Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 9 No. 280
Tuesday, 17 February 2004
CBD COP-7 HIGHLIGHTS:
MONDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2004
COP-7 delegates met throughout the day in two
Working Groups (WGs). WG-I discussed monitoring and indicators,
biodiversity and climate change, the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI),
the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), the ecosystem
approach, and sustainable use. WG-II addressed liability and
redress, incentive measures, and cooperation with other conventions,
and also considered conference room papers (CRPs) on technology
transfer and on scientific and technical cooperation and the
Clearing-house Mechanism (CHM). A brief Plenary was held in the
afternoon. Contact groups on the budget, access and benefit-sharing
(ABS) and protected areas (PAs) convened.
WORKING GROUP I
MONITORING AND INDICATORS: The Secretariat
introduced relevant SBSTTA recommendations (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/
1/Add.2). NORWAY, CANADA and SWITZERLAND requested that
SBSTTA review the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s report.
NORWAY and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and Acceding Countries,
Bulgaria and Romania (EU), suggested harmonizing procedures.
SWITZERLAND recommended a flexible approach to indicators. SAUDI
ARABIA, CHINA and LIBERIA called for capacity building to develop
UNESCO, for World Bank, FAO, the World Health
Organization and UNDP, outlined ongoing assessments on the role of
agricultural biodiversity in poverty reduction.
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: The
Secretariat introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/1/4 and 13. Horst
Korn (Germany) presented the report of the Ad Hoc Technical
Expert Group on biodiversity and climate change. The UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) presented the outcomes of
Many delegates supported further synergies
between the CBD, UNFCCC and the UN Convention to Combat
Desertification (UNCCD), and requested financial and technical
assistance for developing country Parties. The EU encouraged
discussion on synergetic pilot projects.
While FINLAND supported further work on
adaptation, VANUATU, the MALDIVES and PALAU urged addressing the
causes of climate change. CANADA, WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL and
the GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT CENTRE stressed the need to minimize
degradation of areas that have sequestration capacities. TANZANIA,
the SEYCHELLES, CAMEROON and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION called for
addressing knowledge gaps.
The INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF RUSSIA, supported by
the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, suggested references to impacts on areas
inhabited by indigenous peoples. DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE expressed
regret that the UNFCCC allows for afforestation and reforestation
projects under the Clean Development Mechanism that make use of
genetically modified organisms.
GTI: The Secretariat introduced documents
UNEP/CBD/ COP/7/4 and 13. Many delegates emphasized the need for
financial support, capacity building and improved infrastructure.
BANGLADESH called for guidelines on monitoring. CANADA suggested
limiting the scope of the GTI review. JAPAN said ABS regulations
should not inhibit the transfer of genetic resources for taxonomy
GSPC: The Secretariat introduced documents
UNEP/CBD/ COP7/4 and 13. While many delegates supported integrating
the GSPC targets into all relevant thematic and cross-cutting work
programmes, CANADA objected to their incorporation into the work
programmes on agricultural and forest biodiversity. NEW ZEALAND and
COSTA RICA said the GSPC is a flexible framework within which
regional and national targets may be developed. SAUDI ARABIA
emphasized reporting on progress in implementing the GSPC.
ECOSYSTEM APPROACH: The Secretariat
introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and 13. IUCN stressed the need
to make the guidelines more easily accessible. Many delegates
requested that the guidelines be adapted to local needs and
circumstances. NIGERIA called for awareness raising. Syria, for the
ARAB GROUP, the EU and AUSTRALIA said the ecosystem approach
requires implementation rather than further elaboration. Opposed by
NORWAY, CANADA supported adopting an increasingly outcome-oriented
THAILAND, MALAYSIA and NEW ZEALAND supported
using the sustainable forest management concept. THAILAND,
BANGLADESH and BULGARIA called for using other approaches, including
integrated river basin management and integrated marine and coastal
area management. The NETHERLANDS and SWITZERLAND stressed the need
for multi-stakeholder and private sector involvement. TURKEY said
the guidelines extend beyond the CBD’s scope and are not
The INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON
BIODIVERSITY called for full and effective indigenous and local
participation in implementing the approach.
SUSTAINABLE USE: The Secretariat introduced
relevant documents, including the draft Addis Ababa Principles for
Sustainable Use (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4), which many delegates supported.
The ARAB GROUP said their implementation should
be based on national and local capacities. Ghana, for the AFRICAN
GROUP, emphasized monitoring and adaptive management. Colombia, for
GRULAC, requested GEF funding to implement the principles. The EU
highlighted the relevance of combating perverse incentives.
NAMIBIA called for an incentive-based policy
framework. YEMEN emphasized capacity building for monitoring and
follow-up systems. GUATEMALA suggested taking into account the role
of women and indigenous and local communities. WWF said the
sustainable use approach must be based on science, adaptive
management and local knowledge.
WORKING GROUP II
LIABILITY AND REDRESS: The Secretariat
introduced document UNEP/CBD/COP/7/13, noting that an expert meeting
on liability and redress had not been convened due to lack of funds.
The EU and SWITZERLAND prioritized a regime on liability and redress
under the Biosafety Protocol. Delegates approved the draft decision,
urging Parties to provide funding.
INCENTIVE MEASURES: The Secretariat
introduced documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and INF/13. Many delegates
supported SBSTTA recommendations on perverse incentives. FINLAND and
TUNISIA called for cooperation with the World Bank, the GEF and the
private sector. SOUTH AFRICA suggested identifying specific targets
and funding sources. INDONESIA and SENEGAL called for studying and
reinforcing traditional practices positively impacting biodiversity.
ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA and BRAZIL suggested that SBSTTA further
consider incentive measures. The EU favored informal consultations
to enable the COP to adopt a decision.
WG-II Chair Desh Deepak Verma (India) deferred
making a decision to allow further consultations.
COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS: The Secretariat introduced
document UNEP/CBD/COP/7/9. Many delegates welcomed the proposed
global partnership on biodiversity, stressing the CBD’s leadership.
The EU said the partnership could help achieving sectoral
integration and inter-agency coordination. CAMBODIA called for
evaluating the partnership’s costs. AUSTRALIA enquired about the
partnership’s mandate and institutional nature, and NEW ZEALAND
proposed to defer making a decision until these issues are
clarified. The EU and MEXICO suggested that the COP reiterate the
CBD’s request for observer status at the WTO.
The RAMSAR CONVENTION ON WETLANDS urged Parties to develop a closer
working arrangement with the Ramsar Convention through the
partnership. SWITZERLAND stressed the need to further address
international environmental governance issues. UNEP outlined its
efforts towards improving international environmental governance.
FAO outlined its activities regarding genetic resources. The
UNFCCC reported on the Joint Liaison Group between the CBD, UNFCCC
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Delegates discussed a
CRP on technology transfer and cooperation. Delegates debated
whether an expert group should be established, and agreed to
Canada’s proposal to extend the mandate of the CHM’s informal
advisory committee to address technology transfer. NEW ZEALAND and
AUSTRALIA called for increased involvement of civil society and
academia and, with CANADA, requested references to community rights
using Convention language. AUSTRALIA called on Parties to invite
private sector involvement.
On additional financial resources, the EU
suggested that the GEF consult with multilateral financial
institutions and regional banks, while BRAZIL and SENEGAL proposed
to urge the GEF and invite Parties to provide adequate and timely
financial support. The PHILIPPINES suggested gathering information
on obstacles that impede technology transfer to developing
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE CHM:
Delegates discussed a CRP on scientific and technical
cooperation and the CHM. Regarding language on assistance to
developing countries, the EU called for allowing country-to-country
assistance. NEW ZEALAND spoke against extending the role of the CHM,
and proposed to include technology transfer in scientific and
technical cooperation. BOTSWANA opposed, and NEW ZEALAND withdrew
Regarding language on regional workshops,
TUNISIA, SENEGAL and MALI requested deleting specific reference to
the Asia and the Pacific region. CANADA suggested retaining a list
of international partners for collaboration. The CRP was approved as
WG-I Chair Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) and
WG-II Chair Verma reported on progress made in their respective WGs.
COP President Dato’ Seri Law invited them to inform the Secretariat
on the financial implications of their decisions.
The ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER
COMMISSION called for indigenous involvement in CBD processes and PA
establishment, and for a sui generis system for traditional
knowledge protection based on customary law.
BUDGET: On the procedure for adopting the
Conventionï¿½s and the Biosafety Protocolï¿½s budgets, delegates
reviewed a legal opinion without reaching a final decision.
Delegates discussed the draft decision on the Conventionï¿½s budget (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/2
and 7/10) and did not resolve issues relating to the shared cost of
the Convention and the Biosafety Protocol, and to incentives or
sanctions for Parties with payments in arrear.
ABS: Delegates discussed preambular
paragraphs regarding an international regime on ABS, without
reaching agreement on the relevance of work of other
intergovernmental organizations. Delegates accepted to continue
negotiations on a Friends of the Chair proposal that makes
discussions on scope dependant on the removal of brackets around
preambular references to Convention articles, and to the addition of
elements on facilitating access, safeguarding benefit-sharing and
PAs: Delegates agreed on a definition of
"global PA network." Regarding activities related to planning and
managing PA systems and sites, delegates agreed that Parties should,
inter alia: establish time-bound and measurable national- and
regional-level PA targets and indicators by 2006; complete PA system
gap analyses by 2006; and establish by 2010 terrestrial, and by 2012
marine, comprehensive and ecologically representative national and
regional PA systems.
IN THE CORRIDORS
With the ABS contact group nearing deadlock, many
indigenous representatives expressed frustration over the
negotiations. As the proposed international regime remains based on
national sovereignty over natural resources, and is left entirely in
the ABS Working Groupï¿½s mandate, some indigenous delegates hinted
that unless clear references to their rights are secured, they may
have recourse to radical options, including withdrawing from the
At the same time, in the PA contact group,
timelines and definitions were at the center of delegatesï¿½
attention. Anticipating prolonged night sessions to wrap up work on
PAs and targets before the Ministerial Segment, some delegates have
started questioning if negotiations on these issues will ever come
to a satisfactory end.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00
am in the Dewan Nerdeka Hall to address biodiversity and tourism,
and invasive alien species. Look for CRPs on monitoring and
indicators, biodiversity and climate change, the GTI, ecosystem
approach, GSPC, and sustainable use.
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will convene at 10:00
am in Room TR4 to discuss Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure
regarding elections and terms of office of Bureau members, Article
8(j), and incentive measures. Look for: L documents on liability and
the CHM; CRPs on cooperation with other conventions and the
multi-year programme of work; and a revised CRP on technology
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups on the budget,
PAs and ABS are expected to meet.
SIDE EVENTS: The UK Government will hold two
side events on: the UKï¿½s response to the GPSC, launched by Elliot
Morley, UK Minister for the Environment, at 1:15 pm; and the UK
Darwin Initiative at 6:15 pm. Both side events will take place in
Room 8, Level 2.