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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 Thursday, 8 September 2005

On Thursday, 8 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 conference room 
papers (CRPs) on: communication, education and public awareness (CEPA); review of the 
Convention processes; financial resources and the financial mechanism; and implementation of the Convention and Strategic Plan. SWG-I Chair Jebb established a drafting group that met in the evening to finalize the CRP on review of processes. SWG-I will reconvene on Friday morning to complete its work. Sub-Working Group II (SWG-II) finalized CRPs on cooperation with other conventions, framework for monitoring implementation, and national reporting, and adopted the SWG-II report (UNEP/CDB/WG-RI/1/SWG.2/L.1).

Above photo: Delegates from the European Community, Norway, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Saint Lucia, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and China discussing whether WGRI should recommend to the COP to request the Executive Secretary and the SBSTTA Bureau to participate in the Paris Conference Initiative.

Sub-Working Group I: 

Communication, education and public awareness :

In the morning, SWG-I addressed a CRP on communication, education and public awareness (CEPA).


Canada suggested, and delegates agreed to: provide Parties with further opportunity to comment on the CEPA plan of implementation, before forwarding it to COP-8 for in-depth consideration and adoption; invite GEF and Parties to make available the necessary financial resources to implement the identified CEPA priority activities at the national level in support of NBSAPs; and refer to the MA in the list of global initiatives relevant to CEPA work, with which linkages should be explored. The EU suggested, and delegates agreed to, inserting “potential” priority activities and developing a “short” list of priority activities in the CEPA programme of work, to serve as the focus for the implementation of the initiative. Delegates also agreed to: ensure synergies and avoid duplication with respect to cooperation with other Rio Conventions, as proposed  by Brazil and the EU; and refer to the need for changes in attitude and behavior to enhance CEPA implementation, as requested by Saint Lucia.

Above photos L-R: Karen Brown (Canada); Glenys Parry and Jane Bulmer (United Kingdom speaking on behalf of the EU)
Below photos L-R: Anita James (Saint Lucia); Marcela Nicodemos (Brazil) in consultation with Marta Ligia Pérez (Colombia)

Financial resources and the financial mechanism:

In the afternoon, SWG-I addressed a CRP on financial resources and the financial mechanism, with discussion focusing on: GEF disbursement procedures, collaboration with GEF, synergies among Conventions, and national biodiversity priorities.

On simplifying GEF disbursement procedures, Canada, Peru, and others, opposed by El Salvador and Kiribati, objected to language singling out financing country-driven early action on protected areas.
Delegates agreed to compromise language, suggested by the EU, referring to action on protected areas as an example. On collaboration with the GEF, Canada repeatedly suggested increasing dialogue on ways to more effectively formulate and implement guidance from the COP and reporting the results of this dialogue to the COP-8. Pakistan, supported by Colombia, suggested that the GEF Chairman be invited to provide details of the GEF Resource Allocation Framework.

Above photos L-R: Jorge Ernesto Quezada Dias (El Salvador); Mario Ramos (center) discussing GEF funding procedures with delegates from Latin America; Abdul Munaf (Pakistan) 

Implementation of the Convention and Strategic Plan: 

In the afternoon, SWG-I addressed a revised CRP on implementation of the Convention and Strategic Plan. On preambular language on the provision of new and additional financial resources, the EU suggested a reference to a successful replenishment of the GEF. Canada reiterated, and delegates agreed to, its proposal to request that the Executive Secretary prepare for COP-8 consideration a proposal on inviting other biodiversity-relevant organizations, such as FAO, to participate in the Biodiversity Liaison Group. Brazil requested recommending that the COP decide upon concrete measures to conduct an in-depth review of implementation of Strategic Plan Goals 2 and 3. With regard to a review of the improved status of capacity for implementation of the Convention, Brazil reiterated its request to review the “provision of financial resources and capacity building and technological cooperation” rather than the “status of improved technical capacity.” On guidance for development, implementation and evaluation of NBSAPs, Brazil requested to delete references to mechanisms for priority setting.

Above photos L-R: Sarah Wynn-Williams (New Zealand) in discussion with Jane Bulmer (United Kingdom) and Matthias Buck (European Community); CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan with Elizabeth Migongo-Bake (UNEP-DEWA)

Review of the Convention processes:

Above photos L-R: SWG-I dais with Dan Ogolla (CBD),  SWG-I Chair Jebb, Bob Kakuyo (CBD), and Marcos Silva (CBD); Delegates from the European Community, Norway, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Saint Lucia, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and China negotiating language referring to the Paris Conference outcome.

SWG-I considered a CRP on the review of the Convention processes.
On reducing workload and streamlining Convention processes, the EU proposed that the Executive Secretary prepare options for consideration at COP-8, including implications of changing COP periodicity. Mexico suggested considering the amendment of current decisions before proposing new ones, as well as maintaining a manageable number of decisions. The EU, Canada and Norway supported that WGRI request the Executive Secretary and the SBSTTA Bureau to participate in the Paris Conference initiative, stressing its relevance for the CBD's work. Concerned with exceeding the WGRI’s mandate, New Zealand, Brazil and Saint Lucia requested deletion of related references, with China cautioning against additional workload associated with such an involvement. After informal discussions, delegates agreed that the WGRI take note of the Paris Conference outcome and invite the Executive Secretary to report on progress of the initiative to COP-8. On possible future meetings of the WGRI, Australia cautioned against establishing the WGRI as a new permanent process. On the CRP on review of processes, Chair Jebb proposed that COP-8 consider that, subject to available resources, WGRI meet once before COP-9.  He also proposed amending the CRP on implementation, so that COP-8 could consider appropriate mechanisms to carry out future WGRI work, in particular the in-depth review of Strategic goals 2 and 3. Chair Jebb established a drafting group (photo below), which met in the evening, to resolve issues on the modus operandi for WGs and the list of intersessional work.


Sub-Working Group II: 

Cooperation with other Conventions:

In the morning, SWG-II considered a CRP on cooperation with other conventions, organizations and initiatives.

On the Global Partnership for Biodiversity (GPB), Canada, supported by many, proposed text suggesting the Executive Secretary undertake consultations with relevant organizations to provide proposals for a GPB, and emphasizing that it should, inter alia: be a bottom-up partner-driven process; facilitate implementation of NBSAPs; facilitate the development of issue-based networks; and be a voluntary alliance. Australia, supported by many, opposed deletion of text on taking into account recommendations from SBSTTA-11 on the establishment of a liaison group on invasive alien species, preferring a general statement on improving cooperation with respect to the Convention’s work on invasive alien species.

Above photos L-R: Ole Hendrickson (Canada); Annemarie Watt (Australia)

Above photos L-R:  Fernando Casas (Colombia); Maite Martin-Crespo Muro and Alejandro Lago Candeira (Spain); Adriana Tescari (Brazil) 

On liaising with other conventions, Colombia requested reference to a priority-setting mechanism for financial and human resources needed. Brazil opposed the development of joint work programmes. Delegates agreed on compromise text requesting the Executive Secretary to liaise with other conventions “with a view to advancing the Convention implementation, in line with COP decisions, including the possibility of developing joint work programmes.”

On cooperation between the CBD and the WTO, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand resisted the suggestion that the proposed memorandum of cooperation (MOC) should promote the three objectives of the CBD, with Australia expressing concern about the feasibility of the endeavor. The EU and Colombia opposed, noting the need for a stronger push forward in the cooperation with the WTO. Delegates agreed to request the Executive Secretary to liaise with the WTO “with a view to identify options for closer collaboration including developing an MOC to promote the three objectives of the Convention.” 

Above photos: Victoria Lichtshein (Argentina); Jane Coombs (New Zealand); Roy Hathaway (United Kingdom speaking on behalf of the EU)

Framework for monitoring implementation and review of work programmes:

In the afternoon, SWG-II considered a revised CRP on the framework for monitoring implementation and review of work programmes, with discussion focusing on the annexed draft guidelines for the review of the work programmes. With reference to an assessment of the adequacy of the work programmes to address major challenges, Ghana proposed references to MDGs and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. On the steps to follow in revising and updating work programmes, Canada proposed, and delegates agreed, to consider, but not to prioritize, the financial implications of activities. Following other minor amendments, delegates adopted the CRP.

National reporting:  

In the afternoon, SWG-II considered a revised CRP on national reporting. Norway opposed requesting the Executive Secretary to report to the COP on the feasibility and cost of providing technical assistance on report submissions, besides reporting on additional ways and means to facilitate timely submissions of national reports. On the annexed schedule of complementary reports on thematic programmes, Ghana requested making note of reports on cross-cutting issues. On the annexed principles and elements to be taken into account in developing guidelines for the fourth national report, Brazil opposed a suggestion that national reports facilitate harmonization of reporting by joint reporting modules with biodiversity-related Conventions and other processes. Canada, on behalf of the Friends of the Chair, Switzerland, and the EU insisted on reducing overall reporting burdens by having information fulfill multiple reporting requirements. Delegates agreed to compromise text, stating that national reports should facilitate harmonized reporting “where possible.”

Above photos L-R: Gunn Paulsen (Norway); Risa Smith (Canada); Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana)

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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