Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 09 No. 259
Wednesday, 12 November 2003
TUESDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2003
Delegates to the ninth meeting of the Subsidiary
Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-9) of
the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened in Working
Group sessions throughout the day. Working Group I (WG-I) considered
a draft programme of work (PoW) on protected areas (PAs). Working
Group II (WG-II) discussed a draft PoW on technology transfer and
cooperation, and addressed the design of national-level indicators
and monitoring programmes and the integration of outcome-oriented
targets into the PoWs of the CBD.
WORKING GROUP I
PROTECTED AREAS: The Secretariat presented
documents regarding a proposed PoW on PAs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/6 and
UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/INF/3 and INF/21-22). SOUTH AFRICA presented the
conclusions of the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/6/Add.2),
noting the call to develop PA networks and corridors, ensure
participation of indigenous peoples and other stakeholders, and
develop effective methods for monitoring and assessing the
effectiveness of PA management. SWEDEN presented the report of the
Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on PAs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/6/
Add.1), noting that the proposed PoW consists of elements on: direct
actions for planning and managing PAs; enabling activities and
standards; and assessment, monitoring and technology development. He
noted that the WPC recommended adding a programme element on
benefit-sharing, equity and participation.
BRAZIL, ALGERIA, ECUADOR and PERU emphasized the
importance of recognizing Parties’ sovereignty in establishing,
managing and monitoring national and transboundary PAs. BRAZIL and
BARBADOS called for flexible targets. BRAZIL stressed that the
Secretariat should not propose establishing new PAs, and that PAs be
integrated into guidelines on programmes for development assistance.
PORTUGAL and INDIA called for integrating PAs into other PoWs of the
CBD and relevant processes and, with the US, for avoiding
duplication of work. AUSTRALIA, CANADA and NEW ZEALAND expressed
concern over additional reporting requirements.
Many countries said timelines included in the PoW
are over-ambitious and cannot be met by developing countries lacking
funding. BRAZIL called for prompt funding to ensure the achievement
of the targets.
Several Parties stressed that the PoW does not
adequately focus on ecological networks, and AUSTRIA emphasized the
importance of conserving biodiversity outside PAs. SPAIN proposed
adding a checklist of main activities and relevant deadlines.
ECUADOR and INDIA emphasized the need to prioritize activities and
goals, and POLAND proposed to streamline the PoW.
IRELAND underscored the need to regularly review the
implementation of the PoW, and emphasized the importance of
awareness raising. FRANCE stressed the need for education. Several
Parties underscored the importance of regional and international
cooperation, and ARGENTINA suggested adding references to
PANAMA said SBSTTA must decide whether to establish
an AHTEG or an open-ended working group on PAs, and DENMARK
expressed support for establishing an AHTEG on PAs and ecological
CANADA, the NETHERLANDS, MALAYSIA and the RUSSIAN
FEDERATION stressed the need for greater focus on marine and
freshwater ecosystems. AUSTRALIA, CHINA, ITALY and JAPAN called for
establishing PAs in the high seas, in accordance with the UN
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). TURKEY expressed concern
regarding exclusive reference to UNCLOS. NORWAY drew attention to
the draft UN General Assembly resolution on Oceans and the Law of
the Sea, which refers to relevant scientific and technical work of
the CBD, and proposed cross-referencing the draft resolution in the
proposed PoW. PANAMA and COSTA RICA said transboundary PAs should
not be established to the detriment of national and existing PAs.
Several developing countries stressed the need to
promote a participatory approach to PA establishment, management and
monitoring. IRELAND, SWEDEN and the UK called for a bottom-up
approach to PA management and, with other delegations, requested
benefit-sharing. JORDAN and LIBERIA proposed considering the
socioeconomic aspects of PAs. A number of Parties suggested
emphasizing regional aspects of PAs, and the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (EC)
said the CBD’s main objective should be to develop a global system
of comprehensive, representative and effectively-managed national
and regional ecological networks and PAs by 2010 on land, and by
2012 at sea. GERMANY and INDIA welcomed the Joint NGO Pledge to
support the implementation of a strong PoW on PAs.
The WORLD BANK noted the importance of information
sharing regarding achievements in developing legal frameworks for
PAs. UNESCO said the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and World
Heritage Sites are stepping stones to establish a comprehensive
system of PAs. The NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL urged the
seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to adopt a
decision supporting a moratorium on high sea bottom trawling until a
legally binding regime is in force. The COUNCIL OF EUROPE stressed
the importance of including regional activities into the PoW, and
the Tebtebba Foundation, on behalf of INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, supported
by FRIENDS OF THE EARTH and IUCN, recommended acknowledging
indigenous peoples’ rights more explicitly. A coalition of
non-governmental organizations underscored that the PoW’s targets
and timetables are achievable if backed by financial support. FAO
expressed concern regarding inadequate guidance on responses to key
threats to PAs.
WORKING GROUP II
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The Secretariat presented
proposals for a PoW on technology transfer and cooperation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/7
and 7/Add.1), and a review of the implementation of relevant COP
decisions (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/ 9/7/Add.2). NORWAY presented the
recommendations of the Trondheim Conference on Technology Transfer
and Capacity Building (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/INF/1).
Many delegates highlighted the role of the
Clearing-house Mechanism (CHM) in facilitating technology transfer.
SPAIN and the NETHERLANDS said the proposed PoW is too ambitious.
SOUTH AFRICA noted capacity constraints for developing countries to
achieve the PoW’s actions and targets, and supported a phased
INDONESIA said information exchange requires
financing. While PERU requested that the Global Environment Facility
(GEF) provide funding for national assessments, the GEF stressed
that funding is available for enabling activities. JAPAN noted that
establishing financial incentives is not the responsibility of
countries that provide technology.
GERMANY, FINLAND and SOUTH AFRICA supported a
demand-driven approach to technology transfer and capacity building.
PERU called for a prior informed consent mechanism to acknowledge
the contribution of indigenous and local communities to technology
development, and IRAN and TURKEY called for adequate compensation.
PERU and the PHILIPPINES stressed the need for a
global inventory of available technologies. CANADA raised concerns
about the emphasis on use technologies in the PoW and, supported by
COLOMBIA and others, said achieving the 2010 target to reduce
significantly the rate of biodiversity loss requires action prior to
the completion of national needs assessments.
GERMANY and the Philippines, on behalf of the ASIA
AND PACIFIC REGION, called for encouraging South-South transfers.
Mauritania, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, requested more targeted
ARGENTINA called for clarifications in the PoW
regarding the role of intellectual property rights, and supported
incentives for foreign investment. TURKEY underscored the need to
balance IPRs for technological development and benefit-sharing, and
SPAIN said information on patents should be made available through
the CHM. MALAYSIA and KENYA called for guidance on the transfer and
adaptation of patented technology and on ways to overcome
restrictive policies of multinational enterprises.
FINLAND said technology transfer must include
assessments of needs, impacts and risks, and the BAHAMAS stressed
that risk assessment should be introduced to be consistent with the
NEW ZEALAND noted the diversity of approaches to
technology transfer, as well as varying capacities in accessing
knowledge sources. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA recommended convening
regional workshops and training programmes.
The SUNSHINE PROJECT called for addressing measures
that restrict developing country access to hard technologies, and
the THIRD WORLD NETWORK stressed that foreign direct investment may
have adverse effects on technology transfer.
MONITORING AND INDICATORS: The Secretariat
introduced a document on the design of national-level monitoring
programmes and indicators (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/10), the report of the
Expert Meeting on indicators (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/ INF/7), and a report
on relevant GEF projects (UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/INF/19). Diann Black
Layne, Co-Chair of the Expert Meeting, highlighted recommendations
to share experience through the CHM.
The UK highlighted the benefits of commonly agreed
indicators. GERMANY and AUSTRALIA cautioned against duplicating
NORWAY stressed the importance of regional
cooperation, and AUSTRIA and PORTUGAL requested referencing the
pan-European assessment of ecosystem indicators, while BRAZIL
suggested including the Amazon Cooperation Treaty for Sustainable
Forest Management. FAO highlighted regional forest processes that
include forest biodiversity indicators.
FINLAND stressed the need to include biodiversity
parameters in national resources inventories. KENYA expressed
concern regarding monitoring costs. AUSTRALIA noted differing
capacities to develop indicators.
OUTCOME-ORIENTED TARGETS: WG-II Chair Asghar
Fazel (Iran) opened the discussion on the document on the
integration of outcome-oriented targets into the PoWs of the CBD (UNEP/
Walter Reid, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA),
reported on progress made by the MA, highlighting indicator design,
assessment of indicators and underlying information sources,
identification of monitoring needs, and case-study experiences.
David Brackett, IUCN, described the IUCN system of
categories and indicators, stressing its role as the best available
assessment system that provides a basis for conservation, decision
making and development of indicators.
GERMANY highlighted differences between the 2010
target and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and suggested
referencing inter-agency collaboration and threats to biodiversity.
AUSTRALIA recommended focusing on three key threats, namely invasive
alien species, unsustainable use, and loss of native vegetation.
HAITI recommended including poverty in the list of threats.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, ARGENTINA and BRAZIL said
resources, capacities and financial means for implementation should
ARGENTINA requested clarifying the definition of
biodiversity-related goods and services, and the UK recommended
adopting the definition of biodiversity loss proposed at the "2010 ï¿½
The Global Biodiversity Challenge" meeting.
AUSTRALIA stressed the need to achieve a balance
between process- and state-related indicators. The UK, supported by
the PHILIPPINES, proposed testing indicators. MEXICO called for
practical indicators, and said UNEP-WCMC should manage the
data.CANADA and the UK proposed integrating the 2010 target into the
MDGs. The UK stressed the need to increase awareness on the 2010
IN THE CORRIDORS
While discussions on technology transfer made
unexpectedly smooth progress, one delegate noted that the numerous
calls for funding and needs assessments mask a lack of political
will to move ahead in this crucial area, noting that GEF funding is
available and that countries already know what their needs are.
Pointing at overly general interventions on the issue, another
lamented the poor understanding of its implications and
Despite an "easy riding" on protected areas, some
delegates speculated that controversy might arise later in the week
regarding next steps to address protected areas. Notwithstanding
this, the crammed packed Conference Room I and initiatives by NGOs,
intergovernmental organizations and governments to collaborate on
the issue are an indication of Partiesï¿½ and stakeholdersï¿½ commitment
to making this pressing matter a priority.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will meet from 10:00
am-1:00 pm to consider the development of practical principles and
operational guidelines for sustainable use. WG-I will reconvene at
3:00 pm to address guidelines for the implementation of the
ecosystem approach, and consider a Conference Room Paper (CRP) on
the PoW for mountain biodiversity.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will meet from 10:00
am-1:00 pm to continue discussions on outcome-oriented targets. WG-II
will reconvene at 3:00 pm to consider a CRP on the inter-linkages
between climate change and biodiversity.