Nieuws - 25 oktober 2010

Monday, 25 October: Hopes for High-level


Wageningen scientist Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers is in Nagoya to attend the Convention of Biological Diversity. She keeps a diary for Resource.

Some of us were able to enjoy the weekend and had some time off. Lots of colleagues continued negotiations over the weekend. Part of the Dutch delegation had the chance to visit Kyoto on Saturday, which is only a 40 minute train ride away from Nagoya. We rented bikes there, and rode around town, visiting temples and the geisha area of town. One of the temples has a beautiful Japanese garden - it felt like walking around in a painting. We were lucky enough to see two geishas walking around in town. Unfortunately, they were so quick that I did not get to take a picture.
Biodiversity safeguards
On Sunday I went to a short EU expert meeting on the agenda item 'biodiversity and climate change'. This item includes several contentious issues, like synergies among the Rio conventions (see my Thursday blog), and the development of biodiversity safeguards for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). In the negotiations last Friday evening it became clear how difficult it will be to reach consensus on biodiversity safeguards, when the so-called 'contact group' met.
Such a small group should attempt to create one text proposal on which consensus has been reached by getting rid of different options for text, which usually have been presented by Parties with different views on the issue. After hours of discussion based on a text with 2 text options, the group ended up with 3 options, the two old ones, and a new one. Some parties, like China, feel that a CBD decision on REDD+ would interfere with the process in the climate convention (the UNFCCC), which is where REDD+ negotiations are progressing with difficulty. Others, including the EU, are of the opinion that the CBD is the convention on biological diversity, and could support the UNFCCC in the development of biodiversity-friendly REDD+ policy. During the continued discussions today, also no progress was made on the issue.
The negotiations on two of the main topics of the Nagoya COP, Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and the new targets for biological diversity for 2020, have made some progress over the weekend, although especially on ABS the progress is slow. The negotiators are trying to get as much work out of the way as possible, while the Ministers and other participants of the High-level segment are starting to arrive. The High-level segment is viewed both as a threat, a serious deadline to finish negotiations on less problematic issues, and also as an opportunity to make the negotiations more political, enabling compromise also on the difficult dossiers. We have five more days ....
Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, assistant professor at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group (FNP)