Tadodaho Sid Hill, Chief of the Onondaga Nation

12th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions and 1st Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Benefit-sharing from the Use of Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources

12–18 November 2023 | Geneva, Switzerland

Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD

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Although they appear distinct, the issues under the two Working Groups’ consideration are interrelated as they are developing ways to implement the targets and goals of the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and both address issues of fair and equitable participation and sharing of benefits in relation to biodiversity.

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Tadodaho Sid Hill, Chief of the Onondaga Nation

Tadodaho Sid Hill, Chief of the Onondaga Nation

Following the historic adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) in December 2022 during the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the focus is now on implementation, as the Convention’s subsidiary bodies and working groups initiate their work.

The 25th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 25) convenes from 15-20 October 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya. The focus then shifts to the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs), and digital sequence information (DSI) in November.

The CBD recognizes, in the preamble of the Convention and its provisions, the dependency of IPLCs on biological diversity and their unique role in conserving life on Earth. Under Article 8(j) of the Convention, parties have committed to “respect, preserve, and maintain the knowledge, innovations, and practices of IPLCs relevant for the conservation of biological diversity and to promote their wider application with the approval of knowledge holders, and to encourage equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological diversity.”

The 12th meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions will hold an in-depth dialogue on the role of languages in the intergenerational transmission of traditional knowledge, innovations, and practices, and will further address:

  • progress in the implementation of the priority tasks of the multi-year programme of work on Article 8(j) and related provisions;
  • the knowledge management component of the GBF;
  • the joint programme of work on the links between biological and cultural diversity, including the review and update of the four adopted traditional knowledge indicators; and
  • the recommendations of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

DSI, which is a placeholder term to refer to data derived from dematerialized genetic resources came to the forefront of the Convention’s deliberations at COP 15, following years of discussion. Decision 15/9 established, as part of the GBF, a multilateral mechanism for benefit-sharing from the use of DSI on genetic resources, including a global fund as well as a fair, transparent, inclusive, participatory, and time-bound process to further develop and operationalize the mechanism. This process included the establishment of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Benefit-Sharing from the use of DSI on Genetic Resources. 

The first meeting of the Working Group will focus on issues for further consideration set out in the annex to Decision 15/9, including:

  • triggering points for benefit-sharing;
  • governance of, and contributions to, the Fund;
  • disbursement of monetary benefits and non-monetary benefit-sharing, including information on geographical origin as one of the criteria;
  • adaptability of the mechanism to other resource mobilization instruments or funds;
  • interface between national systems and the multilateral mechanism on benefit-sharing;
  • monitoring and evaluation and review of effectiveness;
  • capacity development and technology transfer;
  • role, rights and interests of IPLC; and
  • role and interests of industry and academia.

Decision 15/9 further requested the Secretariat to: compile lessons learned from other international funding mechanisms; and commission studies on a multilateral mechanism for benefit-sharing from the use of DSI on genetic resources, including on the options for revenue-generating measures at different points along the value chain, the feasibility of their implementation and their costs relative to their potential revenue.

The 12th meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions and the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Benefit-sharing from the Use of Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources will take place from 12-16 November and 14-18 November 2023 respectively in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) writers for this meeting are Asterios Tsioumanis, Ph.D.; María Ovalle; Zahid Hamdard and Emma Vovk. The Photographer is Kiara Worth, Ph.D. The Editor is Pam Chasek, Ph.D.

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