Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 09 No. 261
Friday, 14 November 2003
THURSDAY 13 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) met in Working Group
and contact group sessions. Working Group I (WG-I) considered
Conference Room Papers (CRPs) on mountain biodiversity, protected
areas (PAs), sustainable use, the ecosystem approach, and invasive
alien species (IAS). Working Group II (WG-II) discussed CRPs on
monitoring and indicators, biodiversity and climate change,
outcome-oriented targets and technology transfer and cooperation. A
contact group met in the evening to finalize the draft programme of
work (PoW) on PAs.
WORKING GROUP I
MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: The Secretariat presented
a CRP on mountain biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.I/ CRP.1).
Regarding characteristics and problems that the PoW should focus on,
PERU, opposed by MALAYSIA, requested a reference to the fragility of
mountain ecosystems to climate change, affecting glaciers and
deserts in particular. Delegates agreed.
Regarding ways of reducing the impacts of
inappropriate land-use practices, delegates agreed to refer to
planning or management mechanisms, such as ecological, economic and
ecoregional planning, and bioregional and hazardous area zoning.
Delegates agreed that actions to prevent and mitigate the negative
impacts of key threats include maintaining agricultural and other
land-use activities, according to international law, known to
contribute to the maintenance of mountain biodiversity.
Regarding slope and soil instability, delegates
agreed to delete references to agroforestry and the density and
diversity of the vegetation cover. On deforestation, while ITALY
opposed deleting a reference to "illegal logging," RWANDA and the
SOLOMON ISLANDS proposed referring to "unauthorized harvesting."
Delegates agreed to refer to "fragmentation and unsustainable
On strengthening indigenous and local community
capacity, GERMANY, the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (EC) and NORWAY opposed
deleting a reference to the Bonn Guidelines on Access and
Benefit-sharing, while LIBERIA and BRAZIL opposed their inclusion.
Delegates maintained the reference with added qualification on their
voluntary nature. PERU said indigenous peoples have the right to
access genetic resources and need capacity building regarding their
use. ARGENTINA opposed recognizing access rights, and proposed to
focus on benefit-sharing only. Delegates agreed.
Regarding assessment and monitoring, delegates
agreed to refer to ecological services provided by all land
management systems. On improving information management, delegates
agreed to promote open access to information as considered
appropriate by Parties. Regarding public education, INDIA proposed
enhancing awareness about the importance of mountain biodiversity
among policy makers and planners.
PROTECTED AREAS: The Secretariat presented a CRP
on a draft PoW for PAs (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/WG.I/CRP.2). Several
developing countries noted the need to discuss the conceptual
framework of the PoW before examining the PoW itself. Delegates
agreed to consider the titles of the programme elements and goals,
recognizing many developing countries’ concern about references to a
global system of PAs and ecological networks.
Delegates agreed that Programme Element 1 should
address actions for planning, selecting, establishing, strengthening
and managing PA systems and sites. Delegates agreed that the
programme element’s first goal would address national and regional
systems of PAs integrated into a global network, as a contribution
to globally-agreed goals.
After debating the scope of the goal on
international cooperation on PAs, delegates agreed that the goal
would address transboundary PAs, regional networks and collaboration
between neighboring PAs along national boundaries.
Under Programme Element 2 on governance,
participation, equity and benefit sharing, HAITI suggested
introducing a section on definitions. CANADA requested a specific
reference to indigenous and local communities in the goal on
Under Programme Element 3 on enabling activities,
BRAZIL supported referring to national, rather than global, systems
of PAs. Delegates agreed not to add any aims to the goal on
communication and public awareness.
ECOSYSTEM APPROACH: Delegates adopted a CRP on
further elaboration, guidelines for implementation and relationship
of the ecosystem appraoch with sustainable forest management (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.I/CRP.6)
with minor amendments.
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: Regarding the CRP on IAS
(UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.I/CRP.7), delegates agreed to invite relevant
CBD Parties and other governments to support national and regional
decision making and rapid responses through science-based risk
analysis, alert lists, diagnostic tools and capacity development.
Following discussions, delegates agreed on steps to be taken if the
Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on IAS identifies the need for
standards or other measures, and adopted the CRP with the proposed
SUSTAINABLE USE: Regarding the CRP on practical
principles, operational guidance and associated instruments for
sustainable use (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.I/CRP.4), delegates agreed to
state that, in the case of threatened species, where applicable and
appropriate, non consumptive sustainable use strategies should be
favored. The CRP was adopted as amended.
Delegates adopted the CRPs on the management of
forest biodiversity, sustainable use to derive products and services
and benefit-sharing (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.I/CRP.5) and on proposals
for ways and means to remove or mitigate perverse incentives (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.I/CRP.3)
with minor editorial amendments.
WORKING GROUP II
MONITORING AND INDICATORS: Reporting on informal
consultations on the CRP on monitoring and indicators (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.II/CRP.1),
AUSTRALIA said delegates agreed on a paragraph encouraging
collaboration between the CBD and other organizations to facilitate
the development of national-level indicators and monitoring systems,
that countries can draw upon, if they so wish. The CRP was adopted
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Regarding the
CRP on biodiversity and climate change (UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/9/WG.II/CRP.2),
PERU suggested referring to mitigation projects as an option to
deliver environmental and social benefits in text on facilitating
national-level coordination. The CRP was adopted with this
OUTCOME-ORIENTED TARGETS: Delegates adopted a
CRP on the integration of outcome-oriented targets into the PoWs of
the CBD (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.II/CRP.4) with minor editorial
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation:
Regarding a CRP on targets for the GSPC (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.II/CRP.3),
delegates approved a broader definition of biodiversity. On the list
of indicators, the EC proposed including the distribution of
selected species, while ARGENTINA and MEXICO requested deleting a
reference to poor peoples’ livelihoods in relation to ecosystem
goods and services. ECUADOR and BRAZIL, supported by GREENPEACE,
requested, and delegates agreed, to add a paragraph on the legal
implications of the CBD’s and other multilateral environmental
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND COOPERATION: WG-II Chair
Asghar Fazel (Iran) invited comments on a CRP on a draft PoW for
technology transfer and cooperation (UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/9/WG.II/CRP.5).
COLOMBIA and MEXICO, supported by AUSTRALIA and CANADA, requested,
and delegates agreed, to refer to CBD Articles 16 (Technology
transfer), 17 (Information exchange), 18 (Cooperation) and 19
(Biotechnology) in the chapeau of the PoW. The US, COLOMBIA and
ARGENTINA requested a reference to the development of innovative
partnerships to facilitate enabling environments.The EC and others
requested reference to environmentally sound technologies.
On cooperation, delegates decided to refer to
regional and international, rather than north-south and south-south,
cooperation. Delegates agreed that technology transfer refers to
"transfers of technology from developed to developing countries as
well as countries with economies in transition, as well as among
developing countries." On enabling environments for
technology transfer, delegates approved a suggestion by ARGENTINA to
refer to facilitating "policy frameworks" rather than
"environments." Regarding support for implementation, BRAZIL
requested, and delegates agreed, to include the Global Environment
Facility as main actor for support.
Colombia, on behalf of the GROUP OF LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN, with CANADA, expressed concern over references to
traditional knowledge, noting the lack of intellectual property
regimes for indigenous knowledge. They requested deleting the
reference or including text on prior informed consent and
benefit-sharing. After informal consultations, delegates agreed to
delete all references to transfer from indigenous people to other
users, and footnoting that the issue should be dealt with under CBD
Article 8(j) (Traditional knowledge). On creating enabling
environments, CANADA proposed, and delegates accepted, a paragraph
on identifying community-based opportunities for the development of
sustainable livelihood technologies for local application.
Regarding synergies on information systems to give
access to existing technologies, INDIA suggested developing common
software. Delegates agreed to refer to the use of common formats,
standards and protocols. On proposals for enhancing the
Clearing-house Mechanism as a central mechanism for information
exchange, ARGENTINA proposed a trial period followed by a review. On
the development of guidelines for the use of information exchange
systems, CANADA requested, and delegates agreed, referring to
"advice and guidance" rather than "guidelines." Regarding the
development of national information systems, delegates agreed to
refer to cooperation with the Secretariat and among Parties.
On risk assessment, delegates agreed on text
referring to the preparation of transparent impact assessment and
risk analyses of the potential benefits, risks and associated costs
of introduced technologies, including new technologies for which
risks are not yet known. The CRP was adopted with these amendments.
Delegates then adopted WG-II’s report (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/WG.II/L.1
and L.1/Add.1) with minor amendments.
The contact group, which was mandated to consider
the targets and activities of the draft PoW on PAs and related
recommendations, considered the targets listed under each goal.
References to ecological networks and the rights of indigenous
peoples were controversial. While some delegates wanted to define
these concepts, it was agreed that their definition be determined by
national legislation and practice. Negotiations on the
recommendations continued into the morning.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Protracted consideration of the CRP on mountain
ecosystems in the morning did not bode well for WG-Iï¿½s remaining
workload, and was, in fact, the beginning of a bottleneck of a pile
of CRPs to be adopted in one short day. Delegates reached a
stalemate during discussions on the draft PoW on PAs, with some
commenting that greater involvement of delegates in the drafting
process could have spared them the gruelling late night contact
Commenting on the draft PoW for technology transfer,
a delegate pointed with irony to the absence of any representative
from Parties benefiting from technology transfer during the Friends
of the Chairï¿½s discussions on Wednesday evening.
The lack of response from the floor to Chair Fazelï¿½s
request for scientific advice on indicators, left some delegates
commenting on the increased political character of SBSTTA
negotiations since COP-6.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene from
10:00-11:00 am to finalize the draft PoW on PAs and adopt WG-Iï¿½s
PLENARY: Closing Plenary will meet from 11:00
am-1:00 pm to address preparations for SBSTTA-10 and 11, and
consider other matters. It will reconvene from 3:00-6:00 pm to adopt
the report and hear closing statements.
ENB REPORT: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin
report containing a summary and analysis of this meeting will be
available online on Sunday, 16 November, at