Nieuws - 19 oktober 2010

Tuesday, october 19: Getting the hang of the daily routine


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

Last night, the Japanese government invited all the participants to the CBD COP for the opening reception. The thousands of participants - it is really hard to estimate the actual number - spent the evening chatting, drinking en eating.
Can you imagine having to feed such a large crowd? I did not envy the caterer... On the second day I am getting the hang of the daily routine. At 7.00 AM, the Dutch delegation meets in the hotel restaurant for our daily breakfast meeting. In this manner, we can have the time to update each other on the negotiations on the various issues, since we all focus on different topics. Especially once the negotiations become more intense over the course of the two weeks, we will probably see each other very little during the day and evening, since we will all be in small working groups negotiating specific issues.
After breakfast, we ride our bikes to the conference centre for the EU coordination meeting, which starts between 8.00 and 9.00 AM, depending on the number of issues that need to be discussed that morning. At these meetings, the EU develops common proposals and positions, which are then presented during the general negotiations by the EU Presidency, currently Belgium. The EU meetings are the place where the Dutch delegation can have the most influence, since EU Member States are not supposed to take the floor during the general negotiations. This contrary to more informal collaborations among other Parties to the CBD, for example the group of the 'like-minded megadiverse countries', which are rich in biodiversity like Brazil, China and Indonesia, who coordinate common statements, but can still individually take the floor.
Text proposals
Over the past two days, countries presented their opening statements in the plenary, showing their priorities for the COP. The Conference has also started working in two working groups, in which most of the work will be done. These meetings take place from 10 AM to 6 PM. Over the first days, countries also present their general contributions to these discussions. Later during the COP, the 'real' negotiations of texts will start. This usually happens in smaller so-called working groups, friends of the chair groups or contact groups. The EU also works with these smaller working groups to develop its common text proposals. All of these working groups meet throughout the day and evening. Last night, for example,  I joined a working group of the EU on the issue of climate change and biodiversity. Indeed, I went back to work after the reception... and I wasn't the only one.
Little news
Since we are still in the middle of the presentation of the opening statements, I have little news on the content of the negotiations at the moment. But don't worry, there will be plenty of time for more content in my blogs later during the COP!

Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, assistant professor at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group (FNP).
Foto: Guy Ackermans
Resource dedicated an article to her prior to the conference.