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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 Wednesday, 7 September 2005

On Wednesday, 7 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) addressed communication, education and public awareness (CEPA), and considered conference room papers containing draft recommendations submitted by the Chair (CRPs) on the implementation of the Convention and Strategic Plan and the review of the CHM, and a Chair’s text on the review of the financial resources and financial mechanism. Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II) considered CRPs on private sector engagement, national reporting, and the framework for monitoring implementation. SWG-II Chair Shikongo established a Friends of the Chair group to discuss a partial list of elements to be taken into account in developing the guidelines for the fourth national reports, as an annex to the CRP on national reporting.

Above photo:
SWG-II Chair Shikongo with delegates from the Russian Federation, Brazil, European Community and Poland discussing language on biodiversity offsets.

Sub-Working Group I: 

Communication, education and public awareness :

In the morning, SWG-I addressed the review of the global initiative on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) (UNEP/CBD/WG/RI/1/6, and INF/10).


Canada, Switzerland and Tanzania, on behalf of Africa, supported strengthening work on CEPA, with the African Group emphasizing national-level implementation, including through the CHM and NBSAPs. Grenada proposed a reference to regional and subregional CEPA activities; and Canada to indigenous and local communities, the MA, the 2010 target and the MDGs.

Above photos L-R: Rawson Piniel Yonazi (Tanzania) and Spencer Thomas (Grenada)

Switzerland, opposed by Antigua and Barbuda, suggested adding a list of stakeholder groups to the intended audiences of CEPA activities. Haiti requested adding donors, and Kiribati specific activities to target audiences. 

Above photos L-R: Joseph Ronald Toussaint (Haiti) and Diann Black-Layne (Antigua and Barbuda)

Implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan: 

SWG-I considered a CRP on the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan. Delegates debated preambular language, technical support to national implementation, future meetings and mandate of the WGRI and the nature of a standing mechanism for review of implementation.

While in principle supporting continuation of the WGRI for future reviews of implementation of the Convention, the UK, on behalf of the EU, Bulgaria and Romania, requested retaining a reference to other subsidiary bodies, in order not to preempt a flexible decision by the COP. The Russian Federation supported a proposal by Australia to delete a reference inviting Parties to supplement their third national reports with information on the status of implementation. Peru suggested adding IUCN to a list of relevant organizations for the consideration of technical support for national implementation, such as a technical assistance programme.

Above photos L-R: Glenys Parry (United Kingdom) and Stefan Leiner (European Community); Alexander Shestakov (Russian Federation), Maria Luisa del Rio Mispireta (Peru)

Review of Financial Resources and Financial Mechanism: 

In the afternoon, SWG-I considered a Chair’s text on the review of financial resources and financial mechanism.

China suggested deleting reference to the G8 Gleneagles Summit commitments to increase aid, and the decision of the OECD Working Party on Statistics to collect data on aid targeting the objectives of the Rio Conventions. Brazil, opposed by Switzerland and Norway, requested deletion of the recommendation to explore increasing effectiveness of financial resources through the creation of synergies between the Rio Conventions, stating that discussion of financial mechanisms and these Conventions should be kept separate.

Above photos L-R: Weixue Cheng (China) and Tone Solhaug (Norway)

Sub-Working Group II: 

Private sector engagement:

In the morning, SWG-II considered a CRP on the private sector engagement (UNEP/CBD/WG-RI/1/SWG.2/CRP.1). Discussion centered on tools for assessing the value of biodiversity, biodiversity offsets, and transfer of technology.

Delegates agreed to include tools for biodiversity value assessment as further work that could be developed by business. On the timeline of a request to the private sector to prepare any voluntary commitments that would contribute to the 2010 target by COP-8, participants agreed to delete reference to a specific COP meeting.

Left photo L-R: Sem Shikongo (Namibia) chair Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II)


Above photos L-R:  Jane Coombs (New Zealand); Alexander Shestakov (Russian Federation), Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias (Brazil) and Matthias Buck (European Community) discussing language on biodiversity  offsets; Natalia Tretlyakova and Alexander Shestakov delegates from the Russian Federation.

The EU, supported by Brazil, favored biodiversity offsets as a tool that may be of use in facilitating business contributions towards the implementation of the Convention. Noting that this issue is being actively negotiated in other fora, New Zealand said its inclusion would be premature. The Russian Federation expressed concern that offsets would allow the private sector to cause damage and offset it by providing compensation. Brazil and Canada proposed, and participants agreed, that private sector contributions could be facilitated by further work on developing guidance for potential biodiversity offsets in line with the Convention.

National reporting:

SGW-II considered a CRP on national reporting in the morning, with the Secretariat highlighting deletion of a voluntary system of peer review of national reports and of the emphasis on the 2010 target in the third national reports. Discussion centered on the draft guidelines for the fourth national reports, regional workshops, and other ways of facilitating national reporting.

Brazil, supported by the EU, suggested that COP-10 base its review of the Convention implementation on both the third and fourth national reports. The EU proposed that the Biodiversity Liaison Group develop proposals on harmonizing reporting requirements, with Norway requesting participation of the UNEP-WCMC in this endeavor.

Above photos L-R: Adriana Tescari and Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias (Brazil); Roy Hathaway (United Kingdom); and Gunn Paulsen (Norway)

Framework for monitoring implementation:

In the afternoon, SWG-II considered a CRP on the framework for monitoring implementation of the Convention and achievement of the targets and review of programmes of work.

Delegates debated the need to complete SBSTTA’s mandate to review and refine the framework for goals and targets. Stressing that SBSTTA reviewed the indicators but not the goals and targets of the framework, Colombia proposed requesting SBSTTA-11 to complete the review of the framework. Noting that requests to SBSTTA exceed the WGRI’s mandate, delegates agreed that the WGRI “encourage” SBSTTA to fulfill this mandate.

Above photos L-R: Leonard Hirsch (US); Cisse Modibo (Mali); and Jonathan Davies (Liberia)

 Friends of the Chair Group: 

Left photo: View of the Friends of the Chair Group established by SWG-II Chair Shikongo to discuss a partial list of elements to be taken into account in developing the guidelines for the fourth national reports, as an annex to the CRP on national reporting.

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