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2nd Meeting of the Panel of Experts on Access and Benefit Sharing of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Montreal, Canada 19-22 March 2001


Previous days' multimedia coverage of  SBSSTA-6 
(photos and RealAudio)


Highlights from Tuesday, 20 March 2001

On the second day of the second meeting of the Experts' Panel on Access and Benefit-Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), delegates met in two working groups and smaller contact groups throughout the day. Working Group I (WG-I) addressed assessment of user and provider experience in access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) in morning and evening sessions, with four drafting groups meeting in the afternoon to discuss prior informed consent (PIC), benefit-sharing, intellectual property rights (IPR) and traditional knowledge, and capacity building. Working Group II (WG-II) met in morning and brief afternoon sessions to review draft points on the involvement of stakeholders in ABS.

Editor's Note: As a matter of policy, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin does not directly attribute statements in informal discussions when requested to do so.

Above photo: WGI Chair L.V. Kalakoutskii in consultation with the Secretariat before instructing delegates to break up into drafting groups


Experts reacted to the draft summary, suggesting that elements be prioritized and that the group follow the mandate of identifying elements and types of guidelines, including suggestions given by the first Experts' Panel. A number of experts expressed general support for the text. Specific comments involved, inter alia: adding reference to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility; linking focal points to user measures; deleting reference to registers, records and certifications; emphasizing capacity building; deleting the section on complementary options to avoid duplication of points to be defined under Agenda Item 3.3 (Complementary Options); differentiating users into categories; noting the difficulty of identifying countries of origin; and including IPRs along with references to patents.

Above photo: Danish expert Lene Lang making reference to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) during the morning session of WGI.

The group on PIC addressed as key elements: identification of the person who gives consent; user responsibility; PIC and capacity building; and other possible elements, including traceability and tracking of sources of material, specification of country of origin in patents and other forms of IPR, conflict resolution, and the role of national focal points and competent national authorities.

Left photo: The drafting group on PIC.

During a late evening session, WG-I discussed text produced by a drafting committee charged with integrating the results of the four drafting groups.


During a morning session, WG-II continued its deliberations on a series of draft points on approaches to stakeholder involvement in ABS processes, focusing on three specific areas: identification of stakeholders; examples of involvement; and identification of approaches for stakeholder involvement.

Left photo:
WGI Chair Anoja Wickramasinghe tackled the issue on stakeholder involvement during the morning sessionof WGI. 

Another participant proposed text on the need for a high degree of participation of indigenous people throughout the ABS process, when their knowledge, territories and biological resources are involved.

Right photo: Indigenous observer Esther Camac  

SIDE EVENT: " The Battle of the Beans" - Biopiracy in Mexico and the Andes


A lunchtime presentation concerning the "enola" bean patent and the latest biopiracy controversy involving the nuña bean a.k.a. popping bean was given by Alejandro Argumedo (Indigenous People's Biodiversity Network), Julie Delahanty (RAFI) and Carlos Fernandez (Mexico).

Photos from the reception hosted by the CBD:

ENB coverage of ABS-1
ENB coverage of SBSTTA-6
CBD Secretariat web site with official documents and information for participants
ENB's Introduction to the CBD

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