ENB: COP 12 to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12) and First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (NPCOP/MOP 1)

 

Convening COP 12 and COP/MOP 1 concurrently proved less challenging than some had anticipated. As a result, delegates agreed to convene future meetings of the COP and COP/MOPs of both the Nagoya Protocol and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety concurrently, beginning with the next meeting of the COP in Mexico in 2016.

 

Please consult the ENB summary: Here

 

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12) was held from 6-17 October 2014, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (NP COP/MOP 1) was held during the second week of CBD COP 12, from 13-17 October 2014. A High-Level Segment (HLS) was held from 15-17 October 2014, under the theme “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.” Other parallel meetings included: the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Fair; the Rio Conventions Pavilion; and the Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Sub-national Governments.

 

Approximately 3,000 delegates attended the meetings, representing parties and other governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental, non-governmental, indigenous and local community organizations, academia and the private sector. CBD COP 12 adopted 33 decisions on a series of strategic, substantive, administrative and budgetary issues. Among other items, the meeting conducted a mid-term review of progress towards the goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi targets; and reviewed progress in providing support towards implementation, through capacity building, technical and scientific cooperation, and other initiatives. Deliberations also focused on: resource mobilization and other finance-related matters; improving the efficiency of the Convention’s processes; biodiversity and sustainable development; cooperation with other organizations; marine and coastal biodiversity; biodiversity and climate change; biofuels; Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge); sustainable wildlife management; invasive alien species (IAS); synthetic biology; and ecosystem conservation and restoration.

 

Other highlights from COP 12 include: the launch of the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4); deliberations on restructuring the Convention processes, including a decision on organization of concurrent meetings of the Convention and its Protocols; decisions on IAS; the HLS on “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” which culminated in the adoption of the Gangwon Declaration; and agreement on the Pyeongchang Roadmap, containing five decisions on: mid-term review of progress towards the goals of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, and the Aichi targets; biodiversity and sustainable development; review of progress in providing support in implementing the objectives of the Convention; cooperation with other conventions; and a strategy for resource mobilization.

 

NP COP/MOP 1 marked the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol on 12 October 2014. The meeting considered the status of the ratification and implementation of the Protocol, and adopted 10 decisions, including, inter alia: the Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) Clearing-house and information-sharing; monitoring and reporting; compliance; model contractual clauses and other voluntary instruments; capacity building; awareness-raising; the need for, and modalities of, a global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism; and organizational, financial and budgetary matters.

 

Convening COP 12 and COP/MOP 1 concurrently proved less challenging than some had anticipated. As a result, delegates agreed to convene future meetings of the COP and COP/MOPs of both the Nagoya Protocol and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety concurrently, beginning with the next meeting of the COP in Mexico in 2016.

 

 

CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY: Adopted in January 2000 following protracted negotiations, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety addresses the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) that may have adverse effects on biodiversity, taking into account human health, with a specific focus on transboundary movements of LMOs. It introduces an advance informed agreement procedure for imports of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment, and also incorporates the precautionary approach and mechanisms for risk assessment and risk management. The Protocol establishes a Biosafety Clearing-house (BCH) to facilitate information exchange, and contains provisions on capacity building and financial resources, with special attention to developing countries and those without domestic regulatory systems. It entered into force on 11 September 2003 and currently has 168 parties. The Protocol’s governing body is its COP/MOP, which has held six meetings so far. The major highlight in the Protocol’s operations is the adoption of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, as well as:

 

•  establishment of the Compliance Committee and agreement on documentation requirements for LMOs destined for direct introduction into the environment (COP/MOP 1, February 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia);

 

•  establishment of an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on risk assessment and risk management (COP/MOP 2, May-June 2005, Montreal, Canada);

 

•  adoption of requirements for documentation and identification of LMOs for food, feed or for processing (COP/MOP 3, March 2006, Curitiba);

 

•  establishment of an AHTEG on socio-economic considerations (COP/MOP 5, October 2012, Hyderabad); and

 

•  provisions for continued intersessional work on risk assessment and risk management and socio-economic considerations (COP/MOP 6, October 2014, Pyeongchang).

 

NAGOYA-KUALA LUMPUR SUPPLEMENTARY PROTOCOL: Concluded following six years of negotiations launched at COP/MOP 1, the Supplementary Protocol provides for international rules and procedures on liability and redress for damage to biodiversity resulting from LMOs. The major divergences during the negotiations concerned the nature of the regime and whether or not it should include legally-binding provisions on civil liability; definitions; and the issue of financial security. The Supplementary Protocol takes an “administrative approach” whereby the operator (person or entity in control of the LMO) or the competent authority if the operator is unable, is required to take response measures in the event of damage or sufficient likelihood of damage to biodiversity resulting from LMOs that find their origin in transboundary movements. Countries can provide for civil liability in their domestic law.

 

The Supplementary Protocol was opened for signature on 7 March 2011. With 26 ratifications to date, it will enter into force 90 days after the date of deposit of the 40th instrument of ratification.

 

NAGOYA PROTOCOL ON ABS: The objective of the Nagoya Protocol is the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding, thereby contributing to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components. It applies to genetic resources covered by the CBD and to traditional knowledge associated with such genetic resources, also covering genetic resources held by indigenous and local communities; sets out obligations for parties on access, benefit-sharing, and compliance; and provides for the establishment of national focal points and competent national authorities, an ABS Clearing-house, and implementation support through capacity building, technology transfer and financial provisions.

 

Negotiations spanned six years. Major controversial issues included: the scope of the instrument; derivatives and the concept of utilization; the relationship with other instruments; measures to support compliance, including with domestic ABS requirements; measures to monitor the utilization of genetic resources; traditional knowledge-related issues; and considerations regarding health emergencies and food security. COP 10 adopted the Nagoya Protocol as part of a “package” including the Strategic Plan and a decision on implementation of the resource mobilization strategy. It also established the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP) to undertake the preparations necessary for COP/MOP 1, which held three meetings from 2011-2013.

 

The Protocol opened for signature on 2 February 2011. With 54 ratifications, it entered into force on 12 October 2014.

 

 

 

 

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