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 Mon 14
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Highlights for Monday, 14 February 2005

Delegates to the third meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in Plenary throughout the day. In the morning, they heard opening statements and addressed organizational matters. In the afternoon, they heard reports on the implementation of the Bonn Guidelines on ABS and relevant developments, and held a discussion on an international ABS regime. 
Above photo: View of the opening dais to ABS-3.



Above photos: Suwit Khunkitti, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, officially opened ABS-3 by sounding a traditional Thai gong and was followed by a traditional Thai long dance performance.  

Above photos L-R: 

Suboh Mohammed Yassin, Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, President of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP), expressed his appreciation to Thailand for hosting the meeting in difficult times, following the tsunami tragedy. He said the COP-7 decision to initiate negotiations on an international regime on ABS marks a new phase in the CBD implementation.

Suwit Khunkitti, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, shared experiences he witnessed in the areas affected by the tsunami. He highlighted that achieving progress in the negotiations for an international regime on ABS is crucial for the future of the Convention.

Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary, outlined the agenda, stressing the need for the Working Group to respond to a task set at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) by successfully negotiating on an international ABS regime.

Nehemiah Rotich on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) cautioned that intellectual property rights (IPRs) can undermine the rights of local communities over genetic resources and emphasized the work currently performed by UNEP on capacity building in six African countries to promote benefit-sharing.


Mongolia, on behalf of ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, expressed hope for successful deliberations on an international regime and highlighted sub-regional initiatives on ABS. 
Above photo: Ayundar Navaan-Yunden (Mongolia)

The Netherlands, on behalf of the EUROPEAN UNION (EU),
said that the international regime should comprise a number of mutually supportive instruments, including existing ones.   
Above photo: Hans Hoogeveen (The Netherlands)

The UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) noted the recent entry into force of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), stressing its essential contribution to negotiations on ABS in the CBD context. Above photo L-R: FAO's Alvaro Toledo and Clive Stannard in a conversation with the Secretariat.

India, on behalf of the LIKE-MINDED MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES (LMMC), reported on a Ministerial- and Expert-level meeting of the LMMC recently held in New Delhi, India. Above photo: Suresh Chandra (India)

ETHIOPIA said that if access to genetic resources is to be continued, it needs to be reciprocated by benefit-sharing, and urged initiating negotiations on a legally binding international regime. 
Above photo: Tewolde Berhan Gebre Eghziaber (Ethiopia)

NEPAL stressed the need to ensure capacity building and technology transfer for the implementation of the Bonn Guidelines in developing countries. Above photo: Krishna Chandra Paudel (Nepal)

Above photos L-R: Rolf Jördens (UPOV); Jayasyree Watal (WTO); Shakeel Bahti (WIPO) and Sam Johnston (UNU-IAS)

The INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NEW VARIETIES OF PLANTS (UPOV) cautioned that the ABS regime should not create barriers to access to genetic resources for plant breeding. 

Addressing the relationship between TRIPS and the CBD, the WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION highlighted country views on international actions required for the disclosure of origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in IPR applications. 

The WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO) reported on progress achieved in addressing IPR issues related to genetic resources, traditional knowledge protection, the interrelationship between genetic resources and disclosure requirements in IPR applications, and the role of IPRs in technology transfer.

The UN UNIVERSITY-INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES outlined its biodiplomacy initiative, including research and training on the use of genetic resources and distribution of benefits, roles of IPRs, bioprospecting and biotechnology regulation.


CANADA stressed the need for further elaboration of the Bonn Guidelines, and said that national and regional ABS measures are the precursors to negotiating the binding components of an international regime. Above photo: Timothy Hodges (Canada)

SWITZERLAND stressed implementation of the Bonn Guidelines and the ITPGR in the short and medium term, and highlighted national activities facilitating implementation of the Guidelines. Above photo: François Pythoud (Switzerland) with Olivier Jalbert (CBD) and Valerie Normande (CBD)

International Regime: 

MEXICO stressed that the international regime should complement, not substitute, national access legislation, and include a certificate of legal provenance. Above photo:
Jorge Soberón (Mexico)

BRAZIL stressed the need to ensure that PIC also applies to the rights of indigenous and local communities over their traditional knowledge.
Above photo L-R: Maria Angelica Ikeda and Mitzi Gurgel Valente da Costa (Brazil)

ENB Snapshots: 

Photos from the Reception hosted by the Thai Government:

This service was prepared in cooperation with the CBD Secretariat


CBD Secretariat
ABS-3 documents
ENB coverage of SBSTTA-10
ENB coverage of ABS-2
ENB coverage of WG-3 on Article 8(j) and related provisions of the CBD
ENB coverage of the Second Meeting of the CGRFA acting as the Interim Commitee for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
ENB coverage of COP-7

FAO CGRFA Website 
WIPO Traditional Knowledge Website
TRIPs Website on IPRs, traditional knowledge and biodiversity
Third IUCN World Conservation Congress Website 
IISD Linkages Biodiversity and Wildlife Recent Meetings


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