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Photos and RealAudio of 16 May

On the second day of CBD COP-5, delegates met in a morning Plenary to continue discussions on the Cartagena Protocol and to hear reports of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), of the Panel of Experts on Access and Benefit-Sharing, on the Administration of the Convention and on the Budget for the Trust Fund. In the afternoon, Working Group I (WG-I) addressed sustainable use, including tourism, and incentive measures. Working Group II (WG-II) discussed access to genetic resources.

Morning Plenary
GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL objected to requesting that the private sector provide support for capacity-building for the Cartagena Protocol.
REPORT OF THE GEF: The GEF SECRETARIAT introduced a report detailing the GEF's activities relevant to the CBD from January 1998 to June 1999 (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/7). He invited proposals from countries on, inter alia, alien species, taxonomy, inland waters, forest issues, the CHM, incentive measures and access and benefit-sharing (ABS).
REPORT OF THE EXPERTS PANEL ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: COSTA RICA introduced the report of the Experts Panel on ABS (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/8). He underscored the importance of information exchange and capacity-building and noted key conclusions were adopted by the Panel.
REPORTS ON ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY MATTERS: CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan introduced the report on the administration of the Convention and the budget for the Convention's trust fund (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/9), noting that it details the status of the CBD Secretariat's budget since COP-4, the three trust funds, implementation of the host government agreement and contributions to the voluntary trust fund. Regarding the proposed budget for the biennium 2001-2002 (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/18 and UNEP/CBD/COP/5/18/Add.1), he noted that it incorporates the financial implications of the numerous recommendations to the COP adopted by intersessional meetings, and builds on the Secretariat's existing activities
Real Audio: Part one  Part Two

Working Group One: Sustainable Use and Incentives
LATVIA, on behalf of the CEE, highlighted the involvement of stakeholders and incorporation of CSD outcomes on tourism
BRAZIL emphasized the need to: develop synergies between conservation and sustainable use as per CBD Article 10; involve the private sector in sustainable use; support and better define sustainable ecotourism; and delay premature proposals for coordinating initiatives on incentives.
Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA requested inclusion of information on incentive measures in national reports and the establishment of an expert group on incentive measures
The NETHERLANDS supported a joint programme work with the OECD and IUCN on
incentives and suggested that linkage between sustainable use and incentives be directed to specific sectors.
TONGA highlighted the challenges faced by small island developing states regarding incentives for sustainable ecotourism
WG-II Bureau, chaired by Peter Shei (far left) in a huddle discussing the redraft of text on sustainable use.

Working Group Two: Access and Benefit Sharing
WG-II Chair Elaine Fisher (Jamaica) opened deliberations on access to genetic resources, and the Secretariat introduced the relevant documents (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/4, 8 and 21).
INDIA highlighted the need for legislation and control measures in resource-user countries to complement legal measures in resource-provider countries. He also highlighted the issue of IPRs, and endorsed the recommendation to further explore the compatibility of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and CBD objectives.
NORWAY noted connections with COP discussions on agrobiodiversity and Article 8(j) and suggested a comprehensive approach allowing the CBD to play a proactive role within other relevant international fora.
Portugal, on behalf of the EU, called for creating national focal points to indicate from whom PIC in required. He also supported finalizing negotiations of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources by the end of 2000 in the form of a legally binding instrument.
CANADA emphasized the need to improve flow of benefits and to insure that ABS arrangements foster in situ conservation
BRAZIL questioned the approach within the FAO to renegotiating the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (IU), and suggested that the issue be addressed under the CBD.
SWITZERLAND stressed broader participation and suggested a rapid start to developing international guidelines.

Side event: The Convention on Biodiversity and the WTO

Solagral, Les Défis d'un Monde Solaire, hosted a panel discussion on the relationship between the CBD and the WTO.

Bernard Roussel, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle de France [top photo, left], moderated discussions which focused on financial benefits and access regarding patenting and national sovereignty over genetic resources. Attention also revolved around the similarities and differences between developing and developed country farmers positions.

Yves Manguy, Coordination Nationale pour la Défense des Semences Fermières [top photo, right], described his institution's legal cases against Norvartis, Bayer and Agrévo for refusal of sale and discriminatory agreements. He outlined the problems faced by French farmers with increased control of agribusiness companies over IPR on seeds and highlighted the strategies seed companies to: misinform the public about GMOs; promote plant breeding patents and IPR systems; and develop terminator and plant gene expression biotechnologies holding great risks to human health and biodiversity.

Tewolde Berhan Gebre Eghziabher, Ethiopia [second photo, right], discussed legislation developed by the Organization of African Unity regarding intellectual property rights, indigenous peoples and local communities. He noted pressures on local farmers derived from the monetization of African economies, socioeconomic and land tenure changes and state centralization. He said that the community level ought to be the starting point for IPR and biodiversity legislation. Regarding existing IPR regulations contained in the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, he stressed that there should be neither patents on living organisms, including micro-organisms nor patents on life processes, as they do not incorporate an inventive step.

J.A. Charles, Fédération des Organisations Amérindiennes de Guyanne [second photo, left], discussed threats to the traditional knowledge and territories of indigenous peoples within French Guyana. He suggested that IPR are "colonialist" and deprive indigenous peoples of their knowledge and resource systems. He called for the development of sui generis systems to protect traditional knowledge and collective property rights, the reinforcement of customary management systems and recognition of such systems within developed countries.

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Side event: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Walt V. Reid [], Acting Science Director of the Interim Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Secretariat, World Resources Institute convened a workshop on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) initiative endorsed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The MEA is being developed to strengthen capacity to manage ecosystems for human development and contribute sound scientific input and baselines for developing biodiversity policy.

Cristian Samper, Instituto Alexander Von Humboldt, Columbia and Chair of SBSTTA-5 [center] facilitated discussion and introduced speakers which are members of the MEA Steering Committee. He highlighted the unique elements of the MEA: integration of users in design; cross-sectoral linkages for biodiversity; the integration of international and national scales; the mobilization and capacity building of policy relevant scientific knowledge beyond information gathering.

H. Zakri, Universiti Keangsaan Malaysia and SBSTTA-4 Chair [second from the right], said the MEA would focus on regional and national capacity building regarding how changes to ecosystems will affect their ability to meet human demands for goods and services. The ecosystem approach aims to address linkages and tradeoffs between various sectors including timber, water, biodiversity, agriculture, fisheries, health and carbon.

Daniel van R. Claasen [, second from the left], Acting Director of UNEP Monitoring and Assessment Programme, emphasized UNEP's comparative advantage in integrating and exchanging such ecosystem information.

Mario Ramos [, far left], GEF Secretariat, emphasized the extensive political support of potential MEA users, including GEF financial support and interest in ecosystem baselines in order to assess the impact of its US$ 1 billion investment in 360 biodiversity projects.

Anders Alm [far right], CBD Secretariat, said that SBSTTA-4 had requested development of mechanisms for scientific assessments to inform CBD operations and SBSTTA-5 had requested CBD Secretariat consultation with the MEA Steering Committee.

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Secretary [standing, on the right], emphasized UNEP's leading role in coordinating the MEA as an alternative approach to avoid duplication, integrate experts in a manner to overcome bottlenecks and enhance developing country capacity structures in ecosystem assessments.

The subsequent question and answer centered on: MEA ownership and whether it was top-down or bottom-up; if vegetation rather than timber was a more appropriate ecosystem sector; the differences between the ecosystem approaches of the GEF operational and CBD work programmes as opposed to the MEA integrated ecosystem approach the institutional make-up and modus operandi of the MEA; if and how to integrate social science information on human demands for biodiversity goods and services in the MEA; how to involve with national and sub-regional CBD coordinating bodies and focal points; and the level of detail for synthesizing and generating new information rather than data.

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Side event: GEF Biodiversity Enabling Activities
Ramesh Ramankutty [], Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), presented an interim assessment of the biodiversity enabling activities supported by the GEF. Completed for the GEF Council, the assessment shows investments totaling US$ 24.8 million in 121 countries, including US$ 21.7 million for 117 enabling activity projects approved for up to $350, 000 in 1996 alone using expedited GEF procedures. In some countries, national biodiversity strategies and action plans produced have been comprehensive, cross-sectoral in nature involving solid technical input and in-depth stakeholder consultation. In contrast, other countries enabling activities have experienced significant start-up delays, have not consulted widely and seem to be developing action plans consisting mainly of projects further international funding. Very few countries have starting implementing their action plans.
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As delegates launched into discussions on access to genetic resources, many noted linkages with other international fora currently under review. Some participants pondered how the ongoing TRIPS review, particularly on biodiversity-related issues, and the beleaguered renegotiation of the International Undertaking would impact and be impacted by COP-5's decisions.

Right: at the UN compound at Gigiri, buildings are not separated
by closed corridors, instead they are linked by open breezeways.

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