Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 9 No. 284
Monday, 23 February 2004

SUMMARY OF THE SEVENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY:

9-20 FEBRUARY 2004

The seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place from 9-20 February 2004, at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Over 2,300 participants attended, representing 161 governments, as well as UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), indigenous and local communities, academia and industry. Delegates to COP-7 adopted 33 decisions on, inter alia: biodiversity and tourism; monitoring and indicators; the ecosystem approach; biodiversity and climate change; sustainable use; invasive alien species (IAS); the Strategic Plan; mountain biodiversity; inland water ecosystems; marine and coastal biodiversity; protected areas (PAs); access and benefit-sharing (ABS); technology transfer and cooperation; Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge); incentive measures; communication, education and public awareness (CEPA); scientific and technical cooperation and the clearing-house mechanism (CHM); financial resources and mechanism; and national reporting. A Ministerial Segment convened on Wednesday and Thursday, 18-19 February, and adopted the Kuala Lumpur Ministerial Declaration.

COP-7ís agenda gave Parties an opportunity to live up to one of the CBDís most significant challenges: respond with concrete measures to the outcomes of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), including the target of significantly reducing biodiversity loss by 2010, and show that the CBD is the most appropriate and efficient policy framework to address biodiversity. The achievements of the meeting regarding ABS and PAs, supported by a valuable framework for evaluating the Strategic Planís implementation, are a solid basis for the Convention to address its priorities in the medium- and long-term future.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CBD

The CBD, negotiated under the auspices of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), was adopted on 22 May 1992, and entered into force on 29 December 1993. There are currently 188 Parties to the Convention. The CBD aims to promote "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources."

COP-1: At the first COP (November 1994, Nassau, the Bahamas), delegates set the general framework for the Conventionís implementation. Parties established an open-ended Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Biosafety, which met in Madrid in July 1995.

COP-2: At the second meeting of the COP (November 1995, Jakarta, Indonesia), delegates adopted, among others, a decision on marine and coastal biodiversity, and established an open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety to elaborate a protocol "on biosafety, specifically focusing on transboundary movement of any living modified organism (LMO) that may have an adverse effect on biological diversity."

COP-3: The third meeting of the COP (November 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina) took decisions on, inter alia, the elaboration of work programmes on agricultural and forest biodiversity and on a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

COP-4: At its fourth meeting (May 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia), the COP adopted a number of decisions, including on inland water ecosystems and Article 8(j).

EXCOP: At the first Extraordinary COP (ExCOP) (February 1999, Cartagena, Colombia), delegates could not agree on a compromise package that would finalize the biosafety protocol, and the meeting was suspended. Outstanding issues included: the protocolís relation to other agreements, especially those related to trade; the inclusion of commodities within the protocolís scope; the application of the Advance Informed Agreement (AIA) procedure, particularly with regard to the precautionary approach; and requirements for documentation and identification. Following suspension of the ExCOP, three sets of informal consultations were held to address outstanding issues.

RESUMED EXCOP: The resumed ExCOP (January 2000, Montreal, Canada) adopted the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Protocol addresses the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs that may have an adverse effect on biodiversity, taking into account human health, with a specific focus on transboundary movements. It establishes an AIA procedure for imports of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment, and also incorporates the precautionary approach, and mechanisms for risk assessment and management. The Protocol establishes a Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) to facilitate information exchange, and contains provisions on capacity building and financial resources with special attention to developing countries and those without domestic regulatory systems.

COP-5: At its fifth meeting (May 2000, Nairobi, Kenya), the COP adopted decisions on, inter alia, a work programme on dry and sub-humid lands, the ecosystem approach, ABS, and the Conventionís operations. During a special ceremony, 67 countries and the European Community signed the Biosafety Protocol.

COP-6: At the sixth meeting of the COP (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), Parties adopted the Conventionís Strategic Plan and an expanded work programme on forest biodiversity. They also adopted decisions on a wide range of issues, including IAS, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), and the Bonn Guidelines on ABS.

SBSTTA-8: During its eighth meeting (March 2003, Montreal, Canada), the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) focused on mountain biodiversity, and adopted recommendations on inland waters, marine and coastal biodiversity, dry and sub-humid lands, biodiversity and tourism, and SBSTTA operations.

MYPOW: The Open-ended Inter-Sessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work of the COP up to 2010 (MYPOW) (March 2003, Montreal, Canada) adopted recommendations, including on: achieving the 2010 target; the MYPOW; evaluation of progress in implementing the Convention and the Strategic Plan; and the CBDís contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Commission on Sustainable Development process. The meeting invited submission of views on the process, nature, scope, elements and modalities of an international regime on ABS.

SBSTTA-9: SBSTTAís ninth meeting (November 2003, Montreal, Canada) focused on PAs and on technology transfer and cooperation. Delegates also considered biodiversity and climate change, monitoring and indicators, and incentive measures.

WORKING GROUP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: At the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on ABS (December 2003, Montreal, Canada), delegates initiated discussions on the process, nature, scope, elements and modalities for an international ABS regime. Parties also adopted recommendations, including on reports on experiences with the Bonn Guidelines on ABS, use of terms, compliance measures with prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms, and capacity building.

WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(j): The third meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-Sessional Working Group on Article 8(j) (December 2003, Montreal, Canada) considered, among others, the integration of the work programme on Article 8(j) into the CBD thematic areas. Delegates finalized the Akwť: Kon Guidelines for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding developments proposed to take place on, or which are likely to have an impact on, sacred sites and land and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities. Delegates also finalized recommendations for concrete steps to increase indigenous participation in the CBD process, and proposed elements for a sui generis system for the protection of traditional knowledge.

COP-7 REPORT

COP-7 opened on Monday, 9 February 2004, and Datoí Seri Law, Malaysiaís Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, welcomed delegates to Malaysia. Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands), President of the sixth Conference of the Parties (COP-6), officially opened the meeting. He urged delegates to, inter alia, increase the budget, agree on terms of reference to negotiate an international regime on access and benefit-sharing (ABS), and establish indicators and a monitoring system for achieving the 2010 target to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss. Delegates elected Datoí Seri Law as COP-7 President. Datoí Seri Law said COP-7 delegates face the challenge of developing a framework for technology transfer that includes specific commitments to follow up on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and promotes benefit-sharing.

Klaus TŲpfer, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), noted that, although biodiversity loss continues, successes have been achieved, including the entry into force of the Biosafety Protocol. Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary, encouraged the COP to address the 2010 target by focusing on implementation, strategic partnerships, financial resources and support.

Delegates heard two keynote presentations. David Suzuki, David Suzuki Foundation, stressed that biodiversity is the source of the elements that humans need for survival. Emile Frison, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) said hunger reduction strategies should address product diversification, consumption and marketing.

COP-7 President Datoí Seri Law introduced, and Parties adopted, the agenda with minor amendments (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/ 1 and Add.1). The plenary established two working groups, and elected Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) and Desh Deepak Verma (India) as Chairs of Working Groups I and II (WG-I and WG-II), respectively. Delegates also elected Christian Prip (Denmark) as Chair of SBSTTA-11 and SBSTTA-12, and ten new Bureau members: Karen Brown (Canada); Philip Buckley (Ireland); Moustafa Fouda (Egypt); Sem Taukondjo Shikongo (Namibia); Tererei Abete-Reema (Kiribati); Oyundari Navaan-Yunden (Mongolia); Alexander Shestakov (Russian Federation); Zamir Dedej (Albania); Dalia Salabarria Fernandez (Cuba); and Antonio Matamoros (Ecuador). COP-6 President Hoogeveen reported that informal consultations had not resolved outstanding issues on the Rules of Procedure for COP meetings and the financial rules for the administration of the CBDís Trust Fund.

Delegates heard reports on regional and intersessional meetings. SBSTTA-8 Chair Jan PlesnŪk (Czech Republic) and SBSTTA-9 Chair Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) introduced SBSTTA-8 and SBSTTA-9 reports, respectively (UNEP/CBD/ COP/7/3 and 4). COP-6 President Hoogeveen introduced the reports on the meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW), the second meeting of the ABS Working Group, and the third meeting of the Article 8(j) Working Group (UNEP/CBD/ COP/7/5, 6 and 7). Amb. Philťmon Yang (Cameroon) presented the report on the status of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (UNEP/ CBD/COP/7/8). Gonzalo Castro, Global Environment Facility (GEF), introduced a report on CBD-related GEF activities (UNEP/ CBD/COP/7/9). CBD Executive Secretary Zedan introduced the reports on the administration of the Convention and the budget for the Trust Fund of the Convention (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/10), and on the proposed budget for the biennium 2005-2006 (UNEP/CBD/ COP/7/2 and Add.1).

Representatives from several organizations delivered opening statements, including the: Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance; UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); UN Development Programme (UNDP); UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); UN Forum on Forests; World Bank; World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); International Tropical Timber Organization; United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies; IPGRI; IUCN; Global Biodiversity Forum; International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB); and Greenpeace Kids for Forests.

Over the two weeks, WG-I considered: mountain biodiversity; protected areas (PAs); the Strategic Plan; progress on thematic work programmes; inland water ecosystems; marine and coastal biodiversity; 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-I established contact groups on PAs and the Strategic Plan.

WG-II discussed: technology transfer and cooperation; the Conventionís work programme and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the MYPOW; operations of the Convention; ABS; Article 8(j); scientific and technical cooperation and the Clearing-house Mechanism (CHM); communication, education and public awareness (CEPA); financial resources and mechanism; incentive measures; cooperation with other Conventions; national reporting; and liability and redress. WG-II established a contact group on ABS.

Delegates met in afternoon plenary sessions throughout the week to review progress. The plenary established a contact group on the budget, which met throughout the two weeks. On Thursday, 19 February, the plenary established a "Friends of the President" group to decide on intersessional meetings.

This report summarizes discussions and decisions on each agenda item, according to their consideration in the plenary and working groups. Unless otherwise noted, all decisions were adopted without, or with minor, amendments by the closing Plenary on Friday, 20 February.

PLENARY

DECISION VI/23 (INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES): The plenary considered Decision VI/23 (IAS) on Tuesday, 10 February (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.1 to L.3). COP-6 President Hoogeveen said the documents are a compromise arising from informal consultations ongoing since COP-6, and called on delegates to adopt them as a package. Many delegations requested additional time to consider the documents.

On Friday, 13 February, Australia reaffirmed its willingness to resolve the IAS issue, underlining that the outcome of informal consultations on IAS would not affect decisions on other matters.

On Friday, 20 February, COP-6 President Hoogeveen announced that informal consultations during COP-7 had not solved the pending issue regarding the disputed adoption of Decision VI/23 on IAS. He suggested, and delegates agreed, to withdraw documents UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.1, L.2 and L.3, containing a draft revised decision on IAS, revised guiding principles, and a proposal to retire Decision VI/23. Australia expressed regret at this withdrawal, reiterating its commitment to solving the issue. Canada and the EU requested that the COP-7 report include their interpretation of consensus agreement, as outlined by a UN legal opinion on the issue, and expressed regret at leaving the IAS issue pending. Brazil reiterated her concern over the process by which decision VI/23 had been adopted.

BUDGET FOR THE 2005-2006 WORK PROGRAMME: On Monday, 9 February, the plenary established a contact group, chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) to discuss the budget for the biennium 2005Ė2006. The group met throughout the two weeks and addressed, inter alia, changes in the scale for Partiesí assessed contributions to the core budget, sanctions for delayed contributions, the distinction between the Conventionís and the Biosafety Protocolís budgets and the procedure for their adoption by the COP and the COP/MOP respectively, and mechanisms for prioritization and allocation of activities under the Conventionís core budget and voluntary trust funds.

In the closing plenary, Mexico requested a review of the scale of assessments. Delegates approved the budget with minor amendments.

Final Decision: The decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.34) approves budgets of US$10,497,800 for 2005 and US$10,918,500 for 2006. The special voluntary trust fund for additional voluntary contributions in support of approved activities is US$3,100,443 for 2005 and US$2,373,927 for 2006. The special voluntary trust fund for facilitating participation of Parties in the Convention process is US$2,553,800 for 2005 and US$3,017,100 for 2006. The decision approves a total of 59 staff positions for the Secretariat and welcomes Canadaís annual contribution of US$1,000,000.

WORKING GROUP I

MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY: On Tuesday, 10 February, delegates considered mountain biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/ 14 and INF/6), including a draft work programme. Many delegates expressed support for the work programme and its integration into the MYPOW and CBD thematic work programmes. Several delegates emphasized the importance of transboundary cooperation, coordination with other initiatives, and new and additional financial resources to implement the work programme. A number of delegates stressed empowering local communities and building capacity. Brazil underlined that national policies should not hamper other countriesí conservation efforts and trade.

On Tuesday, 17 February, Parties discussed a conference room paper (CRP). Delegates discussed whether to refer to mutual supportiveness with other international obligations, including trade-related instruments, to avoid distortions to international commodity trade. The EU, opposed by Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, suggested deleting trade-related references. Informal consultations were held on this issue.

On Wednesday, 18 February, New Zealand reserved its position regarding the Akwť: Kon guidelines on impact assessments, and requested bracketing relevant references throughout the CRP. Informal consultations regarding references to trade-distorting activities continued.

On Thursday, 19 February, WG-I Chair Hoogeveen proposed text based on WSSD language regarding references to international trade and trade-distorting activities. Following consultations in a Friends of the Chair group, WG-I Chair Hoogeveen, suggested, and delegates approved, deleting references to international trade and trade-distorting measures.

On Friday 20 February, Parties agreed to add a footnote to the draft decision, noting that the implementation of the work programme should not promote incentives that negatively affect biodiversity of other countries. WG-I approved the CRP with this amendment.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.29), the COP adopts the annexed work programme on mountain biodiversity, invites Parties to adopt outcome-oriented targets, and encourages governments to enter into partnerships in order to address the need for resources, human, technological and financial capacity to implement the work programme. The COP requests the Executive Secretary to: develop proposals on a small number of global outcome-oriented targets and timeframes relating to the 2010 target; and collect and share information about the role of mountain ecosystems in producing and maintaining freshwater resources, and about the consequences of climate change and desertification on mountain biodiversity.

The annexed work programme contains elements on direct actions for, means for implementing and supporting actions for conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing. Element 1: establishes goals to:

  • prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of key threats to mountain biodiversity;
     

  • protect, recover and restore mountain biodiversity;
     

  • promote the sustainable use of mountain biological resources;
     

  • promote ABS; and
     

  • maintain genetic diversity in mountain ecosystems, in particular through preserving and maintaining traditional knowledge and practices.

Element 2 sets goals to:

  • enhance the legal, policy, institutional, and economic framework;
     

  • respect, preserve, and maintain traditional knowledge; and
     

  • establish regional and transboundary collaboration.

Element 3 establishes goals to:

  • develop work on identification, monitoring and assessment;
     

  • improve knowledge on, and methods for, assessing and monitoring the status of mountain biodiversity;
     

  • improve the infrastructure for accurate assessment and monitoring and develop associated databases;
     

  • improve research, technical and scientific cooperation, and other forms of capacity building;
     

  • increase public education, participation and awareness; and
     

  • promote the development, validation, and transfer of appropriate technologies for mountain ecosystems, including indigenous technologies in accordance with Article 8(j).

PROTECTED AREAS: On Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-11 February, WG-I addressed PAs (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and 15). Several delegates supported an outcome-oriented work programme that would be harmonized with other relevant work programmes, balance conservation with sustainable use and benefit-sharing, and integrate realistic targets. Some called for flexibility to allow for regional and national targets, and others for determining targets and timeframes according to national priorities. Delegates debated: whether to establish an open-ended working group or a technical expert group on PAs, and its mandate; and periodic reviews of the implementation of the work programme. Some noted the need for indicators to measure progress in implementation.

Many delegates supported integrating PAs into the wider land- and seascapes, and establishing corridors and buffer zones. Some countries expressed support for establishing PAs in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including marine PAs (MPAs). Some delegates highlighted the importance of regional cooperation, particularly regarding transboundary PAs and marine and coastal PAs (MCPAs). Many delegates stressed the need to act according to the law of the sea framework regarding MCPAs, and many developing countries reiterated the need for financial support and developing capacity to establish PAs.

Several delegates called for participatory PA management and decision making, including indigenous and local communities and youth. The IIFB said activities on indigenous territories must comply with prior informed consent (PIC) requirements. Several countries called for a unified classification system of PAs.

WG-I established a contact group, chaired by Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana), to address the decision and the work programme. The contact group, which met throughout the rest of the COP, agreed to the work programmeís elements as recommended by SBSTTA. Regarding the goals, delegates debated whether indigenous involvement in PA establishment and management should be "encouraged" or "enhanced and secured," and agreed on the latter.

On the targets, several Friends of the Chair groups were established to reach compromise on: full community participation; securing resources to meet PA costs; and establishing monitoring systems at various levels by 2010. A Friends of the Chair group was also established to consider definitions regarding a "global PA network" and "ecological networks."

Regarding activities, delegates debated, inter alia: establishing time-bound and measurable national- and regional-level targets and indicators; completing PA system gap analyses; and establishing ecologically representative national and regional PA systems. On enabling activities, delegates discussed the creation of markets for goods and services produced by PAs, and developing sustainable financing plans. On actions to establish and manage PA systems and sites, delegates discussed improving the integration of PAs into broader land- and seascapes, and developing tools of ecological connectivity linking together PAs.

Regarding the decision, delegates discussed targets and their prioritization, and implementation of the work programme through ecological networks, corridors and buffer zones. They also debated whether the overall objective of the work programme should be, inter alia: the establishment and maintenance of comprehensive and representative PA systems by 2010 for terrestrial and 2012 for marine areas; or the implementation of the work programme and its activities in the context of nationally determined priorities.

On Thursday, 19 February, WG-I considered a CRP. Paragraphs on establishing a working group to review implementation, and on assessment periods were left open, pending adoption of the decisions on the Strategic Plan and the MYPOW. Delegates agreed to delete a paragraph on performing gap analyses and effectiveness assessments.

On Friday, 20 February, delegates reached agreement, based on the outcomes of the Friends of the President group, to establish an ad hoc open-ended working group on PAs, the first meeting of which should be held before COP-8.

Final Decision: The final document (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.32) contains a decision and an annexed work programme.

In the decision, the COP:

  • recognizes that the work programme should be implemented in the context of nationally determined priorities, capacities and needs;
     

  • emphasizes: the need for capacity building in developing countries; and that the targets included in the work programme provide a framework within which national and/or regional targets may be developed, and activities prioritized according to national priorities and capacities; and
     

  • underlines the importance to conserve biodiversity not only within but also outside PAs.

The COP calls on Parties to estimate the cost of implementing the necessary activities to meet the targets of the work programme and report back to COP-8, and integrate PA objectives into their development strategies. Parties are further invited to consider options, such as ecological networks, ecological corridors, buffer zones and other approaches.

The COP requests the GEF to support the implementation of the work programme through various specific actions.

Regarding the work programmeís overall objective, the COP adopts the annexed work programme with the objective of establishing and maintaining by 2010 for terrestrial areas, and by 2012 for marine areas, effectively managed and ecologically representative national and regional PA systems that contribute, through a global network, to achieving the three objectives of the Convention and the 2010 target. A definition of global network is footnoted.

The COP further:

  • notes that the establishment, management and monitoring of PAs should take place with the full and effective participation of, and full respect for the rights of, indigenous and local communities consistent with national law and applicable international obligations;
     

  • urges Parties to elaborate outcome-oriented targets; and
     

  • decides to: establish an ad hoc open-ended working group on PAs to support and review implementation of the work programme; and assess progress in the implementation of the work programme at each COP meeting until 2010.

The Executive Secretary is requested to, inter alia, make arrangements to hold at least one meeting of the working group before COP-8.

The work programme consists of four programme elements, which contain goals, targets and suggested activities for the Parties and the Executive Secretary. Element 1 sets goals to:

  • establish and strengthen national and regional PA systems integrated into a global network;
     

  • integrate PAs into broader land- and seascapes and sectors;
     

  • establish and strengthen regional networks, transboundary PAs and collaboration between neighboring PAs across national boundaries;
     

  • substantially improve site-based PA planning and management; and
     

  • prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of key threats to PAs.

Element 2 sets goals to:

  • promote equity and benefit-sharing; and
     

  • enhance and secure involvement of communities and relevant stakeholders.

Element 3 sets goals to:

  • provide an enabling policy, institutional and socioeconomic environment for PAs;
     

  • build capacity for the planning, establishment and management of PAs;
     

  • develop, apply and transfer appropriate technologies for PAs;
     

  • ensure financial sustainability of PAs and national and regional systems of PAs; and
     

  • strengthen CEPA.

Element 4 sets goals to:

  • develop and adopt minimum standards and best practices for national and regional PA systems;
     

  • evaluate and improve the effectiveness of PA management;
     

  • assess and monitor PA status and trends; and
     

  • ensure that scientific knowledge contributes to the establishment and effectiveness of PAs and PA systems.

STRATEGIC PLAN: On Thursday, 12 February, delegates discussed the Conventionís Strategic Plan and considered a draft decision, including targets and indicators (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/20/ Add.1 and 3, INF/22 and 33).

Regarding the provisional list of goals and targets, several delegates recommended adopting a limited set of provisional targets and indicators that are science-based, realistic and non-mandatory. Some called for a flexible framework within which national and regional targets can be developed. Delegates expressed support for, inter alia, a provisionally adopted monitoring framework, specific goals, science-based quantitative targets, references to financial and technical resources, and measuring benefit-sharing.

Delegates decided to establish a contact group, chaired by Asghar Mohammadi Fazel (Iran), to address the draft decision, including targets and indicators. The contact group met on Wednesday, 18 February.

In the contact group, delegates debated incorporating globally determined targets and indicators into national biodiversity strategies, and decided to establish an informal group to further address this issue, as well as budgetary constraints. Delegates discussed and agreed, inter alia, to include references to: mobilizing financial and technical resources for developing countries regarding focal areas towards the Strategic Planís implementation; protecting traditional knowledge; and ensuring benefit-sharing.

On Thursday, 19 February, WG-I considered a CRP approved by the contact group. Delegates could not reach agreement on convening an intersessional working group to review implementation of the Convention and progress towards the 2010 target. The matter was referred to a Friends of the President group. The annex on global outcome-oriented targets for the work programmes on inland waters and marine and coastal biodiversity was left open, pending a decision on other relevant agenda items. Several delegates requested that the outcome-oriented goals and targets regarding the inland water ecosystem and marine and coastal biodiversity work programmes be referred to SBSTTA. Delegates approved the CRP with this and other minor amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.27), the COP recognizes the need to facilitate assessing progress towards the 2010 target, provide a flexible framework within which national and regional targets may be set, and establish a mechanism to review the Conventionís implementation.

The COP decides to develop a framework to enhance the evaluation of achievements and progress in implementing the Strategic Plan, and agrees that a limited number of trial indicators be developed. The COP requests SBSTTA, with the assistance of an ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG), to review the use of annexed indicators and develop additional ones. The COP requests the Working Groups on ABS and on Article 8(j) to explore the need and options for indicators for ABS.

The COP establishes goals and sub-targets to, inter alia, help assess progress towards the 2010 target, and promote coherence among the Conventionís work programmes. It requests SBSTTA to refine proposals for integrating outcome-oriented targets into work programmes on inland water ecosystems and on marine and coastal biodiversity, and requests the Executive Secretary to prepare proposals for integrating goals and targets into the work programmes. The COP emphasizes the need for capacity building, and invites Parties, governments, and organizations to provide adequate and timely support for implementation.

The COP decides to allocate adequate time in subsequent COP, SBSTTA and Working Group meetings, and establishes an ad hoc open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention.

The decision includes three annexes, containing: provisional indicators for assessing progress towards the 2010 biodiversity targets; a provisional framework for goals and targets; and a general approach for integrating targets into the work programmes.

THEMATIC PROGRAMMES OF WORK: Forest biodiversity: On Thursday, 12 February, WG-I discussed the forest biodiversity work programme (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4, 11 and 17/ Add.7, and INF/7 and 20).

Many delegations stressed the importance of international collaboration, especially through the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), and underlined linkages between the different thematic work programmes. They also stressed the need for criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management (SFM), streamlining forest-related reporting, and the role of the ecosystem approach in SFM. Delegates discussed emphasizing capacity building, recognizing the role of women and youth, and involving indigenous and local communities.

On Tuesday, 17 February, delegates debated a CRP on outcome-oriented targets, and regionally and internationally developed criteria and indicators for SFM. On Wednesday, 18 February, WG-I approved the CRP with a minor amendment.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.13 A), the COP recommends incorporating relevant indicators into the work programme. It encourages regional-level cooperation, and invites enhancement of cross-sectoral integration and inter-sectoral collaboration. The COP also requests the Executive Secretary to: propose outcome-oriented targets to be integrated into the work programme; continue collaborating with other members of the CPF on harmonizing and streamlining national reporting; and facilitate the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities and other relevant stakeholders.

Dry and sub-humid lands: On Thursday, 12 February, WG-I considered the work programme on dry and sub-humid lands (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/3 and 11, and INF/28 to 30, and 34). Delegates discussed transboundary areas, capacity building for national assessments, and joint efforts to support sustainable livelihoods. On Wednesday, 18 February, WG-I approved a CRP with minor amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.13 B), the COP adopts a process for the periodic assessment of the status and trends of biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands, and welcomes the joint work plan between the CBD and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The decision requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with Parties, to develop targets for implementation and, in collaboration with the Secretariats of other relevant conventions, to facilitate their synergistic implementation. It also urges Parties and relevant stakeholders to provide the necessary support.

Agricultural biodiversity: On Thursday, 12 February, WG-I started discussing the work programme on agricultural biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4, 7 and 11, and INF/6, 14, 15 and 31), including recommendations on genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs). Some delegates cautioned against the potential adverse impacts of GURTs, while others stressed the need to strengthen the relevant knowledge base.

On Tuesday, 17 February, delegates agreed to refer to, inter alia, national legislation and applicable international law regarding mainstreaming agricultural biodiversity into other plans and programmes. Final approval of the thematic work programmes was deferred to allow informal consultation. On Wednesday, 18 February, WG-I approved a CRP with minor amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.13 C), the COP takes note of the report of the AHTEG on GURTs, and requests its consideration by SBSTTA-10. It invites mainstreaming agricultural biodiversity into national plans and strategies, with the active participation of indigenous and local communities, and invites NGOs to assist Parties to build capacity to this end. The decision also requests the Executive Secretary to invite the FAO and other relevant organizations to address agricultural biodiversity, and urges ratification of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR).

Inland Water Ecosystems: WG-I considered the work programme on inland water ecosystems on Friday, 13 February (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 work programmes. Delegates noted the need for awareness raising, inventories, integrated water resource management, indigenous participation, addressing transboundary rivers, and harmonizing national reporting. They discussed the timeframes of goals contained in the work programme, and debated referring to the Ramsar Conventionís wetlands classification. Brazil and Argentina, opposed by the EU and Norway, supported references to trade agreements.

On Wednesday, 18 February, New Zealand requested bracketing references to the Akwť: Kon guidelines on impact assessments. On references to potential trade-distorting implications of the work programme, delegates agreed to consult informally. Parties opposed Norway on referencing Decision VI/23 on IAS.

On Thursday, 19 February, New Zealand approved references to the Akwť: Kon guidelines and Brazil agreed to delete references to trade-distorting measures in the work programme. Parties debated and agreed that environmental impact assessments include socioeconomic assessments.

On Friday, 20 February, delegates decided to include a footnote in the draft decision, stating that the implementation of the work programme should not promote incentives negatively affecting biodiversity of other countries. References to obligations under other international agreements, including trade agreements, were deleted. On a goal regarding incentives measures, delegates agreed to retain text on removing, or reforming appropriately, any perverse incentives opposing conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems, and to delete reference to subsidies of local production or consumption that distort international trade. WG-I approved the CRP as amended.

Final Decision: The final decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.30) contains a decision and an annexed revised work programme on inland water biodiversity.

In the decision, the COP encourages synergies between the CBD and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and recognizes the need for human, technological and financial resources, and for reliable baseline data and regular national assessments of inland water biodiversity. The COP requests the Executive Secretary to develop, with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, a proposal on streamlining national reporting. It urges Parties to incorporate the objectives and relevant activities of the work programme in their biodiversity strategies by 2005, and to share information and lessons learned from the application of national and regional policies. The COP invites Parties to formulate and adopt outcome-oriented targets for each activity, including timescales, and requests SBSTTA to review Ramsarís interim classification system.

The work programme consists of goals, objectives and activities grouped under three programme elements.

Element 1 on conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing contains goals on: integrating the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into all relevant sectors of water resource and river basin management; establishing and maintaining comprehensive, adequate and representative systems of protected inland water ecosystems; enhancing the conservation status of inland water biological diversity; and addressing IAS.

Element 2 on the institutional and socioeconomic enabling environment contains goals on: promoting the integration of conservation and sustainable use of inland water biodiversity into existing programmes and legislation, promoting technology and innovative approaches; providing incentives and valuation measures to support the conservation and sustainable use of inland water biodiversity, and to remove any perverse incentives; implementing the work programme for the Global Initiative on CEPA; and promoting participation.

Element 3 on knowledge, assessment and monitoring contains goals on: developing an improved understanding of inland water ecosystems; developing an improved understanding of threats to inland water ecosystems; performing impact assessments on projects and actions that might negatively affect inland water biodiversity, including cultural, environmental, and socioeconomic impact assessments, in accordance with the Akwť: Kon guidelines; and introducing and maintaining appropriate monitoring arrangements.

Marine and Coastal Biodiversity: On Friday, 13 February, WG-I considered marine and coastal biodiversity, including an elaborated work programme (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/12, and Add.2, and INF/24 to 26). Several delegates called for financial and technical support to implement the work programme. Many stressed the need for consistency with international law and coastal Statesí consent regarding biodiversity protection in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. Some delegates opposed addressing areas beyond national jurisdiction and establishing a global network of MPAs, noting that this falls under the scope of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Several delegates called for increasing resilience to coral bleaching, pointed to knowledge gaps, and requested that the establishment of MPAs be science-based. Some called for a moratorium on deep-sea trawling. Several delegates highlighted the role of community-based conservation and local and traditional practices. The IIFB stressed that indigenous fishing rights extend into the high seas. Many delegates stressed the urgency of addressing IAS from ballast water. Argentina opposed references to the positive effects of mariculture.

WG-I agreed to establish a Friends of the Chair group which met on Wednesday and Thursday, 18-19 February, to consider a CRP. On Thursday, 19 February, the Secretariat introduced a revised CRP. Text in the decision regarding coastal Statesí consent to establish MCPAs "which cross boundaries" was left pending. Regarding the work programme, delegates discussed, but did not reach agreement on, wording regarding operational objectives on information on bioprospecting and on enhancing biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. Informal consultations on a coral bleaching work plan to be appended to the work programme were held to address some countriesí concerns over the inadequacy of suggested activities.

On Friday, 20 February, WG-I agreed to delete specific reference to coastal Statesí consent for establishing transboundary MCPAs. Regarding the integration of outcome-oriented goals and targets, the EU proposed, and delegates agreed, after amendments by Brazil, to request SBSTTA-10 and 11 to further refine the proposal for integrating outcome-oriented targets into the work programme, and that these targets, in accordance with national priorities, are a key priority at the SBSTTA meetings.

Delegates approved with minor amendments the work plan on coral bleaching resulting from informal consultations, as an annex to the work programme, and approved the CRP with these amendments.

Final Decision: The decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.31 and Add.1) contains sections on: the review of the work programme on marine and coastal biodiversity; MCPAs; assessment, monitoring and research priorities; mariculture; deep seabed genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction; and conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The decision includes annexes on: the elaborated work programme; guidance for national marine and coastal biodiversity management frameworks; and data for assessing progress towards the global goal.

In the decision, the COP:

  • agrees that the work programme should: be applied in accordance with national law, and where applicable, international law, including UNCLOS; and address issues related to biodiversity and climate change;
     

  • extends the time period of the work programme by an additional six years; and
     

  • notes the adoption of the International Maritime Organizationís International Convention for the Control and Management of Shipsí Ballast Water and Sediments.

Regarding MCPAs, the COP agrees:

  • that the goal for work related to MCPAs under the Convention should be the establishment and maintenance of MCPAs that are effectively managed and ecologically based, and that contribute to a global network of MCPAs, building upon national and regional systems, and including a range of levels of protection;
     

  • to develop a strategy to meet WSSD goals related to the conservation and management of oceans; and
     

  • that full indigenous and local participation is important for achieving the global goal and for the establishing and maintaining MCPAs.

Parties are urged to adopt wider marine and coastal management frameworks taking into account the appended elements.

Regarding MPAs beyond national jurisdiction, the COP recognizes that the law of the sea provides a legal framework for regulating activities, and requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with the UN Secretary General and relevant bodies to identify mechanisms to establish and manage such MPAs.

Regarding international support for the creation of networks of MCPAs, the COP urges financial and technical support to establish a global system of MCPA networks, including identification and removal of barriers to their creation and removal of perverse incentives for unsustainable activities.

Regarding mariculture, the COP takes note of the negative and some positive effects of mariculture on biodiversity. The COP urges Parties to adopt: relevant techniques, some of which are listed in the decision, to avoid the adverse effects of mariculture; and relevant best management practices and legal and institutional arrangements for sustainable mariculture.

On conservation and sustainable use of deep seabed genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction, the COP requests the Executive Secretary to compile information on methods for identifying, assessing and monitoring deep seabed genetic resources, and report to SBSTTA. Parties are invited to identify activities and processes under their jurisdiction or control, which may have a significant adverse impact on deep seabed ecosystems and species beyond national jurisdiction.

Regarding conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, the COP calls on the UN General Assembly and other relevant organizations to urgently take measures to eliminate/avoid destructive practices, including the application of precaution and consideration of interim prohibition of destructive practices.

The elaborated work programme contains sections on: its vision, mission, goals and targets; basic principles; programme elements on integrated marine and coastal area management (IMCAM), marine and coastal living resources, MCPAs, mariculture, IAS, and general matters; enabling activities; and a time schedule. The work programme contains five appendices on: a work plan for coral bleaching; elements of a work plan on coral reefs; elements of a marine and coastal biodiversity management framework; research priorities for MCPAs; and research and monitoring priorities for mariculture.

MONITORING AND INDICATORS: On Monday, 16 February, WG-I discussed monitoring and indicators (UNEP/CBD/ COP/7/1/Add.2). Some delegates requested that SBSTTA review the Millennium Ecosystem Assessmentís (MA) report. Others stressed the need for harmonized procedures, a flexible approach to indicators, and capacity building to develop national strategies. On Wednesday, 18 February, WG-I approved the CRP with minor amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.11), the COP, inter alia:

  • requests SBSTTA to review the findings of the MA;
     

  • recognizes the need to strengthen the scientific base for decisions;
     

  • urges Parties and other governments to contribute case studies on experiences with environmental impact assessments (EIA) and strategic environmental assessments;
     

  • encourages increased collaboration between the CBD and other conventions and organizations;
     

  • encourages bilateral and multilateral funding agencies to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition; and
     

  • requests the CHM to develop an effective system of information sharing.

BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: On Monday, 16 February, delegates considered biodiversity and climate change (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/1/4 and 13). Many delegates supported further synergies with the UNFCCC and UNCCD, and requested financial and technical assistance for developing country Parties. Parties disagreed over whether to prioritize work on adaptation or the causes of climate change. Several participants stressed the need to minimize degradation of areas with sequestration capacities.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates discussed a CRP. They agreed to delete references to the ecosystem approach and EIAs in text on measures to manage ecosystems to maintain their resilience to climate change. They approved the CRP as amended.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.16), the COP invites Parties to use the report of the AHTEG on Biodiversity and Climate Change to promote synergies between the CBD and UNFCCC. The COP notes that climate change mitigation and adaptation activities can be implemented in ways that are mutually beneficial, and that the ecosystem approach provides a framework for the integrated management of land, water and living resources. The COP invites financial support to developing country Parties, and requests the Executive Secretary to gather relevant material for promoting synergy between climate change mitigation and adaptation activities, and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

GLOBAL TAXONOMY INITIATIVE: On Monday, 16 February, WG-I considered the GTI (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and 13). Many emphasized the need for financial support, capacity building and improved infrastructure.

On Wednesday, 18 February, Parties agreed to delete text requesting the GEF to provide technical and financial support to the GTIís Cooperation Mechanism, and to stress linkages with other work programmes. They approved the CRP with minor amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.12), the COP invites Parties to support taxonomic initiatives to attain the 2010 target, provide all necessary support to taxonomic centers of research and expertise, and appoint national focal points. The COP urges Parties and the GEF to provide support to developing countries, and invites developed country Parties to support the GTIís Coordination Mechanism. The COP requests: Parties to report on the status of implementation of the GTI work programme; and the Executive Secretary to develop guidelines for in-depth review, undertake gap analyses regarding the taxonomic components of the existing work programmes, and facilitate synergistic cooperation between existing initiatives.

GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR PLANT CONSERVATION: On Monday, 16 February, WG-I addressed the GSPC (UNEP/ CBD/COP/7/4 and 13). While many 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. Some said the GSPC is a flexible framework within which regional and national targets may be developed. On Wednesday, 18 February, WG-I approved the CRP with minor amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.15), the COP encourages Parties to nominate focal points, and requests the Executive Secretary to develop a toolkit to assist Parties in integrating the GSPC targets into their strategies. The COP decides to integrate the GSPC targets into the CBDís thematic and relevant cross-cutting work programmes, and into the reporting framework for the third national reports.

ECOSYSTEM APPROACH: On Monday, 16 February, WG-I discussed the ecosystem approach, including a draft decision on the ecosystem approach and implementation guidelines contained in an annex (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and 13). Many delegates requested that the guidelines be adapted to local needs and circumstances, and stressed that the ecosystem approach requires implementation rather than further elaboration. Several delegates supported using the SFM concept to facilitate implementing the ecosystem approach, others called for using integrated river basin management and integrated marine and coastal area management. Opposed by Norway, Canada supported adopting an increasingly outcome-oriented approach.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates discussed a CRP, agreeing to request the Executive Secretary to consider lessons learned from SFM as an outcome-oriented application of the ecosystem approach. Delegates approved the CRP with minor amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.14), the COP calls on Parties to implement the ecosystem approach, noting that the guidelines need to be considered as voluntary instruments, adapted to local conditions and implemented in accordance with national legislation. It notes that SFM, ecosystem based management, integrated river basin management, integrated marine and coastal area management and responsible fisheries approaches may support implementation of the ecosystem approach. The COP requests the Executive Secretary to, inter alia, identify gaps in the coverage of existing tools and approaches, and recommends that Parties provide feedback on their experiences, share their expertise, and promote better understanding of the ecosystem approach. The decision includes annexes on the refinement and elaboration of the ecosystem approach, and consideration of the relationship between SFM and the ecosystem approach.

The implementation guidelines contained in Annex I relate, inter alia, to:

  • decentralizing management;
     

  • considering the effects of ecosystem management on adjacent ecosystems;
     

  • managing ecosystems in an economic context;
     

  • prioritizing the conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning;
     

  • managing ecosystems within the limits of their functioning;
     

  • setting long-term objectives to ecosystem management;
     

  • seeking the appropriate balance between biodiversity conservation and management;
     

  • considering all forms of relevant knowledge, including scientific and indigenous knowledge; and
     

  • involving all sectors of society and scientific disciplines.

Annex II defines the conceptual basis of the ecosystem approach in relation to SFM, outlines proposals for integrating the ecosystem approach with SFM, and addresses the integration of the ecosystem approach into sectors and biomes corresponding to the Conventionís thematic programmes.

SUSTAINABLE USE: On Monday, 16 February, WG-I discussed sustainable use, including the draft Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for Sustainable Use (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4), supported by many delegates.

Delegates discussed: basing implementation on national and local capacities; monitoring and adaptive management; requesting the GEF to fund the implementation of the principles; and combating perverse incentives.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates agreed to add language on agricultural biodiversity. WG-I approved the CRP as amended.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.17), the COP stresses the interlinkages between the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for Sustainable Use and the ecosystem approach, which it identifies as the primary framework for action under the CBD. It recognizes the need to further elaborate the Principles and Guidelines, specifically with respect to domesticated species, breeds and varieties in the context of the work programme on agricultural biodiversity, and emphasizes the need for technology transfer and cooperation, and for capacity building.

The COP, inter alia, invites Parties to implement the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines at the national and local levels, taking into account obligations under other international agreements and existing frameworks of sustainable use. It requests SBSTTA to explore the applicability of the Principles and Guidelines to agricultural biodiversity, prior to COP-9.

The COP requests the Executive Secretary to:

  • collect information and experiences on success stories, best practices and lessons learned;
     

  • undertake further work on the use of terms for sustainable use, adaptive management, monitoring and indicators; and
     

  • convene a series of technical experts workshops on ecosystem services assessment, financial costs and benefits of biodiversity conservation, and sustainable use of biological resources; and
     

  • invite further research, transfer of technologies and financial support to assist in the implementation of the Principles and Guidelines at the national level.

The decision contains two annexes: a note on sustainable use, prepared for SBSTTA-9, and the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines.

BIODIVERSITY AND TOURISM: On Tuesday, 17 February, Parties considered a draft decision including annexed guidelines on biodiversity and tourism development (UNEP/CBD/ COP/7/3 and 14). Many delegates suggested developing a user manual on the guidelines, and several stressed that implementing the guidelines requires monitoring and community participation. Delegates emphasized the need for awareness raising. Canada said the guidelines should be consistent with the Akwť: Kon Guidelines. The IIFB said the guidelines are not consistent with Article 8(j), and requested that adoption be postponed until COP-8.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates considered a CRP. New Zealand made reservations regarding references to the Akwť: Kon guidelines, noting the need to further consider them at the national level. Regarding indigenous involvement in decision making, delegates debated referring to PIC. They agreed on language noting 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. WG-I approved the CRP as amended.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.10), the COP adopts the annexed guidelines, notes their voluntary nature, and requests the Executive Secretary to develop a user manual and checklist, and make available a streamlined and user-friendly core set of improved voluntary guidelines. The COP emphasizes consistency with the Akwť: Kon Guidelines, and invites Parties to provide indigenous and local communities with capacity building and financial resources to support their active participation in tourism policy making. The COP calls for additional efforts to increase awareness on the Guidelines, and invites the Executive Secretary to report on progress made in their implementation and improvement.

The annexed guidelines consist of four parts regarding: scope; the policy making, development planning and management process; notification process and information requirements; and education, capacity building and awareness raising.

INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: On Monday, 16 February, WG-I considered relevant documents, including a SBSTTA-9 recommendation on gaps and inconsistencies in the international regulatory framework (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and 13). Many delegates underscored the importance of cooperating with the International Plant Protection Convention and other relevant conventions, and supported establishing an AHTEG to address gaps in the international regulatory framework. Several delegates stressed the need for capacity building regarding border control and emergency response, and for greater emphasis on regional- and national-level measures. Delegates called for financial resources and supported requesting CBD observer status to the WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Committee).

On Wednesday, 18 February, WG-I considered a CRP. The EU opposed Australiaís suggestion to refer to non-trade distorting positive incentive measures for the eradication of IAS. Informal consultations did not resolve the issue.

On Thursday, 19 February, Canada agreed to delete reference to developing options to address gaps and inconsistencies within the context of international frameworks or at the national level. Delegates approved language on taking into consideration the risks associated with the introduction, use and spread of IAS during the development, expansion and environmental review of arrangements, such as trade arrangements.

On Friday, 20 February, delegates agreed to footnote a paragraph inviting Parties, as well as national, regional, and international organizations, to take various actions. The footnote states that the paragraphís implementation should not promote incentives that negatively affect biodiversity of other countries. WG-I approved the CRP as amended.

In the closing plenary, Australia expressed regret that no agreement could be reached on a paragraph on trade-related issues in the chapeau. The decision was adopted with a minor amendment.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.18), the COP notes the adoption of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Shipsí Ballast Water and Sediments, and requests the Executive Secretary to promote fuller consideration of issues relating to IAS in other international fora, and further collaborate with relevant organizations and initiatives. It invites the WTO to give consideration to risks from IAS in its deliberations, and requests the Executive Secretary to collaborate with the WTO Secretariat to raise awareness on IAS-related issues, and renew his application for observer status in the WTO SPS Committee.

The COP invites Parties and organizations to, inter alia: improve coordination of regional measures to address transboundary issues; support national and regional decision-making; incorporate IAS considerations into regional agreements; allocate adequate financial resources to developing countries; and consider the introduction of positive incentive measures. It is noted that implementation of the paragraph on incentive measures should not promote incentives that negatively affect biodiversity of other countries.

The COP notes specific gaps in international regulatory frameworks and the potential for application of existing methodologies for assessment and analysis, and requests SBSTTA to establish an AHTEG to address these gaps and inconsistencies.

It requests the Executive Secretary to: address the priorities for practical actions identified in the COP decisions; and facilitate the development of practical processes to allow Parties to share best practices and lessons learned. It invites the GEF and other institutions to provide support to developing countries.

WORKING GROUP II

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: On Tuesday, 10 February, WG-II considered technology transfer, including draft elements for a work programme on technology transfer (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4, 5, 7 and 16). Most delegates supported the draft work programme, stressing, inter alia: the need for political will; identification of, and access to, environmentally sound technologies; funding for South-South cooperation; and the importance of North-South transfers. Many developing countries called for financing, capacity building and creating incentives for technology transfer. Many stressed the need for guidance to the GEF to secure financial support from donor institutions.

Several delegates said that intellectual property rights (IPRs) should not hinder technology transfer. Many delegates requested including traditional knowledge and references to Article 8(j). Brazil and Malaysia opposed, noting lack of an effective protection system. The Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) supported a sui generis system for the protection of traditional knowledge. Some developed countries called for emphasis on scientific and technical cooperation and collaboration with other processes, highlighting the role of the CHM as a gateway to databases of relevant organizations. Several delegates proposed establishing an expert group, with others prioritizing work through the CHM.

On Monday, 16 February, delegates considered a CRP, and discussed whether an expert group should be established. They agreed to extend the mandate of the CHMís informal advisory committee. Delegates decided that the Executive Secretary should consult with multilateral financial institutions and regional banks, and invite Parties to provide adequate and timely financial support.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates considered a revised CRP. They did not reach agreement on establishing an AHTEG, and deferred the decision to allow consultations. On Thursday, 19 February, delegates adopted the revised CRP, with agreement on convening the CHMís informal advisory committee and an expert group to assist the Executive Secretary. The closing plenary adopted the decision after adding references to cooperation with and among countries with economies in transition, requested by the Russian Federation.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.20), the COP adopts the annexed work programme on technology transfer and technological and scientific cooperation, and:

  • decides that implementation of the work programme should be undertaken in close coordination with relevant activities of the Convention;
     

  • invites Parties to convene national, subregional and regional workshops to exchange information and enhance capacity;
     

  • requests the Executive Secretary to convene the informal advisory committee of the CHM to assist the Executive Secretary with providing advice on the CHMís possible role as a central mechanism for information exchange and facilitation of technology transfer;
     

  • requests the Executive Secretary to establish an expert group on technology transfer and scientific and technological cooperation to assist with preparing proposals on measures and mechanisms to facilitate access to, and adaptation of, technologies;
     

  • invites Partiesí development of innovative approaches and means of technology transfer and cooperation;
     

  • urges financial and technical support and training to assist in the implementation of the work programme; and
     

  • decides to provide further guidance to the GEF for capacity building, facilitating access to proprietary technologies, and providing incentives for technology diffusion.

The draft work programme contains four programme elements, which include objectives, operational targets, activities, main actors and timelines.

Programme Element 1 on technology assessments establishes targets on: national technology needs assessments; impacts and risk assessments; and dissemination of information and methodologies for assessments through the CHM.

Element 2 on information systems sets targets on: the development of the CHM as a central mechanism for information exchange and facilitating technology transfer and cooperation; national information systems and their linkages to international information systems; and further cooperation in the development of information systems.

Element 3 on enabling environments contains targets on: facilitation of access to, and transfer of, relevant technologies; and national frameworks to facilitate cooperation and access to, and adaptation and absorption of, relevant technologies.

Element 4 on capacity building and enhancement includes operational targets addressing capacity building for national technology assessments, information systems, national policy reviews and enabling environments.

CBD WORK PROGRAMME AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: On Wednesday, 11 February, WG-II considered the Conventionís work programme and the MDGs (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/20, 20/Add.1 and INF/23). Many delegates said the 2010 target is key to alleviating poverty, supported strengthening cooperation with relevant bodies, and called for mainstreaming biodiversity into other fields, such as trade and development cooperation. Many developing countries said integrating the MDGs requires financial resources and strengthening of national capacities.

On Tuesday, 17 February, delegates considered a CRP. The EU suggested bracketing a reference to the GEF and, on hunger and malnutrition, references to cooperation with FAO and IPGRI. Brazil opposed, requesting a stronger mandate for concrete initiatives. A decision was deferred to allow for further consultations.

On Thursday, 18 February, delegates agreed to retain reference to cross-cutting initiatives on hunger and malnutrition and approved the CRP.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.9), the COP urges the implementation of development activities in ways that are consistent with, and do not compromise, the achievement of the objectives of the CBD and the 2010 target. The COP invites integration of the MDGs into the Conventionís work programmes, and requests the Executive Secretary to bring forward options for consideration at COP-8 for a cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition.

MULTI-YEAR PROGRAMME OF WORK: On Wednesday, 11 February, WG-II considered the MYPOW until 2010, including the terms of reference (ToR) for the AHTEG on Island Biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/5 and 20). On addressing island biodiversity as an issue for in-depth consideration at COP-8, the small island developing States (SIDS) stressed the need for financial assistance and an approach that reflects their specific conditions. Delegates discussed references to a concrete and coherent programme, a focused review process, impediments to implementation, technical and practical advice, social indicators and sustainable use activities.

On Tuesday, 17 February, delegates considered a CRP. They discussed mechanisms for priority setting and budget allocation, and review of the periodicity of COP meetings, and agreed to consider these issues at COP-8. Delegates decided to: hold the AHTEG on Island Biodiversity in 2004; remove references to hotspots, ecological networks and corridors; and delete a reference the use of relevant indicators, including linguistic indicators. Delegates approved the CRP, as amended.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.7), the COP decides to:

  • adopt the annexed MYPOW and the ToR for the AHTEG on Island Biodiversity;
     

  • consider items identified as priorities by the WSSD when undertaking in-depth reviews of existing thematic areas and cross-cutting issues;
     

  • identify, for each upcoming meeting, ways to address issues of overarching importance, particularly relevant socioeconomic issues identified by the WSSD;
     

  • assess progress in achieving the goals of the Conventionís Strategic Plan, 2010 target and relevant MDGs at each of its meetings until 2010; and
     

  • consider a maximum of six items for in-depth review at any COP.

The COP requests the Executive Secretary to develop a preparatory process for SBSTTAís work on island biodiversity, which includes electronic forums, an AHTEG and a liaison group, and allows for the widest possible input.

The annexed MYPOW identifies island biodiversity as the new issue for in-depth consideration, issues for in-depth review, and strategic issues for evaluating progress in implementation for COP-8, COP-9 and COP-10.

The annexed ToR for the AHTEG on Island Biodiversity contain a mandate to, inter alia:

  • review the status of, and major threats to, island biodiversity;
     

  • review how ongoing work under the Convention and other processes is contributing to the implementation of the Conventionís objectives regarding island ecosystems;
     

  • identify significant gaps and constraints;
     

  • develop proposals for a work programme; and
     

  • develop global outcome-oriented targets pertaining to priority actions.

OPERATIONS OF THE CONVENTION: Review and consolidation of COP decisions: On Wednesday, 11 February, WG-II discussed the review and consolidation of COP decisions (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/20, and 20/Add.2 and INF/16). Delegates decided to retire COP-3 and COP-4 decisions, listed in the annex, and proposed that COP-8 retire COP-5 and COP-6 decisions. The Secretariat presented additional items for consideration: the review of the effectiveness of amendments to Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure (term of office of the President and the Bureau); and the review of administrative arrangements between the CBD and UNEP regarding the appointment of the Executive Secretary. Delegates requested to address Rule 21 as a separate item.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates approved the revised CRP with a minor amendment.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.21), the COP retires COP-3 and COP-4 decisions listed in an annex, and adopts a phased process of consolidation of COP decisions to be undertaken under the guidance of the Bureau. The COP invites the UNEP Executive Director and the CBD Executive Secretary to review and revise the administrative arrangements between UNEP and the CBD Secretariat and report thereon to COP-8.

Rule 21: On Tuesday, 17 February, WG-II discussed a CRP on Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure (election and terms of office of Bureau members). Parties opposed text stating that the outgoing COP President should remain in office as Vice-President upon the election of a new President until the beginning of the next COP.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates further discussed the issue without reaching agreement.

On Thursday, 19 February, delegates deleted the paragraph relating to amending the term of the COP President. Delegates approved the CRP with this and other amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.21/Add.1), the COP notes that there has not been enough experience with the operation of the new arrangements, and decides to review at COP-8 the effectiveness of the changes to Rule 21, and Rule 4 of the Rules of Procedure relating to the periodicity of its ordinary meetings. The COP requests the Executive Secretary to seek the views of Parties on options for a mechanism for setting priorities during the COP.

ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: On Wednesday, 11 February, WG-II considered ABS (UNEP/CBD/ABS/EW-CB/1/3 and UNEP/CBD/COP/7/5, 6, 17, INF/17 and 39).

The LMMC urged delegates to convene a working group. The EU, Australia, Canada and Switzerland prioritized implementing the Bonn Guidelines to help identify problems and gaps, and committed to negotiating a regime building on these experiences. The African Group supported a legally binding regime that balances access with benefit-sharing concerns, and includes technology transfer. The IIFB said the CBD should guarantee indigenous peoplesí rights before initiating negotiations on an international ABS regime.

WG-II established a contact group, co-chaired by FranÁois Pythoud (Switzerland) and David Hafashimana (Uganda), to address outstanding issues regarding the international ABS regime and measures to support compliance with PIC and mutually agreed terms (MAT). The contact group met from 11-17 February.

Regarding an international ABS regime, informal groups were formed to suggest revised ToR on process and scope. Delegates agreed on a process for the ABS Working Group to elaborate and negotiate the regimeís nature, scope and elements. A Friends of the Chair group was established to resolve outstanding issues regarding scope, including whether the regime should: focus on benefit-sharing or also address access and traditional knowledge; and address derivatives. The groupís mandate was extended to cover outstanding issues regarding the draft decisionís preamble and the ToRís elements. Contentious references in the elements included: derivatives; disclosure requirements in patent applications; certificates of origin/source/legal provenance; compliance with national ABS legislations; measures to ensure that bioprospecting beyond the jurisdiction of countries of origin is in compliance with the CBD; monitoring, compliance and enforcement; and dispute settlement.

On Tuesday, 17 February, the Friends of the Chair group presented a revised working document to the contact group. Outstanding issues included: preambular clauses regarding the relationship with other organizations, the recognition that Parties and stakeholders may be both users and providers, language on the regimeís elements, and the need for further analysis of existing instruments; and the timeframes for convening the ABS Working Group.

On Wednesday and Thursday, 18-19 February, WG-II considered a CRP, drafted by the contact group, with remaining brackets regarding the timeframe for convening the ABS Working Group, its dependence on budgetary considerations, and cooperation with WIPO.

Delegates resolved bracketed references on cooperation with WIPO by adding language on cooperation with UNCTAD. They debated, but could not agree on, the number of intersessional meetings, with the EU reserving its position. The issue was referred to the Friends of the President group, which proposed to hold two meetings, one funded from the core budget and another funded by voluntary contributions.

On Friday, 20 February, WG-II accepted the proposal and approved the document. Noting budgetary constraints, the EU said acceptance in the plenary is subject to decisions on PAs and the Strategic Plan.

Final Decision: The decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.28) provides for the following:

  • Bonn Guidelines on ABS: The COP calls for promoting their implementation and encourages submission of information on experience and lessons learned.
     

  • Use of terms: The COP requests submission to the ABS Working Group of a compilation of information
     

  • Definitions of: access to genetic resources; benefit-sharing; commercialization; derivatives; provider; user; stakeholder; ex situ collection; and voluntary nature.
     

  • Other approaches: The COP requests a report on the basis of submissions on other approaches to complement the Bonn Guidelines, for consideration by the ABS Working Group.
     

  • International ABS regime: The COP decides to mandate the ABS Working Group, with the collaboration of the Working Group on Article 8(j), to elaborate and negotiate an international ABS regime, with the aim of adopting an instrument/ instruments. It calls for the necessary arrangements for the ABS Working Group to convene twice before COP-8.

It further: invites the cooperation of FAO, WTO, WIPO, and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV); encourages community participation; and requests the Executive Secretary to compile submissions on the regimeís elements.

The annexed ToR for the ABS Working Group to negotiate an ABS regime includes terms on process; nature; scope, and elements. The ABS Working Group is called upon to: elaborate and negotiate the nature, scope and elements of an international ABS regime, drawing on, inter alia, an analysis of existing instruments; and examine whether the identified elements are part of these instruments, and address the gaps.

It is noted that the international regime could be composed of one or more instruments within a set of principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures, legally-binding and/or non-binding. The regimeís scope covers access to genetic resources and promotion and safeguarding of benefit-sharing and traditional knowledge, innovations and practices in accordance with Article 8(j).

A list of elements to be considered by the ABS Working Group includes, inter alia:

  • measures ensuring: collaborative scientific research and sharing of its results; sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and their derivatives and products; compliance with national legislations on ABS, PIC and MAT; and compliance with PIC of indigenous and local communities holding associated traditional knowledge;
     

  • measures preventing unauthorized access to genetic resources;
     

  • the issue of derivatives;
     

  • certificates of origin/source/legal provenance;
     

  • disclosure requirements in IPR applications;
     

  • protection of community rights over their traditional knowledge and customary law;
     

  • instruments to ensure benefit-sharing with communities;
     

  • monitoring, compliance and enforcement;
     

  • dispute settlement and/or arbitration; and
     

  • relevant elements of existing instruments and processes.

Regarding measures to support compliance with PIC and MAT, the COP, inter alia, invites Parties to: establish national mechanisms to ensure compliance, when required by domestic law, with the obtaining of communitiesí PIC; and establish mechanisms to ensure benefit-sharing at the national level with relevant stakeholders and indigenous and local communities. The COP also requests the ABS Working Group to address issues related to an international certificate of origin/source/legal origin, and to identify issues related to disclosure requirements in IPR applications. The COP invites WIPO to examine issues regarding the interrelation of access to genetic resources and disclosure requirements in IPR applications, and requests the Executive Secretary to gather information on compliance-related issues and make the compilation available for the ABS Working Groupís consideration.

Regarding capacity-building needs, the COP adopts the Action Plan on capacity building for ABS. The annexed Action Plan includes sections on: its objective; key areas requiring capacity building; mechanisms for implementation of capacity building; coordination; and an appendix on possible approaches for implementing identified activities.

ARTICLE 8(j): On Thursday, 12 February, WG-II considered Article 8(j) (UNEP/ CBD/COP/7/7). Many delegates welcomed the draft Akwť: Kon guidelines. Delegates called for the respect of indigenous land rights and PIC, with the IIFB stressing that it is not subject to national legislation. Delegates supported developing sui generis systems for traditional knowledge protection on the basis of customary laws and traditional practices. Malaysia, opposed by the EU, proposed deleting preambular references to international law in the context of sui generis systems. Delegates agreed to consult informally.

Many opposed field testing and commercialization of GURTs and requested that the Article 8(j) Working Group consider their socioeconomic impacts on indigenous and farming communities. Many participants stressed the need for a voluntary fund for indigenous participation. Delegates agreed that particular attention be given to funding for indigenous participation from developing countries, countries with economies in transition and SIDS. Delegates proposed different ways of enhancing indigenous participation, including through a network of focal points for Article 8(j) related issues. Some stressed the need for better cooperation between the Article 8(j) and ABS Working Groups.

On Tuesday, 17 February, delegates discussed a CRP. Regarding the report of the AHTEG on GURTs, delegates agreed to reference the precautionary approach and a moratorium on field testing (Decision V/5 paragraph 23). Delegates agreed to compromise text subjecting sui generis systems to Article 8(j), rather than international law. Delegates debated and agreed to retain a reference to lands and waters traditionally occupied by indigenous and local communities.

On Thursday, 19 February, the Secretariat proposed an operative paragraph regarding future meetings of the Article 8(j) Working Group. Delegates agreed to convene at least one meeting prior to COP-8. The paragraph was bracketed pending budget negotiations, and the issue was referred to the Friends of the President group.

On Friday, 20 February, WG-II agreed that one intersessional meeting of the Article 8(j) Working Group will be funded from the core budget, and organized in conjunction with the ABS Working Group. The CRP was approved as amended.

In the closing plenary, the Secretariat introduced a correction to the draft decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.19/Rev.1), noting that a reference to lands and waters traditionally used or occupied by indigenous and local communities should be deleted. Many delegates opposed the deletion, noting consensus reached in WG-II to retain it. New Zealand expressed procedural concerns regarding the tabling of a revised version of the draft decision. Following informal consultations, New Zealand agreed to retain the reference, stressing that decisions of subsidiary bodies and working groups have to remain open to change. She stressed that work done in the Article 8(j) Working Group was subject to national jurisdiction. The decision was then adopted without amendment. New Zealand expressed its reservation regarding the Akwť: Kon Guidelines.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.19/ Rev.1), the COP decides to hold one intersessional meeting of the Article 8(j) Working Group, and requests the Executive Secretary to prepare a progress report on the integration of Article 8(j) into thematic areas.

Regarding GURTs, the COP: invites Parties to build capacity to enable farmers and indigenous communities to effectively participate in decision-making processes related to GURTs; invites comments on the recommendation of the AHTEG on GURTs, and urges the Article 8(j) Working Group to consider the potential adverse socioeconomic impacts of GURTs on communities at its next meeting.

Regarding phase one of the composite report on the status and trends of traditional knowledge, the COP urges Parties and communities to provide information through the CHM, and requests the Executive Secretary to continue work through regional workshops and additional information gathering.

Regarding phase two of the composite report, the COP encourages Parties to support community field studies to determine threats to traditional knowledge. It further calls for financial support for work on both phases and for the development of an action plan. The annexed draft elements of an action plan for the retention of traditional knowledge include: an improved monitoring and reporting process; indicators; research ethics; and capacity building, education and training.

On the Akwť: Kon Guidelines, annexed to the decision, the COP encourages: legal and institutional reviews of impact assessments; Parties to involve indigenous and local communities in impact assessments, take steps to ensure transparency, and provide the necessary capacity and funding to ensure that the measures are implemented; and communities to request application of the Guidelines when developments are proposed in their traditional territories.

Regarding participatory mechanisms, the COP reiterates its invitation to increase indigenous participation on delegations, and requests the Executive Secretary to compile information on indigenous participation in the CBD and implementation at the national level, and to incorporate practical measures to enhance indigenous participation at SBSTTA and COP meetings. It decides to establish a voluntary funding mechanism under the CBD to facilitate indigenous participation, giving special priority to participation from developing countries, countries with economies in transition and SIDS. The COP also requests the Executive Secretary to further develop the role of the thematic focal point in the CHM, and to assist in developing communication networks for communities.

Regarding the development of elements of sui generis systems for the protection of traditional knowledge, the COP requests the Executive Secretary to compile information on customary laws and to develop a glossary of terms relevant to Article 8(j). It further decides on mechanisms for better cooperation between the ABS and Article 8(j) Working Groups. It requests the Article 8(j) Working Group, in collaboration with relevant international organizations, to:

  • consider forms of, and develop as a priority issue, elements for sui generis systems for the protection of traditional knowledge;
     

  • review the relevance and applicability of the Bonn Guidelines to the Article 8(j) Working Group;
     

  • assess the role of databases and registers; and
     

  • explore the conditions under which the use of existing IPRs can contribute to reaching the objectives of Article 8(j).

An annex contains potential draft elements to be considered in the development of a sui generis system for the protection of traditional knowledge.

Regarding recommendations of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) to the CBD, the COP requests the Executive Secretary to contribute to the preparation of a report on the implementation of Chapter 26 (indigenous peoples) of Agenda 21, and transmit the Akwť: Kon Guidelines to the third session of the PFII.

The COP requests the Article 8(j) Working Group to develop draft elements of an ethical code of conduct to ensure respect for the cultural heritage of indigenous and local communities for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND THE CHM: On Thursday, 12 February, the Secretariat introduced relevant documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/17, 17/Add.1 and Add.6, and INF/3, 4, 5, 11 and 12). Delegates from the Asia and the Pacific Region requested the Executive Secretary to organize their regional CHM meeting.

On Friday, 13 February, many highlighted national and regional activities. Delegates expressed concern over disparities between Parties regarding electronic communication capacities and national focal points.

On Monday, 16 February, WG-II discussed a CRP. The EU called for allowing country-to-country assistance. The CRP was approved with minor amendments.

Final Decision: The decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.6) includes sections on the CHM and operational procedures for the CHMís informal advisory committee.

The COP decides to extend the mandate of the CHMís informal advisory committee and review its mandate at COP-9. The COP calls upon Parties to: use the CHM toolkit to establish national focal points and websites; contribute resources for translation; and use controlled CBD vocabulary to facilitate inter-operability among national CHMs. It invites developed country Parties to develop regional CHMs, and to assist developing country Parties.

The COP requests the Executive Secretary to, inter alia: use the CHM to strengthen collaboration with international partners and organizations; update the CHMís strategic plan; convene regional workshops; update the CHM toolkit; and develop a web portal on island biodiversity. It also calls on the CHMís informal advisory committee to assess the results of the independent review of the CHM, and assist the Executive Secretary to strengthen the CHMís role in promoting technical and scientific cooperation.

The COP decides to adopt the annexed operational procedures for the CHMís informal advisory committee. The operational procedures include sections on: objectives, operational procedures, membership, Chair, and meetings.

COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: On Friday, 13 February, Parties discussed CEPA (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/17/Add.4 and INF/10). Many called for support for national and local initiatives, emphasized information and training materials in local languages, and noted limited access to Internet-based tools. UNESCO stressed mainstreaming CEPA into development strategies.

On Wednesday and Thursday, 18-19 February, delegates discussed a CRP, including establishing a CEPA post in the Secretariat. Delegates approved the CRP.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.22), the COP invites Parties to take into consideration the need to communicate the 2010 target and to establish appropriate linkages to the Decade on Education for Sustainable Development in the implementation of national CEPA programmes.

It further requests the Executive Secretary to:

  • allocate a specific CEPA post in the Secretariat;
     

  • convene an informal advisory committee on CEPA at the next SBSTTA meeting to further develop the CEPA work programme; and
     

  • continue collaborative efforts with CEPA programmes of other relevant organizations, including the Rio Conventions.

The COP also invites financial support for the implementation of the CEPA work programme and national CEPA programmes, and requests Parties to contribute to the second edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISM: On Friday, 13 February, WG-II discussed financial resources and mechanism (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/18, 9, 17/Add.5 and INF/1), including three draft decisions. Delegates recognized the need for sustained support and long-term financing from public and private sources, effective use of resources, donor coordination, and linkages between national biodiversity and development plans. Many delegates highlighted the need for flexible mechanisms and consistency between COP guidance and the funding decisions of the GEF.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates approved two CRPs without amendments. They decided to establish a Friends of the Chair group to review language in the third draft decision on references relating to GEF support in all decisions in order to produce a consolidated decision on further guidance to the GEF.

On Thursday, 19 February, delegates decided to forward the third draft decision to plenary.

Final Decision on additional financial resources: In the first decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.24), the COP welcomes the replenishment of the GEF, and urges Parties to: take action to ensure effective implementation of the work programmes, the Strategic Plan, and associated targets; and implement the Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development. The COP encourages Parties to further explore opportunities to utilize debt relief instruments, and invites them to enhance the integration of biodiversity into their sectoral development and assistance programmes. The COP requests the Executive Secretary to continue compiling and disseminating biodiversity-related funding information.

Final Decision on arrangements for the third review of the effectiveness of the financial mechanism: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.25), the COP adopts the annexed guidelines for the third review of the effectiveness of the GEF, containing the objectives, methodology, criteria and procedures of the review, which is to be conducted prior to COP-8 by an independent evaluator and under the authority of the COP. It further decides to take appropriate action to improve the effectiveness of the mechanism, if necessary, on the basis of the review.

Final Decision on further guidance to the GEF: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.26), the COP decides that the GEF shall provide financial resources to developing country Parties for country-driven activities and programmes, consistent with national priorities and objectives, and taking fully into consideration all relevant decisions from the Conference of the Parties. The decision further contains specific guidance related to COP-7 decisions.

NATIONAL REPORTING: On Friday, 13 February, delegates considered national reporting (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. A number of delegates called for outcome-oriented reporting, and welcomed the question regarding progress towards attaining the 2010 target, but some suggested it be optional given the quantity of information required. Several delegates called for alternative means of reporting and assessing progress. Many delegates called for capacity building, and suggested streamlining the procedures for access to funds for national reports.

On Wednesday, 18 February, delegates considered a CRP, and agreed to delete references to indicators for national reporting. They approved the CRP as amended.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.8), the COP requests Parties to facilitate the preparation of the third national report and, along with donors, to strengthen Partiesí capacities in implementing the Convention. The COP further requests the GEF to expedite and simplify its procedures for allocating funds to prepare national reports. The COP also requests Parties to submit as much information as available for evaluating the CBDís implementation and progress towards the 2010 target.

LIABILITY AND REDRESS: On Monday, 16 February, WG-II considered liability and redress (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/13). Delegates supported convening the expert group of legal and technical experts, which could not convene due to lack of funds. They approved the CRP, with some delegates urging Parties to provide funding. The closing plenary adopted the decision without amendment.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.5), the COP: renews its request to the Executive Secretary to convene a group of legal and technical experts on liability and redress; and urges Parties to make the necessary voluntary financial contributions.

INCENTIVE MEASURES: On Monday, 16 February, delegates considered incentive measures (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/4 and INF/13). Many delegates supported SBSTTA recommendations on perverse incentives. Some called for cooperation with the World Bank, the GEF and the private sector. Several delegates called for studying and reinforcing traditional practices that positively impact biodiversity. Argentina, Australia and Brazil requested that SBSTTA further consider incentive measures, while the EU favored informal consultations to enable the COP to adopt a decision. WG-II Chair Verma deferred a decision to allow further consultations.

On Wednesday, 18 February, following informal consultations, delegates considered two compromise proposals, one of which encourages Parties to use the proposals on ways and means to remove or mitigate perverse incentives on an interim basis, and recognizes the need for priority consideration at SBSTTA-10. The other proposal suggests that the COP accept the proposals on a preliminary basis and request their review at SBSTTA-12. Delegates decided to continue consulting informally.

On Thursday, 19 February, several GRULAC members requested instructing SBSTTA to assess cases of mitigation of perverse incentives, with Argentina refusing to discuss positive incentives in the absence of agreement on perverse incentives. Delegates agreed to adopt the annexed list of proposals as a draft for consideration by SBSTTA-10. References to positive incentives in the decision remained bracketed.

On Friday, 20 February, delegates agreed to amend the draft decision, specifying that positive incentives are to be non-monetary. WG-II approved the CRP with this amendment.

In the closing plenary, Argentina stressed that perverse incentives negatively impact natural resources and economies, and said the decision should not be used by developed countries to subsidize agricultural outputs. The decision was adopted without amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.33), the COP encourages Parties to use the annexed draft proposals as voluntary interim guidance for ways to mitigate perverse incentives, and requests SBSTTA-10 to further refine them.

Regarding implementation of the work programme on incentive measures, the COP invites Parties and international organizations to submit case studies on non-monetary positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The COP requests the Executive Secretary to: prepare a synthesis report and an analysis of instruments that provide positive incentives, for consideration by SBSTTA prior to COP-8; and explore existing methodologies for the valuation of biodiversity by preparing a compilation of existing valuation tools. The annexed draft proposals for ways to mitigate perverse incentives remain in brackets. The proposals contain sections on: general considerations, identification of policies or practices that generate perverse incentives; design and implementation of appropriate reforms; and monitoring, enforcement and evaluation of reforms.

COOPERATION WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS: On Monday, 16 February, WG-II considered cooperation with other conventions (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/9). Many delegates welcomed the proposed global partnership on biodiversity, stressing the CBDís leadership and calling for sectoral integration and inter-agency coordination. A number of delegates asked about the partnershipís costs, mandate and institutional nature, and some proposed to defer a decision until these issues are clarified. Several delegates suggested that the COP reiterate the CBDís request for observer status at the WTO. Switzerland and others stressed the need to further address international environmental governance issues and a number of IGOs outlined their activities and called for cooperation.

On Thursday, 19 February, delegates added language requesting CBD observer status in relevant WTO bodies. Following discussions, they agreed to refer to the "leading role" of UNEP on environmental issues. Regarding a flexible framework for cooperation between all actors, such as a global partnership on biodiversity, delegates agreed to request the Executive Secretary to examine possible ways forward. They approved the CRP with amendments.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.23), the COP recognizes the leading role of UNEP in environmental issues, the role of the Joint Liaison Group for coordination between the Rio Conventions and the CPF in forestry issues. It urges enhanced cooperation and reduction of inefficiencies between the CBD and all relevant international conventions. It requests the Executive Secretary to invite the Secretariats of the biodiversity-related conventions to form a liaison group to enhance coherence, examine options for a flexible framework between all relevant actors, such as a global partnership on biodiversity, and report to COP-8 on possible ways forward. It further requests the Executive Secretary to renew his application for observer status in relevant WTO bodies, and to inform the Working Group on the Review of the Implementation of the Convention on ongoing work on cooperation.

MINISTERIAL SEGMENT

On Wednesday and Thursday, 18-19 February, a high-level Ministerial Segment was held. Approximately 123 ministers and heads of delegations were in attendance. COP-7 President Datoí Seri Law called on ministers to provide guidance and political impetus to COP-7. He tabled the draft Kuala Lumpur Ministerial Declaration and asked ministers to approve it without amendment.

Datoí Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Malaysiaís Deputy Prime Minister, UNEP Executive Director Klaus TŲpfer, and CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan highlighted the challenge to develop a focused agenda and holistic framework to enhance implementation. Three international experts presented on the Ministerial Segmentís thematic issues, namely ABS, technology transfer and cooperation, and scientific assessments.

Ministers expressed support for an international ABS regime. Some said an ABS regime should build on a gap analysis of existing regimes. 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. One minister expressed regret regarding the lack of political will to mobilize financial resources.

Ministers noted that scientific assessments are central to developing targets and indicators, and meeting the 2010 target. One country stressed that lack of scientific knowledge should not be used as a reason to postpone action. Some ministers noted the importance of establishing PA networks. Several called on Parties to adopt an outcome-oriented work programme and establish a Working Group on PAs. Many ministers emphasized the need to integrate the CBDís objectives into poverty reduction strategies.

The Kuala Lumpur Ministerial Declaration was adopted by acclamation at the conclusion of the segment, with the addition of language on PAs.

Kuala Lumpur Ministerial Declaration: The declaration, inter alia:

  • urges governments to ratify the Convention and the Biosafety Protocol;
     

  • reaffirms the significant role of indigenous and local communities in the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources;
     

  • commits ministers to the development of an international regime on ABS;
     

  • commits governments to integrate biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into socioeconomic development; and
     

  • urges governments to establish PA networks and develop indicators and incentives to meet the 2010 target.

It also urges governments to: play an active role in the review of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and establish a mechanism for continuing scientific assessment input into the CBD; create and strengthen partnerships to promote, inter alia, PAs, benefit-sharing and the provision of additional financial resources; support the development of centers of excellence to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to exchange experiences; and identify and remove barriers to the exchange of key technologies for the implementation of the Convention.

CLOSING PLENARY

On Friday evening, 20 February, COP-7 President Datoí Seri Law opened the closing plenary at 11:00 pm. The delayed start was due to ongoing negotiations in the budget contact group. Ines Verleye (Belgium) reported that 128 Parties had submitted credentials, 120 of which had been approved, while 40 delegations had not yet submitted their credentials. President Datoí Seri Law announced that the two pending issues, namely Rule 14 of the Rules of Procedure (decision making) and Rules 16a and 16b of the Financial Rules (scale of assessments for contributions, and budget), had not been resolved during COP-7. Qatar, on behalf of the G-77/China, and Argentina urged Parties to resolve these issues, particularly the scale of assessments for developing countries.

WG-I Chair Hoogeveen and WG-II Chair Verma reported on progress and outcomes of their working groups. President Datoí Seri Law submitted the working groupsí reports for adoption. The WG-I report (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.4/Add.1) was adopted with minor amendments, and the WG-II report (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/ L.4/Add.2) without amendment.

President Datoí Seri Law then presented the draft decisions for adoption. Spain offered to host the next meeting of the AHTEG on Island Biodiversity, in the Canary Islands. Germany offered to fund and host the second meeting of the AHTEG on Reviewing the Implementation of the Forest Biodiversity Work Programme. Finland offered to host a meeting of the AHTEG on Biodiversity and Climate Change before COP-8. Thailand and Spain expressed their willingness to host meetings of the Working Group on ABS. Italy and Guatemala said they would host the first two meetings of the Working Group on PAs. Guatemala also offered to host SBSTTA-10. Brazil offered to host COP-8 in the first half of 2006. Delegates adopted a decision accepting Brazilís offer (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/ L.35).

Regarding other matters, New Zealand emphasized that work undertaken under the CBD must be consistent with obligations and rights under other fora. Turkey requested that its reservation regarding references to UNCLOS be recorded in the report. The IIFB expressed concern over New Zealandís proposal to delete reference to the lands and waters traditionally used or occupied by indigenous and local communities in the context of sui generis systems, noted its concern regarding the ABS regime, and requested that the guidelines on biodiversity and tourism be reviewed by the Article 8(j) Working Group.

Rapporteur Gordana Beltram (Slovenia) introduced the COP-7 draft report (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/L.4, L.4/Corr.1 and Add.1). Delegates adopted it without amendment, taking note of the concerns expressed by New Zealand, Argentina and Turkey.

Mauritius welcomed COP-7ís recognition of the dependence of SIDS on biodiversity, and invited delegates to the meeting on the 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action.

COP-7 President Datoí Seri Law welcomed work programmes on PAs and technology transfer and the mandate to develop an international ABS regime. He noted that COP-7 would reconvene, and officially close, on Friday, 27 February, following the Biosafety COP/MOP-1, in order to allow for consideration of budgetary implications arising from COP/MOP-1 decisions. He adjourned the meeting at 3:38 am.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF COP-7

"You are here to deliberate the fate of biodiversity on the planet, and I urge you to look beyond the human priorities of politics and economics because it is a matter of survival."

Ė David Suzuki, keynote address to COP-7.

If one thing is to be singled out from David Suzukiís stimulating keynote presentation, it would be the sense of urgency to address biodiversity loss. His address was both inspiring and necessary to provide an impetus for COP-7 delegates to tackle a heavy and particularly complex agenda. COP-7 was certainly one of the busiest and most ambitious COPs ever, with no less than three new work programmes to consider, the MYPOW to adopt, many cross-cutting issues and over 300 pages of draft decisions to scrutinize. COP-7ís agenda gave Parties the opportunity to focus on two of the CBDís most significant challenges: respond with concrete measures to the outcomes of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), including the target of significantly reducing biodiversity loss by 2010, and show that the CBD is the most appropriate and efficient policy framework to address biodiversity.

While Suzukiís inspiration carried delegates through the agenda, including two of the most controversial items, namely ABS and PAs, his sense of urgency did not seem to have reached them. However, the achievements of the two-week long meeting regarding ABS and PAs, supported by a valuable framework for evaluating the Strategic Planís implementation, are a solid basis for the Convention to address its priorities in the medium- and long-term future. However, creeping issues, including trade, and parallel consultations related to the disputed status of the COP-6 decision on invasive alien species (IAS), disrupted the spirit of cooperation and unexpectedly hampered discussions on secondary agenda items.

This analysis focuses on the issues that attracted most attention, namely ABS and PAs, and addresses the cross-cutting trade and Strategic Plan-related discussions. The conclusion will assess COP-7ís success in responding to the calls for action of the WSSD.

ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: THE QUEST FOR BALANCE

For years, developing country Parties have been advocating an increased focus on the Conventionís third objective: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. The WSSDís call to negotiate a benefit-sharing regime under the CBD jump-started the process to develop such a regime. A difficult start in Montreal at the second meeting of the ABS Working Group resulted in heavily bracketed text. Nevertheless, the Montreal meeting proved useful in identifying negotiating positions and dynamics.

COP-7 confirmed the major actors, namely the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries and the EU, with the African Group, Australia, Canada and Switzerland also emerging among those to influence future developments. At COP-7, delegates not only accomplished the significant achievement of cleaning up the text, but also reached a compromise and adopted a decision as well as terms of reference for the ABS Working Group, while leaving the options on the nature of the regime as open as possible. Overcoming obstacles related to the regimeís scope, cooperation with other organizations, particularly the World Intellectual Property Organization, disclosure requirements for patent applications, derivatives and compliance, delegates produced a text broad enough to enable all Parties to develop confidence in the negotiating process.

Finally, with the regimeís scope covering not only genetic resources but also traditional knowledge, indigenous participation in the negotiations is ensured. The opportunity is now open for the Article 8(j) Working Group to assert its role, and eventually for indigenous communities to build on their increased participation at the negotiating table during COP-7 and be emancipated from the Article 8(j) confinement.

PROTECTED AREAS: URGENCY VERSUS FLEXIBILITY

While the issue of indigenous participation in PA management and decision making, one of the prominent outcomes of the IUCN World Parks Congress, created antagonisms during the negotiations of the work programme on PAs, it proved unexpectedly painless compared to the deadlock that the definitions of "ecological networks" and "global network of protected areas" threatened to create. More than 70 hours of day and night contact group sessions were necessary to craft a work programme that met everyoneís needs and wishes. Many countries were worried about the implications of definitions that would seriously restrict sovereignty over their resources and territory. The flexibility injected into the work programme, by way of the all-too-familiar "where appropriate," and specific paragraphs on its implementation in the context of nationally-determined priorities, responded to most delegates concerns.

While it leaves one to wonder about its ability to contribute to achieving the 2010 target, several delegates welcomed the work programme, which integrates PAs into the broader land and seascape, provides for outcome-oriented targets, including on technology transfer and capacity building, and identifies steps to mobilize the necessary financial resources, including specific guidance to the Global Environment Facility. The acceptance of marine and coastal protected areas, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction, enabled through the inclusion of references to consistency with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, also came as a pleasant surprise to most. Initially held hostage of trade-offs between those prioritizing PAs and those promoting work on ABS and Article 8(j), the establishment of a Working Group on PAs will hopefully provide the necessary output to establish the global PA network called for by the WSSD. With budgetary constraints being on many a mind, some delegates remarked that unless a global financing mechanism is set up, the goal will never get off the ground (or the sea).

TRADE: AN INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES?

While the Conventionís objectives allow it to expand beyond the strictly ecological sphere and reach out to sustainable development concerns, this expansion inevitably leads to the CBD touching upon and becoming entangled with complex trade-related issues.

Trade concerns were slowly creeping into unexpected places of the COP-7 agenda, including in the work programmes on mountains and inland waters, and in the decisions on incentive measures and IAS. Agricultural subsidies were openly challenged by developing countries that insisted that the work programmes on mountains and inland waters, as well as draft proposals on ways to mitigate perverse incentives, should not be used as a means to distort international commodity trade. The issue, which was eventually settled on the eve of the closing plenary, delayed the adoption of many decisions, and many at the meeting were concerned by the increasing importance given to trade obligations within CBD negotiations.

Hopes were high that COP-7 would successfully put an end to the long-standing issue of decision VI/23 on IAS. Australia has contested this decision on grounds of process and substance, and argues that the formulation of the precautionary approach and risk analyses to prevent the introduction and spread of IAS could be used by countries to avoid their obligations under trade-related fora. The informal consultations held during COP-7 did not overcome Partiesí entrenched positions, in spite of their proclaimed willingness to reach a compromise. The deadlock encountered by COP-7 regarding references to trade-distorting measures shows that the CBD is not fully equipped to easily deal with the intricacies of the relationship between trade and the environment.

In the long term, the ability of the Convention to tackle the alien species-related issues, including the precautionary approach, could determine the Biosafety Protocolís future, with many countries awaiting the resolution of the issue before ratifying.

STRATEGIC PLAN: THE BROADER VISION

The relatively low-key character of the discussions on the Strategic Plan certainly shows that one should never pass judgment on the basis of appearances, as the decision related to the Strategic Plan and evaluation of progress towards the 2010 target is indeed one of the most significant achievements of COP-7. Delegates not only managed to adopt a provisional list of important indicators to assess, inter alia, threats to biodiversity, ecosystem integrity and resource transfers, but also agreed on a framework for goals and targets that integrates the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and links with poverty eradication. The targets on reducing unsustainable consumption and on transferring technology and financial resources to developing country Parties address some of the most pressing issues identified by the WSSD. Although Partiesí national priorities will determine implementation of these targets, the merit of COP-7, on this matter, is the adoption of a solid framework to further integrate the CBD in the sustainable development agenda. This was reinforced by decisions regarding the MYPOW, the MDGs, and cooperation with other international organizations that bridge the gap with development-related bodies.

COP-7: AN IMPORTANT STEPPING STONE TOWARDS THE 2010 TARGET

COP-7 was certainly one of the busiest and most ambitious COPs ever. The broad and fragmented agenda made it extremely difficult to keep the vision required to keep the CBD on the WSSD path towards implementation, rather than veering off on a never-ending paper trail. While most of the meetingís outcomes do live up to expectations, the meeting highlighted the need to address pressing matters, beyond the trade-environment nexus, including the proliferation of expert groups and various working groups, and identifying and addressing obstacles to implementation rather than tackling new issues. COP-7 may well have achieved a significant step forward in generating the momentum to address those issues and, at the same time, lay the foundation for a better integration of the CBD onto the sustainable development agenda. For as Suzuki reminded, "if we donít deal with hunger and poverty, we can forget the environment; people have other priorities."

THINGS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE COP-8

FIRST MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES SERVING AS THE MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY: The COP/MOP-1 to the Biosafety Protocol, organized by the CBD Secretariat, will take place from 23-27 February 2004, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For more information, contact: the CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=MOP-01

BORNEAN BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2004: This conference will be held from 23-25 February 2004, in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It is organized by the Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conservation Programme. For more information, contact: Kertijah Abd. Kadir; tel: +60-088-240430; fax: +60-088-250590; e-mail: Kertijah.AbdKadir@sabah.gov.my; Internet: http://www.bbec.sabah.gov.my/announcement.htm

SIXTH SESSION OF WIPOíS INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND GENETIC RESOURCES, TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE: This meeting will take place from 15-19 March 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact: the World Intellectual Property Organization; tel: +41-22-338-8161; fax: +41-22-338-8810; e-mail: publicinf@wipo.int; Internet: http://www.wipo.int/tk/en/igc/documents/index.html#6

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 2004 ANNUAL MEETING: INVASIVE SPECIES - THE SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS: This meeting will be held from 16-18 March 2004, in Washington DC, US. For more information, contact: Sue Burk, Meeting Director; tel: +1-703-790-1745 x14; fax: +1-703-790-2672; e-mail: sburk@aibs.org; Internet: http://www.aibs.org/annual-meeting-2004.

EIGHTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/FIFTH GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: These meetings will be held jointly from 29-31 March 2004, in Jeju, Republic of Korea. For more information, contact: Beverly Miller, Secretary for the UNEP Governing Council; tel: +254-2-623431; fax: +254-2-623929; e-mail: beverly.miller@unep.org; Internet: http://www.unep.org or http://www.2004unepkorea.org/.

12TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: CSD-12 will be held from 14-30 April 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. During the first three days the CSD will serve as the Preparatory Committee for the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. For more information, contact: the Department of Economic and Social Affairs; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12.htm

EIGHTH SESSION OF THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION FACILITY: This meeting will be held from 25-30 April 2004, in Oaxaca, Mexico. For more information, contact: Hugo von Linstow; tel: +45-35-32-1477; fax: +45-35-32-1480; e-mail: hvlinstow@gbif.org; Internet: http://www.gbif.org/GB8.

THIRD SESSION OF THE UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES: PFII-3 will take place from 10-21 May 2004, at United Nations headquarters in New York. It will focus on indigenous women. For more information, contact: Yao Ngoran; tel: +1-212-963-3175; fax: +1-212-963-3063; e-mail: ngoran@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/pfii/PFII3/index.html.

GEF NGO CONSULTATION AND COUNCIL MEETING: This meeting will take place from 18-21 May 2004, in Washington, DC, US. For more information, contact: the GEF Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240; e-mail: secretariat@TheGEF.org; Internet: http://gefweb.org/participants/Council/Meeting_Schedule/meeting_schedule.html

FIFTH SESSION OF THE OPEN-ENDED INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS ON OCEANS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA: UNICPOLOS-5 will take place from 7-11 June 2004, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-2811; e-mail: doalos@un.org; Internet:
http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/consultative_process.htm.

INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES: This meeting will take place from 30 August to 3 September 2004, in Mauritius. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135 fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.sidsnet.org.

13TH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO CITES: CITES COP-13 will take place from 2-14 October 2004, in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: the CITES Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8139; fax: +41-22-797-3417; e-mail: cites@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.cites.org

3RD IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS: PEOPLE AND NATURE, ONLY ONE WORLD: This meeting will take place from 17-25 November 2004, in Bangkok, Thailand. The Congress will consist of a three-day World Conservation Forum and a four-day Membersí Business Assembly. For more information, contact: Ursula Hiltbrunner, IUCN; tel: +41-22-999-0232; fax: +41-22-999-0020; e-mail: ursula.hiltbrunner@iucn.org; Internet: http://www.iucn.org/about/resolutions.htm.

TENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UN FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: UNFCCC COP-10 is tentatively scheduled to take place from 29 November - 10 December 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information, contact the UNFCCC Secretariat: tel: +49-228- 815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int.

SEVENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION: CCD COP-7 is tentatively scheduled to meet from 17-28 October 2005, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: the CCD Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2802; fax: +49-228-815-2898; e-mail: secretariat@unccd.int; Internet: http://www.unccd.int.

NINTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE RAMSAR CONVENTION: Ramsar COP-9 is tentatively scheduled to take place from 7-15 November 2005, in Kampala, Uganda. For more information, contact: the Ramsar Convention Bureau; tel: +41-22-999-0170; fax: +41-22-999-0169, e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org; Internet: http://www.ramsar.org.

EIGHTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: CBD COP-8 will take place in the first half of 2006 in Brazil. For more information, contact: the CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin ÔŅĹ enb@iisd.org is written and edited by Nienke Beintema nienke@iisd.org; Stefan Jungcurt stefan@iisd.org; Dagmar Lohan, Ph.D. dagmar@iisd.org; Charlotte Salpin charlotte@iisd.org; Nicole Schabus nicole@iisd.org; and Elsa Tsioumani elsa@iisd.org. The Digital Editor is Franz Dejon franz@iisd.org. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. pam@iisd.org and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2004 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Swan International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Specific funding for coverage of COP-7 has been provided by UK DFID and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org, +1-212-644-0217 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA. The ENB team can be reached in Kuala Lumpur at our offices in the Exhibition Space and by phone at +60 (0)3 2629334.

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