Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 9 No. 279
Monday, 16 February 2004
CBD COP-7 HIGHLIGHTS:
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, 13-15 FEBRUARY 2004
COP-7 delegates met throughout Friday in two
Working Groups (WGs). WG-I considered the work programmes on inland
water ecosystems and marine and coastal biodiversity. WG-II
discussed: scientific and technical cooperation and the
Clearing-house Mechanism (CHM); communication, education and public
awareness (CEPA); Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge); financial
resources and mechanism; and national reporting. A brief Plenary was
held in the afternoon. Contact groups on the budget, and on access
and benefit-sharing (ABS) met on Friday. The contact group on
protected areas (PAs) convened on Friday and Sunday.
WORKING GROUP I
THEMATIC PROGRAMMES OF WORK: Inland water
ecosystems: The Secretariat introduced relevant documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/3,
12 and 12/Add.1, and INF/27).
Several participants called for capacity building
and financial resources, and linkages with other issues,
particularly mountain biodiversity and climate change. The RAMSAR
CONVENTION stressed the need for integrating inland water and
coastal management and, with NORWAY, for awareness raising.
Senegal, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, stressed
the need for inventories, and FRANCE highlighted their high costs.
Ireland, for the EU and Acceding Countries, Bulgaria and Romania (EU),
supported the Ramsar Convention’s wetlands classification. VENEZUELA
expressed concern over the goals’ tight timeframes. Colombia, for
GRULAC, stressed the need for realistic goals and targets. KENYA
called for alternative livelihoods for local communities and,
with INDONESIA, emphasized removal of perverse incentives. BRAZIL
and ARGENTINA, opposed by the EU and NORWAY, supported references to
BRAZIL and AUSTRALIA opposed references to
decision VI/23 on invasive alien species (IAS). THAILAND requested
references to exotic stocks of natively occurring species.
SWITZERLAND stressed integrated water resource management and, with
CANADA and FAO, harmonizing national reporting.
TURKEY and HAITI suggested greater emphasis on
human needs and roles. BOTSWANA urged indigenous participation in
inland water assessments. NORWAY called for impact assessments of
cumulative effects. LIBERIA suggested addressing shared rivers. The
INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY (IIFB) urged greater
focus on ecosystem fragmentation.
Marine and coastal biodiversity: The
Secretariat introduced relevant documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/12,
12/Add.2, and INF/ 24 to 26).
Many delegates stressed the need for consistency
with international law and coastal States’ consent regarding
biodiversity protection in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and
emphasized regional cooperation. Several delegates called for
support to implement the work programme, with the GAMBIA requesting
innovative and equitable financial mechanisms. AUSTRALIA, supported
by the SEYCHELLES, JAMAICA and FRANCE, called for increasing
resilience to coral bleaching. COSTA RICA opposed referencing areas
beyond national jurisdiction. GHANA, opposed by the RUSSIAN
FEDERATION, called for a moratorium on deep-sea trawling.
Several delegates pointed to knowledge gaps, with
JAPAN, TANZANIA and SENEGAL requesting that the establishment of
marine PAs (MPAs) be science-based. GRULAC and the UK emphasized a
bottom-up approach to a global PA network. COSTA RICA opposed a
global MPA network, with ARGENTINA noting this should be addressed
by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. CHILE underscored that
marine and coastal biodiversity can be protected by other means than
PAs. KIRIBATI stressed community-based conservation. THAILAND
highlighted the role of local and traditional practices. PALAU and
the PHILIPPINES emphasized indigenous and local participation.
The GAMBIA and INDIA noted the need for research
priorities. PERU stressed the need for short and long-term
activities. SLOVENIA prioritized implementing integrated marine and
coastal area management. The UKRAINE called for risk assessments
regarding military activity. THE PHILIPPINES, SLOVENIA and HAITI
stressed the urgency of addressing IAS from ballast waters.
ARGENTINA, opposed by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, suggested removing
reference to the positive effects of mariculture. TOGO and CAMEROON
highlighted adverse effects of foreign activities in their coastal
GREENPEACE called for addressing unregulated
fishing, including through a moratorium on bottom trawling in the
high seas, with IUCN suggesting that the UN General Assembly address
this issue. UNESCO proposed a new programme element on emerging
issues. The IIFB stressed that indigenous fishing rights extend into
the high seas.
WORKING GROUP II
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE CHM:
Many delegates highlighted national and regional activities.
Several Parties from the ASIA AND THE PACIFIC REGION requested the
Executive Secretary to organize their regional CHM meeting.
SWITZERLAND called for applying the experience gained in building
the Biosafety Clearing-house to improve the CHM’s efficiency.
CANADA requested an explanatory document on the
linkages between the CHM and taxonomic databases and, supported by
many, expressed concern over disparities between Parties regarding
electronic communication capacities and national focal points. Many
developing country Parties called for additional efforts in this
PERU prioritized improving national focal points,
while THAILAND called for designating regional ones. JAMAICA
recommended developing a web portal on island biodiversity. BURKINA
FASO acknowledged Belgium’s funding for activities on the CHM’s use
in his country.
COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS:
The Secretariat introduced relevant documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/17/Add.4
and INF/10). Questioning the need to maintain the Consultative Group
of Experts (CGE), COLOMBIA, PERU and BRAZIL called for support of
national and local initiatives. Antigua and Barbuda, on behalf of
GRULAC, called for country-driven approaches. Palau, for the SMALL
ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) emphasized information and training
materials in local languages, noting limited access to
internet-based tools. JAMAICA and BELIZE emphasized locally adapted
tools, and CUBA national education strategies.
The EU stressed cooperation among national focal
points, and between focal points and the CGE. CANADA suggested
compiling thematic reports on CEPA. NORWAY and IUCN called for
including CEPA in the CBD thematic areas and work programmes, with
NORWAY proposing to fund CEPA under the CBD core budget. UNESCO
stressed mainstreaming CEPA into development strategies.
FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISM: The
Secretariat introduced relevant documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/ 18, 9,
17/Add.5 and INF/1). The EU recognized the need for sustained
support and long-term financing from public and private sources.
JAPAN suggested avoiding duplication of efforts to achieve effective
use of resources. NORWAY stressed donor coordination and linkages
between national biodiversity and development plans.
SENEGAL, supported by many, highlighted the need
for a flexible financial mechanism and for timely financial support.
CANADA, PERU, the US and AUSTRALIA called for engaging the private
sector. Colombia, for GRULAC, expressed concern over the lack of
consistency between COP guidance and the GEF’s funding decisions.
CUBA, supported by GRULAC, said the Caribbean region was not
represented at the GEF Council meeting because of the US’ refusal to
issue a visa to the Cuban representative.
ABS: WIPO presented its technical study on
disclosure requirements, requested by COP-6 (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/INF/17).
ARTICLE 8(j): The EU reported that informal
consultations had not resulted in agreement on a preambular
reference to international law. WG-II Chair Desh Depaak Verma
(India) said the decision does not require preambular references,
but the EU requested their inclusion.
NATIONAL REPORTING: The Secretariat
introduced relevant documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/5 and 17/Add.2, and
INF/6, 7, 8, 9 and 22). Many delegates called for streamlining
reporting under relevant conventions. The EU and CANADA called for
outcome-oriented reporting, and welcomed the question regarding the
2010 target. CANADA requested to maintain the four-year reporting
cycle and to consider questions regarding overview and priority
setting as optional. NEW ZEALAND called for an alternative reporting
format focusing on implementation problems and reflecting the
multi-year programme of work. AUSTRALIA noted that indicators are
not the only means of assessing progress. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA noted
lack of national biodiversity data. Many delegates called for
capacity building. MALAYSIA, with many, called on the GEF to
streamline the procedures for access to funds for national reports.
WG-I Chair Hans Hoogeveen (The Netherlands) and
WG-II Chair Verma reported on progress in their respective WGs.
AUSTRALIA reaffirmed its willingness to resolve
the IAS issue, underlining that the IAS question will not affect
decisions on other matters.
Delegates elected regional representatives to the
Bureau: Karen Brown (Canada) and Philip Buckley (Ireland) for WEOG;
Moustafa Fouda (Egypt) and Sem Taukondjo Shikongo (Namibia) for the
African Group; delegates from Kiribati and Mongolia for the Asia and
the Pacific Group; Alexander Shestakov (Russian Federation) and
Zamir Dedej (Albania) for CEE; and Dalia Salabarria Fernandez (Cuba)
Qatar, for the G-77/CHINA, called on Parties to
implement the CBD’s objectives in the context of poverty
BUDGET: On determining the shared costs of
the CBD and the Biosafety Protocol, delegates decided to postpone
establishing a principle until enough experience with the separate
budgets has been gathered. Regarding the procedure for adopting the
respective budgets, delegates decided to consult a legal advisor.
ABS: Delegates discussed user measures
without reaching consensus on bracketed references to the work of,
and relation with, WIPO. On an international ABS regime, delegates
considered a revised working document including a draft decision and
annexed terms of reference (ToR) for the ABS Working Group.
Regarding the ToR, they approved language on process resulting from
discussions in a drafting group. A Friends of the Chair group was
established to resolve differences regarding scope, including
whether the regime should focus on benefit-sharing, or also address
access and traditional knowledge. On the ToRï¿½s elements, delegates
agreed on language regarding disclosure requirements in patent
applications. Agreement was also reached on language in the decision
regarding community participation.
PAs: Regarding targets, delegates agreed to
secure indigenous and local communitiesï¿½ full and effective
participation by 2008 for PA establishment and management, in full
respect of their rights and recognition of their responsibilities,
consistent with national law and applicable international
obligations. They also agreed to establish national and regional
monitoring systems by 2010. Delegates addressed suggested activities
regarding: assessment and monitoring; enabling activities; and
governance, participation, equity and benefit-sharing. A Friends of
the Chairs group was established to consider definitions.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As illustrated by Australiaï¿½s strong statement in
Fridayï¿½s plenary, the IAS issue is still occupying many a mind.
Regional groups were kept busy over the weekend attempting to reach
internal agreement and exploring drafting options. While one
delegate noted with concern that trade interests appear to remain a
decisive factor, another remarked that the moment might have come
for a more "formal" setting to address the issue. This may well be
an indication of the willingness to solve the issue at this COP.
Besides IAS, COP-7ï¿½s second week is expected to
be dominated by negotiations on marine and coastal biodiversity, ABS
and PAs. Many delegates noted that progress on ABS and PAs will most
certainly be achieved through mutual trade-offs. In light of calls
by developing country Parties in Fridayï¿½s ABS contact group to focus
exclusively on benefit-sharing, delegates are bracing themselves for
arduous negotiations this week.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:30
am in the Dewan Nerdeka Hall to consider: identification,
monitoring, indicators and assessments; biodiversity and climate
change; and the ecosystem approach. Look for revised Chairï¿½s texts
on inland water ecosystems, and marine and coastal biodiversity.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will convene at 10:30
am in Room TR4 to discuss liability and redress, incentive measures
and cooperation with other conventions. Look for CRPs on the CHM,
financial resources, CEPA, national reporting and Article 8(j).
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups on the budget,
PAs and ABS are expected to meet throughout the day.