Delegates discussed Programme Element I.3 on 18-19 March. Anthony Gross introduced the SG's report (E/CN.17/IPF/1996/9) prepared by the CBD Secretariat. The report encourages cooperation and communication between the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP) and the IPF in considering protection of traditional knowledge (TK) of indigenous and local communities, and highlights conservation, sustainable use and benefits-sharing.
The G-77/CHINA said CBD discussions should not dictate the work of the IPF, which should address the broader context of SFM. MALAYSIA noted the CBD's competence on forest biodiversity rather than forests. AUSTRALIA stated that the IPF should not duplicate the work of other bodies, but should draw upon the work of the CBD. NORWAY recognized linkages with CBD and GATT.
CANADA stated that the IPF should focus on the use of indigenous knowledge, and leave its protection to other fora. GHANA highlighted integrating TK into forest management. This view was supported by numerous delegations. The NETHERLANDS, supported by the UKRAINE, emphasized indigenous participation in national forest planning, while MEXICO highlighted integrating local communities into sectoral planning. PAPUA NEW GUINEA stated that the IPF should examine indigenous communities holistically, rather than on a piecemeal basis. WWF recommended intersessional consultations and a workshop on instruments for indigenous peoples' rights in national legislation.
Commercialization of TK was also emphasized. The G-77/CHINA referred to the Forest Principles and proposed text on the relationship between forest communities and forest biodiversity, and on compensation. The PHILIPPINES called for national guidelines on developing sui generis systems. KENYA called for international support to document TK. INDIA highlighted his country's natural wealth and stressed benefit-sharing regimes. COLOMBIA underscored the rights of traditional peoples, procedures for technology transfer and resources for cooperation.
BRAZIL called for: technology transfer and joint biotechnology ventures; conserving endangered ecosystems; and benefits-sharing from commercialization. AUSTRALIA did not support new and additional funding, while SWITZERLAND highlighted the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and bilateral aid.
Delegates discussed the draft Co-Chairs' summary on 22 March. The report refers to the terms of reference for the Panel as determined by CSD-3 and IPF-1. The terms of reference extend the IPF's scope beyond that of the Convention on Biological Diversity to include the application of traditional knowledge to SFM. The report recognizes the need to focus on trade issues, including commercialization and benefits-sharing, capacity building for using TK, and recognizes the financial implications of these activities.
The INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND INTERNATIONAL TREATY COUNCIL called for consistency with the CBD. He highlighted: equitable sharing of benefits; recognizing indigenous ownership of TK before studying it; and participation of indigenous NGOs. The G-77/CHINA emphasized traditional agriculture especially regarding SFM and non-timber forest products (NTFPs), substituted "interested relevant parties" for "stakeholders," and agreed to study indigenous rights "within the context of national laws." He highlighted international cooperation based on common but differentiated responsibilities, including financial resources, joint ventures, biotechnology, fragmented and endangered ecosystems, biodiversity corridors, biosafety and a clearinghouse mechanism, among others.
CANADA, supported by AUSTRALIA, the PHILIPPINES and NEW ZEALAND, stated he was "uncomfortable" with treating indigenous knowledge as a "commodity," and called for: benefits-sharing on "mutually-agreed terms;" local land management and conflict resolution; and indigenous rights. AUSTRALIA requested that the IPF take note of the CBD COP-3.
The US emphasized TK in SFM, stating that other issues belong under the CBD. She refocused the paragraph on trade to national issues, calling for protection of TK for SFM, and including in situ biodiversity conservation under Article 8(j) of the CBD. Supported by NEW ZEALAND, she deleted language referring to "going beyond Agenda 21" to develop TK for SFM.
INDIA stated that several paragraphs emphasize "exploiting" TK over benefits-sharing, highlighting the need to first recognize intellectual property rights to TK. The PHILIPPINES questioned the paragraph stating the "need to draw upon" TK, asking who would do so and for what purpose. JAPAN called for an outline of studies done on the nature of TK regarding SFM, and highlighted financial implications. To the paragraph on benefits-sharing with forest dwellers, BRAZIL added "towards sustainable forest development."
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