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Highlights for  Friday, 18 February 2005

On Friday morning 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 two sub-working groups to discuss outstanding issues and adopt the sub-working group reports. In the afternoon, Working Group Chair Nisakorn Kositratna, Secretary General, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, on behalf of COP President Dato’ Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, opened the Plenary. 

Above photo L-R: CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan (left) with Olivier Jalbert (CBD) (right) congratulates Working Group Chair Kositratna, for the successful conclusion of ABS-3.


SWG-I Co-Chairs Shikongo (above left) and Burton presented the SWG-I report (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/3/SWG.I/L.1 and Add.1) which was adopted without amendment. Plenary then adopted the SWG-II report (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/3/SWG.II/L.1, Add.1 and Add.2), presented by SWG-II Co-Chairs Ivars (above right) and Santos, without amendment.

Regional and other statements:

CANADA announced financial support to the meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge). Above photo L-R: Anne Daniel, Campbell Davidson, and Timothy Hodges (Canada)

India, on behalf of the LMMC, expressed hope that Parties will be in a position to make specific recommendations at the next meeting of the Working Group. Above photo: Desh Deepak Verma and Suresh Chandra (India)

As a host of the fourth meeting of the Working Group on ABS, Spain announced its offer to host the next meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j), to be held back-to-back with ABS-4, in March 2006. 
Above photo: Miguel Aymerich (Spain)

The IIFB expressed its deep concern that the international ABS regime may result in violation of the rights of indigenous peoples.

The US said the meeting laid a sound foundation for future negotiations, and urged Parties to draw upon processes on ABS in their home countries. Above photo: Doug Neumann (US)

Alexander Shestakov, (above) Rapporteur  then presented a tribute to the government and people of Thailand (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/3/L.7), which was adopted by acclamation.

A UNEP representative stressed that the main message of their opening statement was the need for mutual supportiveness between multilateral environmental agreements, noting that views expressed were duly taken, and reiterated UNEP’s role in the ABS process. Above photo: Margaret Oduk (UNEP)

CBD Executive Secretary Zedan noted that negotiation of the regime will be a complex task, but the meeting represented an encouraging start, and expressed appreciation to the countries providing funds to enable developing country participation and offering to host relevant intersessional meetings. 



Above photo L-R: The morning dais of SWG-I with Valerie Normand (CBD), SWG-I Co-Chair Geoff Burton (Australia), SWG-I Co-Chair Sem Shikongo (Namibia), Dan Ogolla (CBD) and CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan 

SWG-I Co-Chair Sem Shikongo (Namibia) (right) with SWG-I Co-Chair Geoff Burton (Australia)  introduced a revised conference room paper (CRP) on the international regime on access and benefit-sharing. Co-Chair Shikongo said the CRP contains different options on the scope and objectives of the regime. He added that options for grouping elements into clusters should be moved to the section containing potential additional elements, because of amendments in the substance of the elements.

Above photo L-R: Dan Ogolla (CBD) and CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan 

Above photo: Delegates from the Like Minded Mega-Diverse Countries (far left) and the EU (far right) in a huddle to consult on language regarding options for clustering the elements of the international regime.  

Above photo:
SWG-I Co-Chair Shikongo (Namibia)(center) with CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan and delegates from the LMMC and the EU.

The EU insisted on removing the alternative option, noting that the Friends of the Co-Chairs group had agreed that the substance of the elements remain the same as in annex 2 of COP decision VII/19 D annex 2.

The Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries opposed removing an alternative option on clustering the elements, noting that the Friends of the Co-Chairs group had agreed that such options would be included in the section on elements.

Above photo L-R: SWG-I Co-Chair Shikongo (Namibia) listentening intently to the views of the EU and LMMC represented by Hans Hoogeveen (The Netherlands) and Gurdial Singh (Malaysia) respectively.


SWG-II Co-Chair Birthe Ivars (Norway) (right)  with SWG-II Co-Chair Orlando Rey (Cuba) (left) presented a revised conference room paper on measures to support compliance with prior informed consent of the Party providing genetic resources and mutually agreed terms on which access was granted. She said it represents the result of difficult negotiations in a Friends of the Co-Chairs group and drew attention to a bracketed reference to derivatives, in the context of an invitation to Parties and others to undertake analytical work on misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Delegates approved the document as a package.

ENB Snapshots: 


Above photo L-R: Franz Dejon, Soledad Aguilar, Stefan Jungcurt, Xenya Cherny, Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa and Elsa Tsioumani

Above photo L-R: Xenya Cherny, Pui K., Soledad Aguilar, Ivy Marvin, Charlotte Salpin, Stefan Jungcurt, Elsa Tsioumani, Nicole Schabus and Franz Dejon 

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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