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Late-breaking news bytes: Friday 6 Nov

Updates brought to you by the ENB team members throughout the day:

A drafting group on land-use, land-use change and forestry is continuing to seek agreement on one of the most contentious issues of the COP-4 negotiations. To date the draft decision calls for an elaboration by COP-6 or as soon as possible thereafter, of recommendations to COP/MOP-1 for adoption on: a. definitions related to activities under Article 3.3; b. guidelines for supplementary information (under the provisions of Article 7.4) for reporting activities under Article 3.3; and c. Modalities, rules and guidelines as to how, and which, additional human-induced activities might be included under Article 3.4. The SBSTA is requested to consider the requirements necessary to operationalize the first sentence of Article 3.4. While the EU continues to adopt a cautious approach, Australia, the US, Canada and Iceland are reported to be pressing for an accelerated approach.
Tensions have opened up between environmental NGOs focusing on climate change issues and those specializing in biodiversity conservation. The NGOs are attempting to agree on a common approach to land use and forest issues but might be forced to issue separate statements. Climate change activists are advocating caution within the negotiations on land use and forest issues because of the scientific uncertainties about the role of sinks and the potential for creating 'loopholes' in Protocol compliance.
COP-4 President Maria Julia Alsogaray, Secretary of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development of Argentina, has confirmed that informal consultations among countries with an interest in voluntary commitments for developing countries have been taking place. She considered it an obligation of the Presidency to facilitate such contacts among the Parties. Several delegations have informed the COP President that they have been meeting informally and would like to meet "in a more organized way probably early next week." Ms.Alsogaray said she had kept a certain "distance" from the consulting delegations until now to allow them to organize. She added that she would facilitate their meeting when they were ready for that. Several Latin American countries and Annex I countries would be ready to join the meeting to explore the Protocol and consider the best way to advance the fulfillment of their Convention commitments. The Presidency would facilitate a meeting before the end of COP-4 and would hear recommendations or suggestions which are to be put forward at a Plenary session.
raworld.gif (1544 bytes) RealAudio of the COP-4 President's announcement

5cent_s.jpg (6261 bytes) Delegates from Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador (not pictured is Honduras, the country hardest hit by Hurricane Mitch)


5chair2_s.jpg (10319 bytes) COP-4 President Maria Julia Alsogaray opened the afternoon Plenary with a minute of silence in memory of the over 11,000 Central Americans who tragically died as a result of Hurricane Mitch 5cbd1_s.jpg (8316 bytes)Right: Hamdallah Zedan, Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, addresses the afternoon plenary and highlights areas where the FCCC and the CBD can collaborate, particularly with respect to forests and coastal and marine ecosystems

5ccd_s.jpg (8992 bytes) Left: Hama Arba Diallo, Executive Secretary of the Convention to Combat Desertification, disscusses ways in which the FCCC and the CCD can work together in anticipation of the upcoming CCD COP in Dakar, Senegal

5secpanel_s.jpg (6536 bytes) SBSTA Chair Kok Kee Chow, SBI Chair Bakary Kante, COP-4 President Maria Julia Algosary and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar in the afternoon Plenary session

Interview with Kilaparti Ramakrishna

Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Senior Associate for International Law and DIrector of the Programme on Science in Public Affairs provides an overview of progress made during the first weeks negotiations at 5rama_s.jpg (4993 bytes)COP-4 and outlines possible obstacles and outcomes.

Right: Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Senior Associate for International Law, and Director, Programme on Science in Public Affairs, Wood Hole Research Center

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Interview with Kilaparti Ramakrishna

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