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 22-26 October 2001 Bonn, Germany

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Update for Friday, 26 October 2001


On the final day of ABS-WG I, Chair bin Osman opened the final Plenary, noting that the meeting's report would include three annexes on: the development of the draft Bonn Guidelines; the development of action plan for capacity building; and the role of IPR in implementation of ABS arrangements.


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Above photo L-R: SWG-I Chair Ivars and Brendan Tobin (Peru), on behalf of SWG-II Chair Medaglia, presented the results of their Sub-Working Groups for adoption, as included in documents UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/1/L.2-4. Delegates then adopted the recommendations without significant comment.
The German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, on behalf of a number of NGOs, stressed, inter alia, that the guidelines should not be used to facilitate access in countries without national ABS regulation; and the ABS process should recognize indigenous rights to PIC. He also called upon Parties to: prevent IPRs that might restrict access; support disclosure of geographic origin in patent applications; develop community based measures to protect traditional knowledge; and ensure the CBD's objectives are not subordinated to WTO and regional trade agreements.

The IIFB underscored the recognition of the existence and rights of indigenous peoples is the fundamental precondition for progress on ABS, and called for capacity building among Parties to respect such rights with regard to existing and emerging international agreements. The IIFB also provided recommendations on self-determination, PIC, relations with other international agreements, the CBD's operations and ABS, while requesting that the report of the Forum's be appended to the meeting's report.

Under the agenda item on other matters, the Netherlands highlighted preparations for COP-6 to be held in the Hague. Esko Jaakkola (Finland) (left) then introduced the report of the meeting (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/1/L.1), which was adopted with a minor change. The Plenary also decided to pay a tribute to the government and people of Germany for hosting the meeting (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/1/L.5).

Gila Altmann, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (left) thanked all delegates, the Chairs and the Secretariat, and praised the spirit of cooperation and readiness of compromise during negotiations.
Iran on behalf of G-77/China, Slovenia on behalf of CEE, Togo on behalf of the African Group, Belgium on behalf of the EU and Thailand on behalf of the Asian countries gave closing statements. (photos L-R)

The IIFB thanked the Secretariat and the Government of Germany for their assistance. CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan  (left) welcomed the accomplishment of the Bonn guidelines on ABS as a concrete measure to make the third objective of the CBD a reality. 


Ruben Olembo then officially closed the meeting at 1:45 pm

Shortly before the closure of the meeting, the Bundeshaus was put on a fire alert after the cellar of the adjoining building caught on fire. Below are snapshots of the incident.

ENB Summary of the 2nd Experts Panel on Access and Benefit Sharing
ENB coverage of ABS-1
ENB coverage of SBSTTA-6

CBD Secretariat web site with official documents, information for participants and Pre-Registration Form
ENB's Introduction to the CBD
World Intellectual Property Organization
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