Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 9 No. 282
Thursday, 19 February 2004
CBD COP-7 HIGHLIGHTS:
WEDNESDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2004
COP-7 delegates met throughout the day in two
Working Groups (WGs). WG-I discussed conference room papers (CRPs)
on: mountain biodiversity; proposals for future actions for thematic
work programmes; inland water ecosystems; marine and coastal
biodiversity; monitoring and indicators; the ecosystem approach;
biodiversity and climate change; the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI);
the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC); sustainable use;
biodiversity and tourism; and invasive alien species (IAS). WG-II
addressed CRPs on: communication, education and public awareness (CEPA);
technology transfer and cooperation; financial mechanism and
resources; operations of the Convention; and access and
benefit-sharing (ABS). Contact groups on the budget, protected areas
(PAs), and the Strategic Plan convened. A brief Plenary was held in
the afternoon to review progress in the WGs and the contact group on
the budget. The Ministerial Segment started discussions on ABS,
technology transfer and cooperation, and scientific assessments.
WORKING GROUP I
MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: Reserving its position
regarding the Akwé: Kon guidelines on impact assessments, NEW
ZEALAND requested to bracket relevant references throughout the CRP.
WG-I Chair Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) said informal
consultations regarding references to trade distorting activities
THEMATIC WORK PROGRAMMES: Delegates approved,
with minor amendments, the CRP on thematic work programmes,
including forest biodiversity, biodiversity of dry and sub-humid
lands, and agricultural biodiversity.
INLAND WATER ECOSYSTEMS: NEW ZEALAND
requested bracketing references to the Akwé: Kon guidelines. On
references to foreclose using the work programme as a basis for
creating trade-distorting measures, delegates agreed to consult
informally. Parties opposed Norway on referencing decision VI/23 (IAS).
MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY: AUSTRALIA,
CANADA, JAPAN and BRAZIL, opposed by THAILAND, suggested replacing
"areas beyond national jurisdiction" with "high seas" throughout the
CRP. Delegates requested additional time to consider a reference to
the 2004 International Convention on Ballast Water.
NORWAY and ICELAND requested, and delegates
agreed, to include a reference to the UN Convention on the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS) in a paragraph on establishing marine and coastal
PAs in the high seas. ARGENTINA requested, but CANADA opposed, to
add a reference to coastal states’ jurisdiction regarding resources
within their Exclusive Economic Zone. TURKEY expressed its
opposition to any reference to UNCLOS. While the EU favored
retaining a paragraph noting the positive effects of mariculture,
ARGENTINA requested its deletion.
BRAZIL expressed concern regarding the
operational objective addressing marine and coastal genetic
resources, including bioprospecting. A Friends of the Chair group
was established to address references to, inter alia: the
"high seas" rather than "areas beyond national jurisdiction"; the
positive effects of mariculture; and marine and coastal genetic
MONITORING AND INDICATORS: Delegates adopted
a CRP with minor amendments.
ECOSYSTEM APPROACH: Delegates agreed to
consider lessons learnt from sustainable forest management as an
outcome-oriented application of the ecosystem approach. Delegates
approved the CRP with other minor amendments.
BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: On measures
to manage ecosystems to maintain their resilience to climate change,
delegates agreed to delete references to the ecosystem approach and
environmental impact assessments.
GTI: Parties agreed to delete text in the CRP
requesting the GEF to provide technical and financial support to the
GTI’s Cooperation Mechanism. On linkages between ABS and taxonomy,
EL SALVADOR suggested, and delegates agreed, to stress linkages with
other work programmes.
GSPC: Delegates approved a CRP without
BIODIVERSITY AND TOURISM: An NGO
representative expressed concern regarding the procedure followed to
elaborate the guidelines annexed to the CRP. The Secretariat
stressed that the guidelines had been prepared with indigenous
participation and input.
NEW ZEALAND made reservations regarding
references to the Akwé: Kon guidelines. The issue was left pending.
Delegates decided not to include "voluntary" in the guidelines’
title. Regarding indigenous involvement in decision making, the EU
and KENYA supported, and CANADA opposed, referring to prior informed
consent (PIC). Compromise wording states that, consistent with
Article 8(j), decision making should include consultation with
indigenous and local communities and that indigenous PIC must be
obtained if required by the national regime. Delegates agreed that
the guidelines should recognize and respect indigenous and local
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: Delegates agreed to
delete specific references in the CRP to collaboration with the
World Trade Organization, and to include reference to the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species. The EU opposed
AUSTRALIA’s suggestion to refer to non-trade distorting positive
incentive measures for the eradication of IAS. Informal
consultations did not resolve the issue.
SUSTAINABLE USE: The SEYCHELLES suggested
replacing "wild flora and fauna" with "components of biodiversity"
throughout the CRP, and adding language on agricultural
biodiversity, in particular domesticated species, breeds and
varieties. The issue was deferred to allow consultations.
WORKING GROUP II
FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISM: Delegates
discussed two CRPs. Upon CANADA’s suggestion, delegates established
a Friends of the Chair group to review language on GEF support in
all decisions, and to produce a consolidated decision regarding
guidance to the GEF.
CEPA: ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA suggested creating
a CEPA post in the Secretariat. NORWAY stressed the need for
regional representation and, with the INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM
ON BIODIVERSITY, for indigenous participation in a consultative CEPA
Working Group. Delegates established an informal group on the issue.
NATIONAL REPORTING: Delegates agreed to
delete references to indicators for national reporting, and approved
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND COOPERATION:
Delegates considered a revised CRP. The EU suggested collaborating
with funding agencies other than the GEF. The PHILIPPINES and PERU,
opposed by AUSTRALIA, requested that enabling environments be
created in developed, as well as in developing countries. Delegates
agreed to delete references to "developed" and "developing"
countries. BRAZIL, PERU, CHINA and COLOMBIA requested convening an
Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group. CANADA proposed to include
experts on technology transfer in the informal advisory Committee of
the Clearing-house Mechanism. The decision was deferred to allow
OPERATIONS OF THE CONVENTION: Rule 21:
Several delegates opposed language extending the tenure of the
outgoing president until the closure of the meeting at which he or
she is replaced. EGYPT and MEXICO requested that COP-8 review the
effectiveness of the changes to Rule 21.
Agreement between UNEP and the CBD Secretariat:
The Secretariat suggested that the COP invite the UNEP Executive
Director and the CBD Executive Secretary to review administrative
arrangements by COP-8.
Retirement of decisions: Delegates approved a
CRP retiring several COP-3 and COP-4 decisions.
INCENTIVE MEASURES: Following lack of
agreement in informal consultations, AUSTRALIA presented a
compromise proposal that encourages Parties to use the proposals for
the application of ways and means to remove or mitigate perverse
incentives on an interim basis, and that recognizes the need for
priority consideration at SBSTTA-10. The EU also tabled a proposal,
which suggests that the COP accept the proposals on a preliminary
basis and request their review at SBSTTA-12.
ABS: The Secretariat introduced a CRP
approved by the ABS contact group, highlighting remaining brackets
regarding the timeframe for convening the ABS Working Group, and
cooperation with WIPO. The EU requested the document’s translation
and time to revise it. Stressing the need for prioritization,
COLOMBIA requested deleting bracketed footnotes, which subject
convening the ABS Working Group to budgetary considerations.
PAs: Delegates agreed on preambular
references to: targets and their prioritization; streamlining
procedures and expedited funding; and implementation of the work
programme through ecological networks, corridors and buffer zones.
Regarding the overall objective, delegates held regional
consultations on possible options.
STRATEGIC PLAN: In an afternoon session,
delegates debated incorporating globally determined targets and
indicators into national biodiversity strategies. They decided to
establish an informal group to further address this issue, as well
as budgetary constraints. In the evening, delegates discussed
a revised Chair’s text. They agreed, inter alia, to: include
reference to mobilizing financial and technical resources for
developing countries in text regarding focal areas towards the
Strategic Plan’s implementation; and note that global application of
indicators should not be used to evaluate the Convention’s
implementation in individual Parties or regions.
COP-7 President Dato’ Seri Law, Malaysia’s
Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, called on
Ministers to provide guidance and political impetus to COP-7. Dato’
Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime
Minister, said benefit-sharing is central to biodiversity
conservation. Klaus Tï¿½pfer, UNEP Executive Director, noted the merit
of a more focused COP agenda. CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah
Zedan stressed developing a holistic framework for biodiversity
conservation to enhance implementation. A.H. Zakri (United Nations
University Institute of Advanced Studies), Alfred Oteng-Yeboah
(SBSTTA-9 Chair) and Walter Reid (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment)
presented on the Ministerial Segmentï¿½s thematic issues, namely ABS,
technology transfer and cooperation, and scientific assessments.
Some Ministers said an ABS regime should build on
a gap analysis of existing regimes, and draw on experiences from
implementing the Bonn Guidelines. Others stressed it should be
practical and legally binding. Several highlighted capacity building
and technology transfer as prerequisites for benefit-sharing.
Many Ministers said technology transfer is
central to building capacity, and to implementing the CBD and the
Biosafety Protocol. Several emphasized the need for country-driven
Ministers noted that scientific assessments are
central to informing decision makers, developing targets and
indicators, and meeting the 2010 target. Some noted the importance
of establishing national and regional PA systems. Several called on
Parties to adopt an outcome-oriented work programme on PAs.
IN THE CORRIDORS
With several Friends of the Chair groups already
at work, and the tabling of a number of new CRPs, some delegates
expressed hope that the Chairs would have many more friends to help
them resolve remaining thorny issues. It came as no surprise that,
besides deep seabed bioprospecting, references to trade-distorting
measures in the inland water and mountains decisions would require
informal consultations. Several delegates voiced concern that,
instead of taking a proactive position to prioritize environmental
obligations, the CBD is increasingly being paralyzed by
international trade-related concerns.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: WG-I will convene at 10:00
am in the Dewan Merdeka Hall to continue discussing CRPs on IAS and
sustainable use, and address outstanding issues regarding mountain
biodiversity, inland water ecosystems, and marine and coastal
WORKING GROUP II: WG-II will meet at 10:00 am
in Room TR4 to discuss ABS. Look for a CRP on incentive measures and
a revised CRP on the operations of the Convention.
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups on the budget
and PAs are expected to meet. Check the monitors for time and
MINISTERIAL SEGMENT: The Ministerial Segment
will convene at 10:00 am in the Grand Ballroom of the Pan Pacific
Hotel to continue discussing ABS, technology transfer and
cooperation, and scientific assessments.