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First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of the Implementation of the Convention  


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Highlights for Tuesday, 6 September 2005

On Tuesday, 6 September, the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened in two sub-working group sessions. Sub-Working Group I (SWG-I) considered the review of the impacts and effectiveness of existing processes under the CBD, including the Convention bodies, work programmes, tools, financial mechanism and CHM. Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II) addressed cooperation with other conventions, stakeholder engagement in the Convention implementation, and monitoring progress and reporting processes A Friends of the Chair group on indicators for the goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan, established by SWG-II chair Shikongo, convened in the evening.

Above photo: Didier Babin (France) (center) with Thomas Jeanneret (France) (right) and Horst Korn (Germany) (left)

Sub-Working Group I: 

Review of the Convention Processes:

On Tuesday, SWG-I considered the review of impacts and effectiveness of existing processes under the Convention, including the Convention bodies, work programmes, tools, financial mechanism and CHM (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/3 and Add 1-2, and UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/INF.2, 3 and 4).


Above photos L-R: Matthew Jebb (Ireland) chair Sub-Working Group I (SWG-I); Chair Jebb with Dan Ogolla and Kagumaho Kakuyo (CBD).

Cuba, Argentina, Peru, India and others suggested focusing COP decision making on implementation-related issues. Many Parties opposed changing the periodicity of COP meetings prior to COP-10, with some expressing concern that reducing periodicity will undermine the momentum of implementation, and others supporting a proposal by Cuba to review periodicity after COP-10. Mexico, Switzerland and Brazil supported extending periodicity to three years to allow monitoring progress. Above photos L-R: Marcela Nicodemos (Brazil) and Sujata Arora (India)

Above photos L-R: Christian Prip (Denmark), Annemarie Watt (Australia) and Glenys Parry (United Kingdom)

Australia stressed that Friends of the Chair groups must be open to all interested Parties. Cuba, supported by many, proposed developing guidelines for the operation of contact and Friends of the Chair groups. Australia emphasized Parties’ responsibility for considering workload implications when taking COP decisions, while the EU stressed the need to streamline processes. SBSTTA-11 Chair Christian Prip (Denmark) stressed SBSTTA’s role in the implementation phase of the Convention, and, supported by many Parties, stressed the need for better engagement with the scientific community and adequate selection of SBSTTA delegates. Many called to refocus SBSTTA’s work on the provision of scientific and technical advice, rather than serving as a preparatory meeting for the COP. Suggestions included: reducing SBSTTA's workload; focusing on monitoring progress towards the 2010 target; enhancing technical content of recommendations; ensuring that requests to SBSTTA clearly address scientific advice, and preparing a multi-year programme of work for SBSTTA.

Kiribati said that regional organizations could serve as focal point for Pacific SIDS, noting the need to involve local-level communities and the private sector. Many Parties opposed the establishment of an international mechanism for review, scientific assessment and policy advice, with several stressing that this role is fulfilled by SBSTTA . Madagascar asked for additional information on the nature of such a mechanism. Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Switzerland supported consideration of a mechanism for implementation. The EU favored further meetings of the WGRI, albeit cautioning against the proliferation of meetings under the CBD. 

Above photos L-R: Conchita Paul Tatireta (Kiribati) and Robert Lamb (Switzerland)

Above photos: Marta Ligia Pérez  (Colombia) and Weixue Cheng  (China)

Review of the CHM

In the afternoon, SWG-I addressed the review of the Clearing House Mechanism (CHM), including its Strategic Plan (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/4 and UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/INF.11). The EU supported a “user-focused” in-depth review of the CHM by COP-10. Colombia said that the CHM should develop its potential for scientific cooperation, developing country capacity and technology transfer, and suggested a reference to traditional knowledge with respect to associated patent requests, and a link between the CHM and the WIPO International Patent Classification. Mexico suggested the Strategic Plan of the CHM be extended from 2009 to 2010.

China called attention on how to promote the CHM at the national level. Saint Lucia emphasized strengthening CHM focal points, including through regional networking, to meet the needs of developing countries in implementing the Convention, in particular ABS.

Sub-Working Group II: 

Above photos L-R: Sem Shikongo (Namibia) chair Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II); Chair Shikongo with David Cooper (CBD)

Cooperation with other conventions:

On Tuesday morning, SWG-II participants focused on CBD cooperation with other conventions and organizations, including the suggested recommendation on the establishment of a global partnership for biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/WG-WRI/1/7 and Add.1-3, UNEP/CBD/WG-WRI/1/INF/7).

Above photos L-R:  Ole Hendrickson (Canada), Joji Cariño (Tebtebba Foundation) and Fernando Casas (Colombia)

Colombia and Cuba suggested including in the proposed recommendations CBD cooperation with the WTO and other relevant socioeconomic agreements. Tebtebba Foundation encouraged strengthening cooperation with other environmental agreements, WIPO and WTO, in order to increase participation of indigenous peoples in processes where their participation has been limited. Canada advocated for the inclusion of indigenous peoples , NGOs, and research groups within liaison groups of Conventions. New Zealand emphasized that proposals for cooperation should be pursued on a case-by-case basis, with clear mandates and guidelines provided by the Parties.

Above photos L-R: Mohd Yunus Zakaria (Malaysia) speaking with ENB writer Reem Hajjar; Jane Coombs (New Zealand); Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana)

Reiterating the lack of emphasis on the second and third objectives of the Convention, Malaysia, supported by Cuba and Colombia, recommended that a liaison group on the sustainable use of biodiversity and ABS be formed. Cuba suggested the development of specific action plans for cooperation with other conventions, once memoranda of understanding have been concluded. New Zealand wished to discuss the proposal to establish a liaison group on invasive alien species only when Parties consider the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Invasive Alien Species. Ghana praised the cooperation between the CBD and the CITES (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/INF/9), expressing support for the development of the CITES strategic vision towards 2010.

Above photos L-R: Linda Collette (FAO); Rocio Lichte (UNFCCC); Mario Ramos (GEF)

Above photos L-R: Terei Abete-Reema (Kiribati) and Roy Hathaway (United Kingdom)

Stakeholder engagement

SWG-II focused on ways and means of engaging stakeholders, including the private sector, in the implementation of the Convention on Tuesday morning (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/8 and UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/INF/5). The EU called for increasing outreach to the scientific community and business, and, supported by Zambia, requested a reference to environmental impact assessments as a tool to facilitate contributions from business and industry.  Kiribati requested that the Secretariat and SBSTTA provide technical assistance in private sector engagement at the national level. 

National reporting

SWG-II discussed national reporting under the Convention and other conventions on Tuesday afternoon. Discussion focused on considering ways and means of improving the national reporting process by linking the format more closely with the 2010 framework and the goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan, increasing compliance with reporting requirements, and facilitating harmonization with reporting processes in other biodiversity-related conventions (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/10 and UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/INF/6).

Framework for Monitoring Implementation

In the afternoon, SWG-II considered the framework for monitoring implementation of the Convention and achievement of the 2010 target, and review of thematic work programmes (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/9 and UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/INF/1).

The EU, supported by China, Canada and Norway, suggested revising the proposed indicators for the goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan, requesting that a maximum of two indicators be adopted for each goal. The Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Measures Partnership urged Parties to consider integrating the existing indicators into a framework that measures the ecological viability, threats and protection status of biodiversity at national, eco-regional, regional and global levels. New Zealand pointed out that indicators at the national level may not be useful at the global level, and suggested measuring global targets through a global-level analysis. SWG-II Chair
Shikongo  established a Friends of the Chair group to further discuss indicators, which met on Tuesday evening. 
Left photo: View of the
Friends of the Chair group session on indicators.

This service was prepared in cooperation with the CBD Secretariat


CBD Secretariat
CBD WGRI-1 documents
ENB coverage of COP-7
ENB coverage of SBSTTA-10
ENB coverage of MYPOW

ENB archives of biodiversity meetings

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