Vol. 9 No. 326
SUMMARY OF THE FIRST MEETING OF THE CBD
AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON PROTECTED AREAS:
The first meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas (PAs) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was convened from 13-17 June 2005, in Montecatini, Italy. The Working Group was established by the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the CBD to support and review the implementation of the programme of work on PAs, adopted by Decision VII/28. The objective of the work programme is to support the establishment and maintenance, by 2010 for terrestrial and by 2012 for marine areas, of comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional systems of PAs that contribute to achieving the three objectives of the Convention and the 2010 target to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss. By the end of the week, the Working Group adopted recommendations on:
While this meeting was seen as an achievement in itself by many participants, opinions diverged whether its outcomes advanced the PA agenda both on land and at sea. Some participants pointed out that it served its purpose in “testing the waters,” particularly for subsequent negotiations on marine protected areas beyond national jurisdiction in this and other forums. Other delegates lamented procedural setbacks throughout the meeting, including last-minute negotiations during the closing plenary on the Working Group’s mandate and its authority to address recommendations directly to Parties.
The Working Group will reconvene in December 2005, in Montreal, Canada, and then forward its recommendations to COP-8, to be held from 20-31 March 2006, in Curitiba, Brazil.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CBD AND PROTECTED AREAS
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), negotiated under the auspices of the UN Environment Programme, was opened for signature on 5 June 1992, and entered into force on 29 December 1993. There are currently 188 Parties to the Convention, which 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.” Establishment and management of PAs, together with conservation, sustainable use and restoration initiatives in the adjacent land and seascape, are central to CBD Article 8 (In situ Conservation).
COP-2 AND -3: At its second (November 1995, Jakarta, Indonesia) and third meetings (November 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina), the Conference of the Parties (COP) considered CBD Article 8, and emphasized regional and international cooperation, and the importance of disseminating relevant experience.
COP-4: At its fourth meeting (May 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia), the COP decided to consider PAs as one of the three main themes for COP-7. It encouraged the CBD Executive Secretary to develop relationships with other processes with a view to fostering good management practices in several areas related to PAs, including ecosystem and bioregional approaches to PA management and sustainable use of biodiversity, mechanisms to enhance stakeholder involvement, and transboundary PAs. It also established an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on marine and coastal PAs. PAs formed a central element of the thematic work programmes on marine and coastal biodiversity, and inland water ecosystems.
COP-6: At its sixth meeting (April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands), the COP adopted an expanded programme of work on forest biodiversity, containing a number of activities related to PAs, and calling for work on the role and effectiveness of PAs. It also adopted the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which specifies that by 2010: at least 10% of each of the world’s ecological regions should be effectively conserved, implying increasing representation of different ecological regions in PAs, and increasing effectiveness of PAs; and protection of 50% of the most important areas for plant diversity should be ensured through effective conservation measures, including PAs. COP-6 further established an AHTEG on PAs to prepare consideration of the issue by COP-7.
SBSTTA-8: The eighth meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-8) (March 2003, Montreal, Canada) produced a recommendation on marine and coastal PAs, on the basis of the work of the AHTEG on marine and coastal PAs.
MYPOW: The Open-ended Inter-sessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work of the CBD COP up to 2010 (MYPOW) (March 2003, Montreal, Canada) requested that the AHTEG on PAs, SBSTTA-9 and COP-7 consider the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa), which called for supporting initiatives for hotspot areas and other areas essential for biodiversity, and for promoting the development of national and regional ecological networks and corridors (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, paragraph 44(g)).
FIFTH IUCN WORLD PARKS CONGRESS: The fifth IUCN World Parks Congress (September 2003, Durban, South Africa) called on the CBD COP to adopt a rigorous programme of work on PAs, including specific targets and timetables, and establish effective means to monitor and assess its implementation. A liaison group meeting was convened by the CBD Executive Secretary with a view to identifying Congress elements that should be brought to SBSTTA’s attention.
SBSTTA-9: On the basis of the work of the AHTEG on PAs, SBSTTA-9 (November 2003, Montreal, Canada) considered PAs as one of the themes for in-depth consideration and proposed a revised programme of work.
COP-7: At its seventh meeting (February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), the COP adopted the programme of work on PAs. The programme of work consists of four interlinked elements on: direct actions for planning, selecting, establishing, strengthening and managing PA systems and sites; governance, participation, equity and benefit-sharing; enabling activities; and standards, assessment and monitoring. COP-7 further decided to establish an Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on PAs and assess progress in the implementation of the work programme at each COP meeting until 2010.
REPORT OF THE MEETING
On Monday, 13 June 2005, Ettore Severi, Mayor of Montecatini, welcomed participants to the city and noted the fundamental contribution of PAs to biodiversity conservation.
Altero Matteoli, Minister of Environment and Territory of Italy, highlighted the country’s biological and cultural diversity and PA system, and drew attention to the International Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary, created by Italy, France and Monaco, which includes the high seas.
Noting the lack of an international instrument to address the negative impact of human activities in the high seas, Aldo Cosentino, Director-General for Nature Protection, Ministry of Environment and Territory of Italy, urged governments to find solutions to establishing PAs in the high seas. He said PA management in Italy concentrates on promoting historic and cultural heritage and ensuring human development through conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Working Group Chair Letchumanan Ramatha, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, speaking on behalf of COP-7 President Sothinathan Sinna Goundar, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, called for increasing PA coverage, and highlighted support to local communities, long-term financial sustainability of PAs, and their integration into the broader land- and seascape as key elements in the implementation of the work programme.
Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary, outlined challenges for achieving the 2010 target of significantly reducing biodiversity loss, including improving coverage, representativeness and management of the current PA system.
UNESCO said that protection of natural sites under the World Heritage Convention aims both at conserving their biodiversity and contributing to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) underscored its commitment, as a partner in implementing the work programme on PAs, to assisting Parties in establishing effective regional PA networks.
Ghana, on behalf of the African Group, underscored the need for: agreement on new and additional financial resources and establishment of a special trust fund for PAs; linkage of PA management to MDG implementation; effective cooperation for establishing regional PAs; and immediate increase in PA coverage, particularly MPAs. Panama, on behalf of the Latin America and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), noted the importance of adequate financial resources and civil society and community involvement in achieving PA sustainability. The Netherlands, on behalf of the European Union (EU), Bulgaria and Romania, favored a bottom-up and participatory approach to PA selection and management. He highlighted the importance of: prohibiting destructive fishing practices; strengthening the existing regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and establishing new ones; and developing an implementing agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) expressed disappointment that the background documents do not reflect COP-7 decisions to fully and effectively involve, and fully respect the rights of, indigenous and local communities in the establishment, management and monitoring of PAs. WWF-Malaysia, on behalf of an NGO consortium, underscored: contribution of PAs to the achievement of MDGs; development of an evaluation matrix linked to the work programme timetables; immediate application of existing tools and feedback on their use by developing countries; identification of high seas areas requiring urgent protection; and improvement of knowledge of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Delegates then adopted the agenda (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/1) and organization of work (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/1/Add.1) without amendment. Chaweewan Hutacharern (Thailand) was elected Rapporteur of the meeting. Karen Brown (Canada) and Orlando Rey Santos (Cuba) were elected Chairs of Sub-Working Group I (SWG-I) and Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II), respectively.
Nik Lopoukhine, Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, and Carlos Salinas, Director of the Peruvian System of PAs, then delivered keynote presentations. Lopoukhine addressed key issues for implementing the work programme, stressing the need to clearly demonstrate the contribution of PAs to human well-being, including through recognizing the value of ecosystem services and linking PAs to MDGs. Salinas noted that Peru has designated a total area of 17.7 million hectares as PAs. He said the CBD is a good tool to integrate biodiversity conservation with poverty alleviation, and highlighted the importance of timely and adequate funding for PAs.
Following the opening plenary, delegates met in sub-working groups from Monday afternoon to Friday morning. SWG-I addressed: options for cooperation for establishing MPAs beyond national jurisdiction; and toolkits for the identification, designation, management, monitoring and evaluation of national and regional PA systems. On Tuesday, a contact group, established by SWG-I, met to discuss criteria for site identification for MPAs beyond national jurisdiction. SWG-II considered options for mobilizing funding, and a process for review of implementation of the work programme. On Friday, the sub-working groups approved their respective reports (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/SWG.1/L.1 and Add.1 and UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/SWG.2/L.1). The closing plenary met on Friday afternoon to adopt recommendations and the report of the meeting.
SUB-WORKING GROUP I
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS BEYOND NATIONAL JURISDICTION: On Monday, Jacqueline Alder, Sea Around Us Project, presented on biodiversity in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/INF/1). On the basis of a map-based analysis of species distribution and threats, she concluded that key biodiversity-rich areas include the tropical Indo-Pacific, the Southern Ocean, seamounts and shelf areas in the Atlantic Ocean and seamounts associated with cold water coral areas. Lee Kimball, IUCN, presented on the legal regime of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction and options for international cooperation in establishing MPAs (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/INF/2). She highlighted the UNCLOS as the international legal framework for ocean governance and several legal mechanisms that support protection of marine resources beyond national jurisdiction.
The Secretariat introduced background documents (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/2 and UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/INF/1 to 3). Many delegates supported: a strong scientific basis and the CBD’s role in improving scientific information; the precautionary and ecosystem approaches, as well as an integrated approach; and use of existing legal instruments.
The EU proposed short- and medium-term responses to preserving marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, and highlighted the CBD’s role in proposing procedures and criteria for high seas PAs and establishing registers of marine areas requiring protection. With Greenpeace, he supported developing an implementing agreement under UNCLOS. Canada identified the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as the primary forum to discuss international governance aspects. Norway, supported by Iceland, highlighted: specific and targeted MPAs; focus on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, surveillance and control, and flag State responsibility; and strengthened RFMOs. Colombia said the issue should be discussed under UNCLOS and, supported by Cuba, suggested a step-by-step approach to establishing MPAs. Australia supported establishing criteria for identification of areas and objectives.
On Tuesday, SWG-I Chair Brown suggested establishing a contact group to address criteria for site identification. The contact group met in the afternoon to consider: the EU proposal listing ecological criteria and practical considerations; the Canadian proposal focusing on identification of ecologically and biologically sensitive areas; and other existing criteria, including those prepared by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and IUCN. Delegates then established a Friends of the Chair group, which agreed to a proposal by Canada to host a workshop of technical experts to review methodologies and criteria for identifying marine areas requiring protection, with a view to developing internationally recognized and scientifically rigorous criteria for identification of potential high seas PAs. Delegates discussed whether it should focus on purely scientific issues or also consider other selection criteria.
On Wednesday, discussion continued in SWG-I, on the basis of a conference room paper (CRP) containing draft recommendations. Debates focused on:
Relevant sections of the document were bracketed.
Delegates agreed to recall language adopted by UNGA reaffirming that UNCLOS sets out the legal framework within which all activities in oceans and seas must be carried out. They also agreed to a suggestion by Canada to note the need for improved multi-sectoral coordination and integration. During a discussion on gaps in the existing international legal framework, Norway stressed the need to focus on implementation and enforcement of existing commitments.
During an evening session, the EU proposed the terms of reference for an international negotiating committee for an implementing agreement under UNCLOS, addressing: conservation of ecosystems and species beyond national jurisdiction; human activities, including destructive fishing practices; development of a global MPA network; and cooperation with other agreements. He also noted that the issue of bioprospecting needs to be addressed at the international level. Norway, Australia, Iceland and Japan opposed the idea of an implementing agreement.
On Thursday, delegates addressed a CRP on the proposed expert meeting on criteria. Norway suggested that Canada host the meeting outside the auspices of the CBD. Discussion on the issue was suspended and delegates resumed discussions on options for cooperation on high seas PAs on the basis of a revised CRP. Delegates debated data gaps regarding socioeconomic information, including from indigenous and local communities, as well as an Australian proposal urging Parties to endeavor to establish by 2008 some pilot MPAs beyond national jurisdiction as a contribution towards meeting the 2012 target, without reaching agreement. Other paragraphs on, inter alia, relevant global and regional legal instruments, gaps in the existing international legal framework, lack of commitment to implement and enforce existing agreements, and the role of MPAs beyond national jurisdiction in fostering coordination among existing specialized regimes, also remained bracketed. in whole or in part.
Agreement was reached on language requesting elaboration of a spatial biodiversity database, and addressing cooperation within the existing legal framework and among different bodies. Delegates also decided to restructure and redraft a series of recommendations to identify options for cooperation, according to a proposal by Canada.
On Friday morning, SWG-I discussed issues that were more likely to be agreed upon, with the understanding that highly controversial issues, particularly those regarding options for cooperation for the establishment of MPAs beyond national jurisdiction, would remain in brackets.
Delegates agreed on compromise language regarding:
Delegates debated a compromise proposal encouraging Parties to endeavor to establish some MPAs in regions, on a case-by-case basis, as a contribution towards meeting the 2012 target. The EU requested that some MPAs be established in the high seas by 2008. Argentina highlighted lack of criteria and legal framework for MPA establishment in the high seas, but the EU underscored criteria under the regional seas conventions and the establishment of high seas PAs by RFMOs. Delegates agreed to drop the proposal due to lack of consensus.
Bracketed text remained on:
During the closing plenary, Norway and Iceland reiterated their requests to delete bracketed paragraphs on review and assessment of RFMO performance in implementing the FSA and on consideration to extend PSSA designations to marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, and formally recorded their reservations. GRULAC suggested forwarding the text with the bracketed paragraphs to COP-8. The EU, supported by Cameroon, Liberia and others, requested forwarding the text to the next Working Group meeting. A compromise was reached to refer the text to the next Working Group meeting, and the final document was adopted without amendment and with the remaining brackets, with the understanding that half a day at the second meeting of the Working Group would be spent on resolving bracketed text.
Final Outcome: In the final document (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.6), the Working Group: requests the Executive Secretary to transmit the outcomes of its work to the UNGA Informal Working Group; invites the Executive Secretary to compile and synthesize a list of existing ecological criteria for identification of potential sites for protection and biogeographical classification systems, based on submissions received; expresses appreciation to Canada for its initiative to host a scientific expert workshop to review and assess existing ecological criteria and biogeographical classification systems and to initiate work on the development of a set of scientifically rigorous ecological criteria for site identification; and invites the Executive Secretary to transmit the results of the workshop to the Parties, in advance of the second Working Group meeting.
The Working Group recommends that the COP:
A heavily bracketed paragraph identifies options for cooperation for the establishment of MPAs versus MPAs beyond national jurisdiction. Unbracketed options include: cooperation among Parties to ensure that relevant organizations enhance their capacity to effectively implement existing legal instruments; and measures to implement paragraph 66 of UNGA resolution 59/25 to take action urgently and consider, on a case-by-case and scientific basis and applying the precautionary approach, the interim prohibition of destructive fishing practices, including deep sea bottom trawling.
Bracketed references address: cooperation on the basis of the existing legal framework to make progress, or early progress, in the establishment of MPAs or MPAs beyond national jurisdiction; establishment of RFMOs and strengthening their conservation powers; RFMO action in accordance with the FSA and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries; a review and assessment of RFMO performance in implementing the FSA; consideration by IMO members to extend PSSA designations to marine areas beyond national jurisdiction; application of the FSA to high seas discrete fish stocks; and the development and adoption of an implementing agreement to UNCLOS.
Two bracketed recommendations request the Executive Secretary to work with other organizations to facilitate the development of a framework for integrated ocean management and invite Parties to propose the development and adoption of an implementing agreement to UNCLOS.
TOOLKITS: SWG-I considered further development of toolkits for the identification, designation, management, monitoring and evaluation of national and regional PA systems on Tuesday and Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced the background document (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/4). Delegates highlighted that the toolkits should: offer voluntary guidance, which Parties may develop further; be user-friendly, action-oriented, demand-driven, and adaptable to the needs of Parties and specific situations; respect national laws; and be relevant to users for their effective application.
Several delegates favored regional approaches, highlighting existing toolkits at the regional level, including those developed under the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region, and the Arctic Council’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme. Many developing countries stressed the need for training, capacity building, a feedback mechanism, and monitoring the use of toolkits through the clearing-house mechanism (CHM).
Delegates also noted several gaps in the existing toolkits, including on marine sites protection, financial planning, and economic valuation of ecosystem services. The IIFB called for support to indigenous peoples in developing their own toolkits focusing on biocultural, spiritual and other values.
On Thursday, discussion continued on the basis of a CRP. Canada requested that the recommendation be addressed to COP-8. Many supported Ecuador’s request to add a reference to exchange of experiences and lessons learned.
Delegates identified additional gaps in the existing toolkits, including:
They discussed the format and content of workshops on toolkits, agreeing that they should focus on the use and further development of available toolkits. Delegates also agreed on a definition of toolkits and SWG-I approved the CRP, as amended.
During the closing plenary, Australia opposed inclusion of India’s suggestion for human-wildlife interface in the list of gaps, and the reference was bracketed. The plenary adopted the recommendation as bracketed.
Final Outcome: In the final document (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.2), the Working Group recognizes that toolkits are sets of instruments to facilitate the systematic implementation of the work programme in accordance with the ecosystem approach, and may facilitate the identification of criteria for PAs. It further recognizes that: they provide overall voluntary guidance; their development and dissemination should be demand-driven, and they should be user-friendly, adaptive, understandable, action-oriented, and respond to the needs of Parties including at the local level. They also agreed that emphasis should be put on their applicability and validation, and on capacity building.
The document lists 18 gaps in existing toolkits, including on: marine and freshwater ecosystems, and arid and semi-arid areas; management and financial planning; links between PAs and sustainable development, including the MDGs; social participation and co-management of PAs; and respect for the rights of indigenous and local communities. The reference to the human-wildlife interface is bracketed.
The Working Group invites the Executive Secretary to:
The Working Group recommends that the COP: invite governments to use the toolkits, as appropriate; urge Parties and organizations to support a “Tools Outreach Programme,” and national and regional training workshops; and urge financial support for workshops focusing on the use and further development of toolkits, particularly regarding co-managed PAs and community conserved areas.
SUB-WORKING GROUP II
OPTIONS FOR MOBILIZING FINANCIAL RESOURCES: Delegates discussed options for mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the work programme from Monday to Thursday.
On Monday, delegates delivered opening statements, highlighting: effective use of existing resources; exploring market values of biodiversity; the need for funding to implement regional and subregional PA management programmes; incorporating work on PAs into actions to combat poverty; country-specific and demand-driven strategies; and increasing public-private partnerships.
There were lengthy procedural debates on Tuesday and Thursday on the appropriateness of addressing the recommendations directly to Parties rather than to the COP. A compromise solution was proposed to address text on financing for elements already in the work programme, as well as those deemed urgent, to Parties, with the remaining text being addressed to the COP or the Executive Secretary.
On Tuesday, delegates debated recommendations to Parties. On options for implementing comprehensive financial plans for ensuring long-term financial support for PA systems, delegates debated language on funding mechanisms related to tourism and other high-revenue industries involving PAs, agreeing on a general reference to commercial activities.
Brazil, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia opposed language on redirecting perverse subsidies to support PAs, while Mexico, Madagascar, Indonesia and others favored retaining it. Delegates continued this discussion on Wednesday, but no consensus was reached and the text was bracketed.
Peru, Côte d’Ivoire and Brazil, opposed by Norway, the EU, Canada and Mexico, called for convening a financial commitments conference in 2008 to address the longer-term funding needs for implementing the work programme. Delegates agreed to compromise text on initiating a dialogue on financing and on focusing one of the forthcoming Working Group meetings on financial commitments.
Australia opposed a paragraph linking PA funding to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol, while Norway, supported by others, favored its retention. Brazil and Canada proposed a reference to funding support for afforestation and reforestation projects under the CDM. The paragraph was bracketed.
On Wednesday and Thursday, delegates discussed recommendations to the COP. They agreed to a compromise text based on the EU proposal inviting international and regional development banks to incorporate criteria for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into guidelines for investment decisions that have potential implications for the financial, social and ecological sustainability of PAs.
The IIFB supported, and delegates agreed to, language inviting the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to review, and revise as appropriate, its PA policies in relation to indigenous and local communities.
After initial opposition by Australia and two days of deliberations, compromise text was agreed upon to urge developed countries to take reasonable steps to assess official development assistance (ODA) programmes in order for development aid to better support PAs.
On Wednesday, SWG-II considered recommendations to the Executive Secretary. Australia and New Zealand expressed concern over increasing reporting burdens with regard to an EU proposal to encourage an ongoing and focused dialogue on work programme financing by, inter alia, collecting information on the implementation of recommendations currently under discussion. On Thursday, delegates agreed to request the Executive Secretary to report “as far as feasible and using existing information” on the follow-up on this recommendation at each Working Group meeting.
During the closing plenary, Australia, supported by Argentina, New Zealand, Brazil and Iceland, formally objected to the recommendation’s adoption, stating that the Working Group should not address its recommendations to Parties, thus bypassing the authority of the COP. The EU supported adoption of the recommendation, arguing that addressing recommendations directly to Parties has been the standard practice of other intersessional CBD working groups.
Following lengthy informal consultations, the plenary was presented with a compromise proposal, to be adopted as a package, including two bracketed chapeau texts, one stating that the Working Group “invites Parties,” the other stating that the Working Group “recommends to the COP to invite Parties.”
Final Outcome: In the final document (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.4), the Working Group agrees on options for mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the work programme by developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, and countries with economies in transition. The chapeau and text on redirecting perverse subsidies to support PAs and on linking PA funding to the CDM remain bracketed.
Parties are invited to, inter alia:
The COP is requested to, inter alia:
The Executive Secretary is requested to, inter alia:
REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORK PROGRAMME: SWG-II considered the process for review of implementation of the work programme on Monday and Thursday.
On Monday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced the document on the process for the review of implementation of the work programme (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/5). The EU proposed developing an evaluation matrix, including criteria for assessing information, materials needed, and possible sources of information. The IIFB called for participation of local and indigenous communities in reporting. New Zealand expressed concern over diverting limited resources to reporting.
On Thursday, delegates addressed a CRP containing draft recommendations. Canada, New Zealand and Australia requested further consideration of the evaluation matrix, while the EU and Mexico called for finalizing the matrix at the present meeting. After lengthy discussions, delegates agreed to develop the matrix, taking note of contents listed in an annex to the draft recommendation, for consideration by the Working Group’s second meeting. Switzerland proposed a new paragraph requesting the Executive Secretary to collect Parties’ views on the annexed evaluation matrix for further consideration at the second meeting of the Working Group.
On an annexed schedule for the review of implementation of the work programme at each COP, delegates agreed to Chair Santos’s suggestion for a “hybrid” system referring to annexed activities and also requesting further input on the main elements to be reviewed. Peru and Ecuador raised concerns on the lack of a monitoring framework in the schedule for review at COP-8.
Greenpeace, supported by many, suggested stakeholder and community involvement in reporting. On financial support for reporting, Australia and Canada requested, and delegates agreed to, deleting reference to multilateral funding bodies, noting that the Working Group should not make recommendations to them.
Delegates agreed to organize a workshop to preview possible elements for review before the second meeting of the Working Group, subject to funding availability.
During the closing plenary, Australia, supported by Argentina, New Zealand, Brazil and Iceland, formally objected to the recommendation’s adoption. The EU supported adoption of the recommendation.
Following informal consultations, plenary adopted a compromise proposal as a package, amending the recommendation to note that the Working Group “agrees,” rather than “decides.”
Final Outcome: The final document (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.3) contains recommendations and three annexes on: process, guidelines and mechanisms for monitoring progress in the implementation of the work programme; the evaluation matrix; and a schedule for review of implementation.
The Working Group takes note of the process proposed by the Executive Secretary, contained in Annex I, that sets out the process, guidelines and mechanisms for monitoring progress in implementation, including:
The Working Group agrees to develop an evaluation matrix, taking note of Annex II, which includes for each target of the work programme, the criteria for assessing implementation, the information needed to assess implementation, possible sources of information and the description of progress and main obstacles, for consideration at its second meeting. The Working Group further agrees to develop a schedule describing elements of the work programme to be reviewed at COP-8, 9, and 10, as contained in Annex III. It also agrees to review the implementation of the work programme at its second meeting.
The Working Group invites Parties, organizations and indigenous and local communities to contribute information needed for the review. It requests the COP to urge Parties, other governments and multilateral funding bodies to provide the necessary financial support to developing countries to enable them to undertake the reporting required as part of the review. It agrees on the importance to undertake consultations on national and thematic reports relevant to the implementation of the work programme, including with indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders.
It requests the Executive Secretary, in preparation for the second meeting of the Working Group, to: carry out the activities described in the annex on the process to monitor progress in implementation; collect the views of Parties, organizations and indigenous and local communities on the evaluation matrix contained in Annex II; issue an additional notification seeking views on the main elements to be reviewed at COP-8; and organize a workshop to preview the possible elements for review.
On Friday afternoon, Working Group Chair Ramatha convened the closing plenary. SWG-I Chair Brown submitted the report of SWG-I (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/SWG.1/L.1 and Add.1) for adoption. Norway, supported by Iceland, recorded a statement noting that establishment of MPAs beyond national jurisdiction should be consistent with UNCLOS, and calling for focus on existing legal instruments rather than on establishing new ones. Delegates adopted the SWG-I report without amendment, with the understanding that the recommendation on MPAs beyond national jurisdiction would be referred to the second meeting of the Working Group, where half a day would be spent on resolving bracketed text.
SWG-II Chair Santos submitted the report of SWG-II (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/SWG.2/L.1). The EU expressed disappointment in the limited results achieved at the meeting. Delegates adopted the SWG-II report without amendment.
Following the formal reservation recorded by Australia regarding adoption of recommendations on the review of implementation of the work programme and on options for mobilizing financial resources, which was supported by Argentina, New Zealand, Brazil and Iceland, the closing plenary was suspended for approximately three hours, to allow for informal consultations.
Following resolution of the matter and adoption of the amended recommendations, Working Group Chair Ramatha submitted for adoption the provisional agenda for the second meeting of the Working Group (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.7), to be held from 5-9 December 2005, in Montreal, Canada. The plenary adopted the agenda without amendment.
Rapporteur Hutacharern introduced the report of the meeting (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.1), and the plenary adopted it with a minor editorial amendment. Chair Ramatha said the report and all recommendations will be submitted to the second meeting of the Working Group and to COP-8.
Altero Matteoli, Minister of Environment and Territory of Italy, congratulated the Working Group on a far-reaching debate and progress made on the development of toolkits for the identification and management of PA systems. He also urged delegates to request that the Italian Prime Minister transmit the meeting’s recommendations to the next Summit of the Group of Eight (G-8), to be held in July 2005, in Gleneagles, UK.
The plenary then adopted a tribute to the Government and people of Italy (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.5). Working Group Chair Ramatha then submitted for adoption a message from the Working Group to the G-8 Summit (UNEP/CBD/WG-PA/1/L.8), clarifying that the Government of Italy will finalize the message based on the outcomes of the Working Group, and present it to the G-8 as its own statement. The message highlights the importance of biodiversity and PAs in the achievement of MDGs and calls for adequate financial resources to this end. Brazil requested reference to biodiversity sustainable use, and the plenary adopted the document with this amendment.
Thanking all the delegates and staff for their hard work and commitment, CBD Executive Secretary Zedan said the Working Group can be reasonably satisfied with its work.
Palau, on behalf of the Asia and Pacific Group, expressed general satisfaction with the meeting’s outcomes. Noting that achievement of the work programme’s objectives requires financial resources, capacity building and institutional strengthening, he urged developed countries and the GEF to fulfill their commitments.
The Netherlands, on behalf of the EU, said that even though the meeting made good progress on the implementation of the work programme, the fact that brackets remain in the chapeau of the recommendation on financial resources sets a dangerous precedent for other CBD intersessional working groups.
Ghana, speaking on behalf of the African Group, drew attention to the needs of the continent’s 1,200 PAs, noting that the current level of funding is inadequate.
Panama, on behalf of GRULAC, expressed hope that the second meeting of the Working Group will better address the region’s priorities.
The IIFB expressed concern over deletion of references to the rights of indigenous and local communities in several documents.
Greenpeace and WWF made a joint statement on behalf of NGOs, expressing deep concern that not all Parties shared the urgency for action, backtracking on targets agreed at COP-7, and that the CBD’s role with regard to high seas was questioned repeatedly.
Working Group Chair Ramatha gaveled the meeting to a close at 10:10 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE MEETING
Convening in the scenic Tuscan town of Montecatini, the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas (PAs) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) had the formidable task of tackling, for the first time in the Convention’s history, the issue of marine protected areas (MPAs) beyond national jurisdiction, as well as other fundamental issues for the implementation of the PA work programme: financial mechanisms, toolkits, and review of the work programme implementation. While the fact that CBD convened its first ever PA Working Group meeting was seen as an achievement in itself by many participants, opinions diverged on whether its outcomes advanced the PA agenda both on land and at sea.
With marine issues being the “flavor of the month” on the international agenda and the high seas commonly referred to as the planet’s last “Wild, Wild West,” there is little surprise that MPAs beyond national jurisdiction dominated the agenda of the meeting. The challenge before the Working Group was therefore to navigate through the maze of international legal frameworks, economic and political whirlpools and scientific undercurrents, to bring closer the objective of achieving effective protection of the marine environment through PAs by 2012.
This brief analysis journeys from Johannesburg to Montecatini, via Durban and Kuala Lumpur, with a stopover in New York, providing an overview of the context and substance of the first meeting of the Working Group, focusing on its mandate, and examining some key issues debated at the meeting.
THE JOHANNESBURG–MONTECATINI EXPRESS
While the topic of PAs is among the oldest on the international conservation agenda, the protection of the marine environment through PAs is a relatively new concept. A major breakthrough for the marine agenda was the adoption, at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, South Africa, of the target to establish, by 2012, a global representative system of MPAs. A year later, the fifth IUCN World Parks Congress, held in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban, further noted that less than 1% of the marine environment enjoys protection, compared to the almost 12% of Earth’s land surface under PAs.
The landmark decision for many was the adoption of a full-fledged PA work programme by the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP-7) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2004, which seeks to achieve the “establishment and maintenance, by 2010 for terrestrial and by 2012 for marine areas, of comprehensive, effectively managed and ecologically representative national and regional systems of PAs.” COP-7 also established the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas with a mandate to support this objective.
Concurrently, there have been developments at the highest levels of the UN system, culminating in the adoption of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 59/24 (Oceans and the Law of the Sea) in 2004, which established an Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group with a broad mandate regarding the conservation of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction; and a revived interest in the issue under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) process.
The Montecatini meeting came on the heels of the sixth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea in New York, and while some delegates used this opportunity to “cross-pollinate” the debate on marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, others admitted that it wasn’t entirely clear which forum was supposed to feed its outcomes into which.
BEYOND THE JURISDICTION, BUT NOT BEYOND THE MANDATE?
One major point of contention at the Montecatini meeting was the mandate of the Working Group with respect to marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. Even though both Article 4(b) of the Convention and COP Decisions VII/5 and 28 authorize CBD Parties to deal with this issue, UNCLOS is generally recognized as the overall legal framework governing activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, many argued that there is still room for the CBD to play a role. First, UNCLOS only has one general clause with regard to the protection of the marine environment. Second, there is no overarching legal framework to establish high seas PAs, although numerous global and regional agreements regulate the use of various marine resources, sometimes providing for establishment of MPAs, such as the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The problem, as one delegate noted, is not so much with “overlapping” mandates of various legal instruments, but rather with the fact that mandates are “underlapping,” as neither regulates multiple activities in a defined area. However, the UNGA Informal Working Group has been mandated to address a broad range of issues already entrusted to the CBD Working Group. Even though the role of the latter was explicitly recognized by the UNGA Informal Working Group, some delegations favored UNGA as the appropriate forum to address high seas PAs.
A whole spectrum of views regarding options for a legal framework governing MPAs beyond national jurisdiction was presented at the meeting. Some delegations were pushing for an implementing agreement under UNCLOS as an enforceable overarching legal instrument, while others disagreed, citing a lack of commitment to enforce and implement existing agreements, such as the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, which, from the start, had struggled to muster full support by all nations and only counts 52 Parties a decade after its entry into force.
Still others favored strengthening regional agreements and establishing MPAs at a regional level on a case-by-case basis, and these positions, in turn, were vehemently opposed by those who, for political or economic reasons, do not subscribe to regional management approaches. Several developing countries advocated prioritizing national MPAs, fearing that financial resources may flow away from the shore and into the deep sea.
As for the CBD’s role, opinions ranged from questioning whether the Convention has any role in high seas PAs at all, to it being a provider of scientific information and having the potential to “infiltrate” other legal and management instruments to mainstream biodiversity concerns.
TOWARDS ACHIEVING THE WORKING GROUP’S MANDATE
The confusion surrounding the Working Group’s mandate with regard to high seas inevitably led to hampered progress on more specific issues, such as criteria for the identification of potential areas for MPAs beyond national jurisdiction. Many delegates voiced disappointment with the inability of the Working Group to finalize recommendations on a series of technical issues, even though “compromise was within reach,” in the words of the EU.
Economic interests, most notably fisheries, came to the forefront in a most dramatic way when, one after another, high seas areas identified as priority areas for the establishment of MPAs by a preliminary scientific study were deleted from the text following requests by major fishing nations. The same fate awaited the only concrete target contained in the draft text to establish, by 2008, five to ten MPAs in areas beyond national jurisdiction, which was deleted from the text during the first round of deliberations on the draft recommendation.
The expert workshop on developing criteria for high seas PAs, to be hosted by Canada, also encountered resistance from Norway and New Zealand who strongly opposed the idea of convening it under the auspices of the CBD, citing procedural concerns about the Working Group overstepping its mandate by calling for intersessional meetings. Without the CBD “seal of approval,” it may prove more difficult for the workshop’s outcomes to be endorsed by the second meeting of the Working Group as one of the Convention’s scientific studies.
The discussion on the toolkits for national and regional systems of PAs was seen as somewhat more constructive, with both governments and NGOs recognizing the toolkits’ central role in the implementation of the work programme, and making headway on refining the concept and identifying gaps in the toolkits’ scope. Several delegates, most notably Altero Matteoli, Italy’s Minister of Environment and Territory, highlighted toolkits among the most tangible outcomes of the meeting.
The discussion on mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the work programme was also considered by many participants as valuable in formalizing the thinking of both the conservation and donor communities on opportunities to close the annual US$18 billion gap in PA financing highlighted by a recent study. While the meeting was not regarded as a forum for making financial pledges, some delegates referred to the following week’s donor meeting on funding for PAs, the fourth round of GEF replenishment, and the Millennium Review Summit in September, as forums where PA financing needs could be addressed further. However, recent difficulties in negotiating the EU budget cast a shadow of a doubt over the likelihood of an immediate major financial injection into PAs.
BETWEEN THE MANDATE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Overall, the meeting could be characterized as a pioneering event, which ventured into uncharted waters with all the attributes of an exploratory expedition. Some participants pointed out that it served its purpose in “testing the waters” for subsequent negotiations on marine areas beyond national jurisdiction in this and other forums, while other delegates lamented procedural setbacks throughout the meeting, especially as they waited, late on Friday night, for the proverbial “white smoke” to come out from the room where a number of Parties, assisted by the Working Group Chair, both Chairs of the Sub-Working Groups, and the Secretariat, tried to come up with a compromise on whether recommendations of the meeting should be addressed to the COP or directly to Parties.
Many delegates agreed that high seas PAs was a tough topic for the first meeting of the Working Group, and pointed to the urgent need to resolve the legal and institutional issues and identify a clearer role for the CBD. In the meantime, on-the-ground work should continue on increasing global PA coverage, implementing and enforcing existing agreements, and also developing the criteria for, and other scientific approaches to, high seas PAs.
While there was no overriding sentiment that the first meeting of the Working Group made a head start in arresting the loss of marine biodiversity beyond national boundaries, many delegates hoped that upcoming meetings, including the expert workshop in Canada, the second Working Group meeting, and COP-8, will indeed make waves in charting the way forward for achieving the 2012 target and the 2010 deadline to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss.
DONOR MEETING ON FUNDING FOR PROTECTED AREAS: This meeting of donor agencies and other relevant organizations will convene from 20-21 June 2005, in Montecatini, Italy. The meeting will discuss options for mobilizing new and additional funding to developing countries for the implementation of the work programme on protected areas. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
IWC-57: The 57th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission will be held from 20-24 June 2005, in Ulsan, Republic of Korea. For more information, contact: IWC Secretariat; tel: +44-1223-233-971; fax: +44-1223-232-876; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.iwcoffice.org/meetings/meeting2005.htm
IUCN WORLD COMMISSION ON PROTECTED AREAS 5TH CONFERENCE ON PROTECTED AREAS IN EAST ASIA: This meeting will be held from 21-25 June 2005, in Hong Kong, China. The conference theme is “Sustainable Management of Protected Areas for Future Generations.” For more information, contact: Sylvia Lee; tel: +852-2150-6697; fax: +852-2730-3256; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.focp.org.hk
CBD WORKSHOP ON THE JOINT WORK PROGRAMME ON MARINE AND COASTAL INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES: This CBD workshop will be held from 27-29 June 2005, in Montreal, Canada, and is jointly hosted by the CBD Secretariat, the Global Invasive Species Programme, and the UNEP Regional Seas Programme. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: https://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
CBD AD HOC TECHNICAL EXPERTS GROUP ON MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY: The meeting will be held from 11-15 July 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
CBD AD HOC TECHNICAL EXPERTS GROUP ON FOREST BIODIVERSITY: The third meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on the review of implementation of the programme of work on forest biodiversity will take place from 25-29 July 2005, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: The meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Implementation of the Convention will be held from 5-9 September 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY MEETING OF THE 60TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE OUTCOME OF THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: The Summit will take place from 14-16 September 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. The meeting is expected to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress made towards the commitments articulated in the UN Millennium Declaration. The event will also review progress made in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes and commitments of the major UN conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields. For more information on the internet, go to: http://www.un.org/ga/59/hl60_plenarymeeting.html
8TH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS: The 8th World Wilderness Congress will be held from 30 September-6 October 2005, in Anchorage, Alaska, under the theme: Wilderness, Wildlands and People – A Partnership for the Planet. For more information, contact: The WILD Foundation Secretariat; tel: +1-805-640-0390; fax: +1-805-640-0230; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.8wwc.org/
FIRST INTERNATIONAL MARINE PROTECTED AREAS CONGRESS: This international congress will be held from 23-27 October 2005, in Geelong, Australia. The congress aims to address the World Commission on Protected Areas’ Marine goal and primary themes, and advance discussion on their widespread adoption and implementation consistent with resolutions relevant to marine protected areas arising from the Durban World Parks Congress. For more information, contact: Congress Organizers; tel: +61-3-5983-2400; fax: +61-3-5983-2223; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.impacongress.org/
RAMSAR COP-9: The ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands will be held from 7-15 November 2005, in Kampala, Uganda. For more information, contact: Ramsar Secretariat: tel: +41-22-999-0170; fax +41-22-999-0169; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.ramsar.org
CMS COP-8: The eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species will convene from 16-25 November 2005, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: UNEP/CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2409; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cms.int
THIRD INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON DEEP-SEA CORALS: This symposium will be held from 28 November - 2 December 2005, in Miami, US. Bringing together scientists, marine resource managers, policy makers, and students, this meeting aims to exchange scientific knowledge of deep-sea corals and associated fauna. For more information, contact: Robert Brock, NOAA; tel: +1-301-713-2367, ext. 162; fax: +1-301-713-1875; e-mail: Robert.Brock@noaa.gov; internet: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/coral/
SBSTTA-11: The eleventh meeting of the CBDï¿½s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice will take place from 28 November - 2 December 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=SBSTTA-11
SECOND MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON PROTECTED AREAS: The second meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas will be held from 5-9 December 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
FOURTH MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(J) AND ABS-4: The fourth meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions will be held from 23-27 January 2006, in Granada, Spain. It will be followed by the fourth meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing, which will convene from 30 January-3 February 2006. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
BIOSAFETY COP/MOP-3: The third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will take place from 13-17 March 2006, in Curitiba, Brazil. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/
CBD COP-8: The eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD will take place from 20-31 March 2006, in Curitiba, Brazil. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=COP-08