWAY called for improved CBD outreach, noting the
UNFCCC’s high profile. CANADA supported networks of CEPA experts
identified by Parties. CHINA and SENEGAL suggested focusing on
biodiversity-rich areas with impoverished populations. NORWAY and
UNESCO supported budgetary allocations for the work programme, while
AUSTRALIA noted lack of funds for implementation. DENMARK
highlighted an upcoming conference to develop a manual and a code of
best practices for nature interpretation.
Chair Fisher noted that a chair’s text would be
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: The contact group,
chaired by András Demeter (Hungary), considered the precautionary
approach, with delegates agreeing to reference both Article 15 of
the Rio Declaration and the CBD Preamble. On State responsibility,
some supported reference to responsibility, but others, concerned
about financial implications and potential liability, opposed it.
Some delegates stressed corresponding rights of States, and called
for financial support to developing countries and SIDS for control
and mitigating measures. Delegates discussed border control and
quarantine measures, with developing countries emphasizing
subjection to national legislation.
FOREST BIODIVERSITY: The "Friends of the
Chair" group reported on progress in their work on priorities.
Delegates debated language regarding reporting on implementation,
with some noting the need to reduce national reporting requirements.
Some delegates called for strengthening references to the human
dimension of forests in the chapeau of the work programme, with
others questioning its relation to the chapeau of the draft
decision. Chair Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) referred the discussion
of the work programmeï¿½s chapeau to the "Friends of the Chair" group.
STRATEGIC PLAN: The contact group, chaired by
David Brackett (Canada) and Mary Fosi Mbantenkhu (Cameroon) gathered
suggestions on the structure and consolidation of the strategic
plan, with one group suggesting an ambitious vision and others
preferring an operational and realistic plan. The chairs will draft
a working document.
ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: In an evening
session, the contact group reached a compromise regarding
derivatives and products, adding the reference to the provisions on
prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms and removing it
from the provision on scope. Under scope, the group added a
reference to benefits arising from the commercial and other
utilization of genetic resources. The group concluded discussions on
the appendices, and addressed user and provider responsibilities.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As the first week of COP-6 comes to a close, some
discussions appeared to be coming full circle. Noting difficulties
in reaching agreement on priorities in the forest biodiversity
contact group, some delegates felt that the SBSTTA recommendation
was too expansive and wished to reopen it. Others said that
reopening the body of the work programme would disturb the
delicately balanced work of SBSTTA and make agreement at COP-6
On access and benefit-sharing, some delegates
commented on deliberate attempts to block progress on the
guidelines. While immediately unsuccessful, they prompted a
reconsideration of positions, which may have led to the agreement on
derivatives and products.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00
am in the Prins Willem Alexander Hall to discuss the Global Plant
Conservation Strategy and from 4:00-5:00 pm to hear reports from
contact groups on forest biodiversity and invasive alien species.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will convene at 10:00
am in the Van Gogh Hall to discuss cooperation with other
conventions and the contribution to the ten-year review of Agenda
21. Look for a possible draft text on national reports and the
operations of the Convention.
CONTACT GROUP: The contact group on invasive
alien species will meet from 12:00-4:00 pm in the Rembrandt Hall.
PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 5:00 pm in
the Prins Willem Alexander Hall to review progress.