Daily report for 18 May 2010

14th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)

Working Groups I and II met throughout the day. A contact group met in the evening to discuss bracketed text in a draft recommendation on biofuels.

IAS: Continuing discussions on IAS, BENIN, JORDAN and others expressed support for an AHTEG, with NORWAY and TUNISIA preferring to further specify its terms of reference. ARGENTINA proposed adding reference to uses in aquaculture, breeding for fishing and hunting, and fur trade. KENYA stressed the importance of regional approaches. BURKINA FASO emphasized preventive measures. IUCN proposed that CBD continue work on IAS, including through contacts with other bodies. Co-Chair Solhaug established a Friends of the Co-Chairs’ group to discuss the AHTEG terms of reference.

AGRICULTURE: On a draft recommendation (UNEP/CGD/SBSTTA/14/WG.1/CRP.5), SWITZERLAND preferred “endorsing” the joint work plan between CBD and CGRFA, while CANADA, supported by NEW ZEALAND, “welcoming” it.

On noting FAO and CGRFA’s work on the implementation of the CBD programme of work, SPAIN proposed welcoming CGRFA’s Strategic Plan 2010-2017 for the implementation of the multi-year programme of work, while BRAZIL preferred “noting” it. POLAND suggested recognizing the importance of implementing the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and updating the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. BELGIUM proposed inviting CGRFA to further contribute to the development and implementation of the revised strategic plan, by elaborating targets including at the ecosystems and genetic resources levels and monitoring progress using indicators.

SPAIN recommended that CBD and FAO work together in the design of the second phase of the joint work plan covering a period until at least 2017. NEW ZEALAND wished to clarify that a review of the joint work plan should take place following the revised strategic plan. In the context of the revision of the joint work plan, BELGIUM proposed reference to “other potential food sources” and IIFB to wild resources. Delegates discussed reference to in situ and on-farm conservation, with AUSTRALIA requesting bracketing “on-farm” and HUNGARY including reference also to ex situ conservation. BELGIUM requested reference to conservation of traditional varieties and related components of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems and related ecosystem functions, with BRAZIL and ARGENTINA requesting bracketing “ecosystem functions.” COLOMBIA, supported by TURKEY, suggested reference to conservation of agricultural biodiversity and related components in agricultural ecosystems. CANADA cautioned against over-managing the CBD-CGRFA partnership. Expressing concern about ex situ conservation, IIFB preferred leaving flexibility to CBD and FAO, urging inclusion of indigenous and local communities in relevant deliberations.

On relevant aspects of ABS as developing both under CBD and CGRFA, COLOMBIA, supported by BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, ARGENTINA and MEXICO, preferred reference to “relevant aspects in the context of the international ABS regime under CBD to be adopted by COP 10, as well as in the context of CGRFA.” CANADA emphasized ongoing cooperation. Following informal consultations, delegates agreed to bracket the Colombian proposal, adding “taking into account existing cooperation between the two Secretariats.” The PHILIPPINES proposed analyzing the status and trends of patents and other intellectual property rights, which was bracketed.

 On promoting agricultural practices enhancing carbon storage services provided by soils, COLOMBIA, TURKMENISTAN and AUSTRALIA clarified that these practices should be “sustainable” and relate to biodiversity conservation. Supported by SOUTH AFRICA and ZAMBIA, the PHILIPPINES requested referring to practices that “conserve and restore organic carbon in soil and biomass.” The NETHERLANDS preferred “ecosystem services such as carbon storage.” BRAZIL cautioned against excessively prescriptive language and, following informal consultations, proposed reference to “sustainable biodiversity-related agricultural practices that contribute to the storage of greenhouse gases in soils and that conserve and restore organic carbon in soils and biomass.”

 On inter-linkages between CBD and CGRFA work on biofuels, IRAN proposed joint studies and assessments regarding adverse impacts including related socioeconomic aspects in relation to agriculture and food security. AUSTRALIA stressed the need to refer to biodiversity conservation. CANADA objected to including socioeconomic impacts in relation to food security.

CANADA, supported by the PHILIPPINES, proposed facilitating the effective participation of small-scale farmers’ and producers’ organizations and indigenous and local communities in SBSTTA and CGRFA. AUSTRALIA proposed deleting “small-scale.” SPAIN pointed out that SBSTTA is a technical body and CGRFA a political one, so delegates agreed to refer to the COP rather than SBSTTA.

On promoting the restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity-rich agricultural landscapes and high nature value farmland, BELGIUM, supported by GERMANY, added “conservation.” SWEDEN suggested adding reference to promoting sustainable production methods in agriculture, with AUSTRALIA, opposed by GERMANY and BELGIUM, proposing deletion of “biodiversity-rich and high nature value farmlands.” CANADA, supported by COLOMBIA and AUSTRALIA, expressed concern about the term “agricultural landscapes,” and suggested adding “in the context of production-oriented agro-ecosystems.”

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, with SAINT LUCIA, inserted promoting global and regional awareness. Turkmenistan, on behalf of CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE (CEE), suggested exploring actions to better use abandoned agricultural lands. The PHILIPPINES proposed recognizing the importance of traditional knowledge systems, with CANADA requesting reference to scientific knowledge.

 On rice paddies, AUSTRALIA suggested “noting” rather than “welcoming” Ramsar COP Resolution X.31 on rice paddies as wetland systems. Delegates debated the Resolution’s relevance to CBD programmes of work and whether to invite FAO to study the valuation of ecosystem services provided by rice paddies. CEE proposed to consider joint implementation, at national and regional levels, of elements from the programmes of work on agricultural and inland water biodiversity.

INCENTIVES: In the morning, delegates continued a general discussion on incentives. On the design and implementation of positive incentive measures, NEW ZEALAND emphasized implementing measures in accordance with existing obligations, and ensuring that measures are effective, transparent, cost-efficient and do not generate perverse incentives.

On lessons learned and good practices, IRAN suggested bearing in mind that possible impacts of incentives could vary from country to country subject to national circumstances, and inviting parties “in accordance with national legislation” to take measures and other actions to fully account for the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services in decision making. FOREST PEOPLES PROGRAMME proposed inviting parties to promote positive incentives for the sustainable use of biodiversity and indigenous and local community livelihoods. 

In the afternoon, the Secretariat introduced a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.7). On lessons learned and good practices, the PHILIPPINES proposed considering current issues such as climate change and financial challenges, with AUSTRALIA adding “as appropriate” and GERMANY “among others.” On taking into account the risk of generating perverse incentives, NEW ZEALAND proposed bracketing “in the design of new incentive measures” and the FOREST PEOPLES PROGRAMME adding reference to indigenous and local community livelihoods. CANADA requested bracketing the entire paragraph. Regarding new language on fostering implementation of sustainable consumption and production patterns including consideration of ecological footprints, FRANCE expressed reservations about “ecological footprints” and, with BRAZIL, requested bracketing the whole new paragraph.

GBO 3: On a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.5), MALAWI requested reference to the 2010 target not having been met “in full.” On loss of habitats, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA proposed adding reference to loss of natural and semi-natural habitats. On urgent actions to curb pressures driving biodiversity loss, CHINA added reference to the full implementation of the Convention’s three objectives. On measures to enhance customary use, the PHILIPPINES and NEW ZEALAND introduced, after consultations, compromise text on measures that are compatible with conservation and sustainable use requirements by empowering indigenous and local communities to participate and take responsibility in decision-making processes as appropriate.

BRAZIL requested reference to the adoption and effective implementation of an international ABS regime, and proposed acknowledging the impacts of the lack of such regime on biodiversity. SWITZERLAND proposed text on liaising with IPBES if and when established, opposed by CUBA, BRAZIL, CHINA and ARGENTINA that considered it premature. The reference to IPBES was bracketed.

GSPC: On a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14WG.2/CRP.6), KENYA, supported by ARGENTINA, MALAWI and others, and opposed by GERMANY and BELGIUM, proposed removing brackets on inviting parties, governments and the financial mechanism to provide adequate and timely support to implement the Strategy. Parties eventually agreed to retain brackets only around the financial mechanism.

The PHILIPPINES proposed, and parties agreed, to invite parties and governments to support the development of specific toolkits for local PA managers, and compile case studies on best management practices in halting the decline of indigenous and local knowledge associated with plant innovations.

On a bracketed paragraph on seeking resources for the establishment of a position at the Secretariat, KENYA, opposed by MALAWI, suggested deleting specific reference to resources. BELGIUM favored keeping the entire paragraph bracketed.

On an annex regarding proposals for an updated global strategy for plant conservation, SPAIN proposed a target of managing sustainably 30 percent of all production lands in each sector, consistent with the conservation of plant diversity. PORTUGAL, supported by BRAZIL and CHINA, preferred a target of 50 percent. The UK enquired about the linkage between this proposed target and the revised strategic plan. KENYA proposed a more ambitious target of 75 percent, which parties eventually agreed to.

On maintaining 70 percent of genetic diversity of crops, including wild relatives and associated indigenous and local knowledge, the PHILIPPINES proposed referring to recognized rights over such resources and protecting such associated knowledge. CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, the UK and ARGENTINA opposed this, in consideration of ongoing ABS negotiations. ETHIOPIA, supported by BRAZIL and opposed by PORTUGAL, proposed protecting associated indigenous and local knowledge from “illegal use.” A drafting group chaired by Ole Hendrickson (Canada) convened in the evening to address outstanding issues.

POST-2010 GOALS AND TARGETS: On a draft recommendation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/WG.2/CRP.8), Co-Chair Obermayer established an informal group meeting in the evening to provide scientific and technical advice to assist WGRI 3 in understanding alternatives to existing goals and targets. On strengthening capacity to mobilize and use biodiversity data, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION opposed prescriptive language on participation in the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO-BON). SWEDEN proposed inviting GEO-BON to provide a report to an AHTEG on indicators, in addition to SBSTTA. On complementing global headline indicators, SPAIN added indicators “in aspects related to the economy of biodiversity and ecosystem services.”

The contact group, chaired by Paul Rose (UK) and Ignatius Makumba (Zambia), agreed on a paragraph on developing voluntary conceptual frameworks. Discussions then focused on the development of a toolkit, with some questioning its added value and others stressing its voluntary use. Several participants supported information compilation and dissemination. On requesting the Executive Secretary to contribute to related work of other organizations, some parties cautioned against prescriptive language. Others stressed the need to specify areas for collaboration, with one party opposing reference to “carbon stores.” Prolonged discussions ensued on references to biomass for energy production and use, as opposed to biofuels.

As another productive day drew to a close, delegates in the informal group on the post-2010 mission, goals and targets eagerly embraced the task at hand to provide guidance to WGRI. Enthusiasm quickly dissipated, however, when they stumbled upon difficulties as early as target one (increasing biodiversity awareness), with political overtones permeating what was supposed to be a scientific and technical discussion. Similarly, some participants in the contact group on biofuels were surprised by the limited scientific focus of the discussions, after a long and technical session on agricultural biodiversity.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Asheline Appleton, Johannes Gnann, Elisa Morgera, Ph.D., Anne Roemer-Mahler, Ph.D., and Tanya Rosen. The Digital Editor is Tallash Kantai. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2010 is provided by the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), the Government of Iceland, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, USA. The ENB team at SBSTTA 14 can be contacted by e-mail at <elisa@iisd.org>.