Daily report for 21 June 1994
2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity (ICCBD)
Plenary was convened at 6:00 pm. Mr. Y. Husseini was elected asRapporteur to replace Mr. S. Ahmed (Pakistan), who had resigned.The replacement of Mr. G. Zavarzin (Russian Federation) will beconsidered by the Bureau on Wednesday morning. The Plenary heardthe report of the open-ended intergovernmental meeting onscientific experts on biological diversity as contained in documentUNEP/CBD/IC/2/11.
REPORT OF THE MEXICO MEETING: Since the Chair of theCommittee, Prof. J. Sarukhan (Mexico) was unable to attend thesession, the report was presented by the Working Group Chairs, P.Schei (Norway) and J. Seyani (Malawi).
Mr. Seyani outlined the three objectives of the meeting. Themeeting had covered the discussions of this session including: thefinancial rules governing the funding of the Secretariat; theclearing house mechanism; and the subsidiary body on Scientific,Technical and Technology Advice. Mr. Schei introduced documentUNEP/CBD/IC/2/Inf.2, Agenda for Scientific and TechnologicalResearch, which contains issues that were discussed by the meetingbut could not be consolidated due to time constraints. Tunisia,supported by Cte d'Ivoire, said the paper reflected thediscussions in Mexico and suggested that it be given equal statusas the annexes in the report. The Chair said the matter would beconsidered by Working Group II later.
ROLE OF OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND INTERGOVERNMENTALORGANIZATIONS IN FINANCING THE CONVENTION: Although severalinstitutions, including regional Banks, international organizationsand large national banks were invited for this session, only threewere present. The World Bank and the UK's National WestministerBank representatives are expected.
DPCSD's Michael Monaghan, on behalf of Under-Secretary- GeneralNitin Desai, highlighted the outcome of discussions on financeissues at the recent May CSD session and those of the ad hocWorking Group on Finance. The Commission noted the need to developa matrix of policy options and financial instruments and mechanismsto facilitate the formulation of optimal financial strategies forthe sectors under review, and which would encourage private sectorfunding.
The African Development Bank representative, Chris Kahangi, statedthat the Bank could contribute its expertise to governments in themanagement of the resources provided under the Convention. It willalso pay special attention to the management of environments thatimpact on biodiversity. Nancy Vallejo of the WWF, outlined theirtransition in the '90s from pure conservation to addressingconservation that meets people's needs. She noted that WWF was nota funding agency.
Eduardo Fuentes of UNDP, highlighted the areas covered onbiodiversity, including sustainable agriculture, forestry andnatural resources management. UNDP is keen for inter-agencycooperation in the implementation of the Convention. Martin Khorfrom Third World Network spoke on the potential to generate fundingfor the Convention by ensuring that communities and governmentsreaped the benefits of trade in genetic resources. His speechgenerated debate following his report on the intended take over ofthe freely-donated gene banks of the CGIAR, by the World Bank.Malaysia and the Philippines expressed concern over the issue. Theformer noted FAO's efforts to deal with issue of ex situgenes, not covered in the Convention.
Ashish Kothari of the Indian Institute of Public Administration,supported by India, suggested an international levy for naturalresource use. He proposed the taxing of industry and theestablishment of a trust fund, independent of the GlobalEnvironment Facility. Canada said that the idea of supportive workwith other international financial institutions would be met if thepolicies on both sides are complementary and mutually supportive.Sweden expressed disappointment that invited donors had failed toattend the session as it is crucial to harmonize funding criteriato alleviate developing country problems in preparing nationalaction programmes.
WORKING GROUP I
SELECTION OF A COMPETENT INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
The Chair, Prof. S. Ongeri (Kenya), referred to the documentprepared by the Interim Secretariat (UNEP/CBD/IC/2/6) on theselection of a competent international organization that wouldfunction as the Secretariat. He highlighted Article 24 of theConvention that establishes a secretariat, lists its functions andprovides that the first COP shall "designate the secretariat fromamongst those existing competent international organizations whichhave signified their willingness to carry out the secretariatfunctions under this Convention." He requested interestedorganizations to declare themselves but no internationalorganization came forward at this session. Discussions focused onthe following broad areas:
LIST OF ATTRIBUTES: Several delegates including Cted'Ivoire, India, Malawi and Burundi pointed out that selection wasdifficult without knowing the attributes for an agency. India,supported by Norway, stated that the Secretariat should not becomposed of a small number of experts but should engage in informalconsultations with science agencies and NGOs at the regional andnational level. Australia proposed that ease of accessibility togovernments and NGOs be added to the list and this was supported byothers. Sweden added that the Head of the Secretariat should beresponsible only to the COP and that the budget of the Secretariatshould be separate to ensure autonomy. Brazil said that one of thecriteria for selection should be an organization's ability toimplement the sustainable use and equitable sharing of resources.
LOCATION OF THE SECRETARIAT: Australia proposed the idea of"co-location" of the Secretariats of Biodiversity, Climate Changeand Desertification in the same place. He recommended a UNheadquarters city as a place of co-location for the Secretariats tofacilitate coordination, cut costs and increase ease of access.This proposal was supported by Japan, UK, New Zealand, Switzerlandand France. Sweden suggested that the location be selected at theCOP. Sri Lanka, supported by Uruguay, stated that physicalproximity of the 3 secretariats is less important given theinformation super highway. Cte d' Ivoire supported by Zaire andTunisia sought to allow regional groups to discuss this issue.
REVIEW OF SECRETARIAT: UK supported by Sri Lanka and othersstated that the COP might want to review the work of theSecretariat. Norway emphasized the need to ensure continuity. Kenyasupported the nomination of UNEP as one of the most competentorganizations which was reaffirmed by several delegations. UK andCanada noted that the Secretariat could be a partnership betweenorganizations. Sweden suggested five agencies: UNEP, FAO, DPCSD,UNESCO and UNDP. In addition, some countries, including Zaire andNew Zealand, indicated their support for UNESCO and the IUCN. UKcautioned that the report of the Group should make it clear that itdid not aim to prejudge any particular international organizations.
The Chair summarized that the list of criteria including theAustralian and Brazilian recommendations, met with the approval ofthe group and should be sent to plenary. There was concurrence onthe autonomy and independence of the Secretariat. A recommendationof periodic review of the Secretariat was included and the deadlineof the middle of August was set for interested organizations tosubmit their bids to the Interim Secretariat.
Discussion continued in the afternoon on the process by whichinterested and competent international organizations might bepresented to the COP (paragraph 10). The US and UK wanted adiscussion on the process by which the COP might evaluate andselect a competent organization. Due to ambiguities in the Frenchtranslation, Cte d'Ivoire asked for the deletion of subparagraph(f) on the willingness of an organization to host the Secretariatirrespective of the country of its location; but UK proposed asimplification of the language and worked with Cte d'Ivoire andSenegal to recommend this. It was agreed to modify subparagraph (d)on operational autonomy to include an independent Secretariat withbudgetary autonomy.
INFORMAL DISCUSSION OF CLEARING-HOUSE MECHANISM: Informaldiscussions on the draft report of the clearing-house mechanismUNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.1/CRP.1 was then undertaken. The discussionsfocused around the following issues: characteristics of theclearing-house mechanism; potential range of subject areas covered;functions of the mechanism; and resources for strengthening oradapting existing institutions.
WORKING GROUP II
The Chair introduced agenda item 4.1.6, "Policy, Strategy,Programme Priorities and Eligibility Criteria Regarding Access Toand Utilization of Financial Resources" (UNEP/CBD/IC/2/8), whichrelates to Articles 20 & 21 of the CBD. He stressed that thisdiscussion was about the financial structure, and not theinstitutional mechanism which may operate it. The discussion ofthis topic focused on three issues: Policy and strategy;Eligibility criteria and guidelines; and Programme priorities. Atthe beginning of the afternoon session, the Chair announced hisintention to establish an open-ended working group to deal withmatters related to the financial mechanism (items 4.1.6 and 4.1.7)that would produce recommendations for the COP.
POLICY AND STRATEGY: Discussion began with measures toensure the mechanism functions under the authority of, and would beaccountable to, the COP (Art 21, CBD). Australia, Zimbabwe, the USand the UK recommended that the institution chosen should report tothe COP, and should not be micro-managed. Brazil, supported byother States, called for a short, background paper outliningprecedents that may exist in other conventions. The Chair announcedlater that it will produce a short paper on the financial mechanismof the Montreal Protocol and the recommended mechanism developed bythe Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a FrameworkConvention of Climate Change (INC/FCCC). Pakistan, the Bahamas, andMalaysia supported the creation of an intermediary body that wouldevaluate how the COP's policies and guidance are being adhered toby whatever institutional body is chosen. After the US and Austriahad made reference to the GEF, Malaysia asked delegates to "not tryto distort what is being developed here so it will fit into whatthe GEF is all about." India noted that the mechanism must be adedicated one and cannot have conflicting interests or besubservient to other rules. That "the mechanism should operatewithin a democratic and transparent system of governance" wasagreed. Some States noted that a "watchdog" group should beestablished to ensure that the chosen institution continues to meetthese objectives. There was general agreement that: the mechanismshould be carried out by the institutional structure chosen by theCOP; contributions should be predictable and timely; and, the COPshould decide periodically on the amount of resources needed.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES: Brazil, supported byArgentina, Austria, Canada, Sweden and others, did not see thedetermination of what is a developing, developed or LDC as anappropriate exercise for the ICCBD. A general consensus that therewas no need to develop either criteria or special lists emerged. Itwas noted that the situation of countries would be taken intoconsideration at the time of funding.
On the question of eligibility for access to grants vis vis concessional financing, France, supported by Australia andSweden, suggested that this matter should be left to the COP. Therewas general agreement that the first phase of financing would begrants with a "wait and see" attitude towards concessionalfinancing.
The Group agreed that there was no need to go into a detailed setof recommendations regarding eligibility criteria and guidelinesfor the utilization of financial resources but, as suggested byMexico, criteria would be developed by the COP as it considers itappropriate. Sweden stated that the indicative list of incrementalcosts, (Annex: UNEP/CBD/2/17), was totally unacceptable to hisdelegation.
PROGRAMME PRIORITIES: The COP, at its first meeting, mustdetermine programme priorities. The Secretariat proposed interalia a list of six measures for consideration by the Committee.Germany suggested five further elements including: in situconservation; integrated approaches to conservation and utilizationusing protected core areas, buffer and transition zones; innovativeprojects combining economic and ecological components; and keyfinancing elements. The UK introduced the World ConservationMonitoring Centre document, "Priorities for Conserving GlobalSpecies Richness and Endemism." Malaysia, supported by Sweden andIndia, requested the Chair to incorporate the criteria developed atthe first session of the ICCBD by the G-77 and the Nordics. The USsuggested four priorities: projects that produce the mostconservation for the dollar; those that fully engage developingcountries; projects that maximize the leverage of resources; andthose that use subsidiary bodies for scientific input. WWFsuggested integrating human and conservation needs and creatingincentives in projects. Sweden noted that there must be a balancebetween conservation and sustainable use and actions that add valueto developing country genetic resources.
IN THE BREEZEWAYS
The informal working Group, established under the Chair of Germanyto consider Monday afternoon's divergent opinions on the DraftFinancial Rules For the Secretariat of the Convention on BiologicalDiversity, met twice Tuesday afternoon. It is likely that apreliminary report on the progress so far will be made Wednesdayafternoon, and that the issue of contributions by the developed anddeveloping country Parties may be brought back to the Working Groupfor further discussion.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will meet this evening at 6:00 pm toconsider the rules of procedure for the COP.
WORKING GROUP I: Informal discussions will continue on thedraft report of the clearing-house mechanism(UNEP/CBD/IC/2/WG.1/CRP.1) Given its speedy completion of agendaitems, the Group may discuss Thursday's agenda item 4.3.2,Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice"(UNEP/CBD/IC/2/19).
WORKING GROUP II: The group will begin with "Monitoring andEvaluation," the remaining matter under agenda item 4.1.6, althoughthis may be incorporated into the discussion to follow on 4.1.7,The Institutional structure to operate the financial mechanismunder the Convention.