Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
8-19 October 2012 (Hyderabad, India)

CBD COP 11 adopted 33 decisions on a range of strategic, substantive, administrative, financial and budgetary issues. Among other issues, the meeting addressed: the status of the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS); implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and progress towards the Aichi biodiversity targets; and implementation of the Strategy for Resource Mobilization. Deliberations also focused on: issues related to financial resources and the financial mechanism; cooperation, outreach and the UN Decade on Biodiversity; operations of the Convention; and administrative and budgetary matters. Delegates also addressed: ecosystem restoration; Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge); marine and coastal biodiversity; biodiversity and climate change; biodiversity and development; and several other ecosystem-related and cross-cutting issues. The meeting’s main highlight was agreement on an interim target of doubling biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing countries by 2015, and at least maintaining this level until 2020. This target is coupled with targets aiming to improve the robustness of baseline information as well as a preliminary reporting framework for monitoring resource mobilization.

Deliberations on Article 8(j) focused on repatriation of TK (task 15 of the work programme), the development of a plan of action on customary sustainable use (Article 10(c)), and whether to change terminology in CBD decisions from ILCs to “indigenous peoples and local communities” on the basis of recommendations of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). On customary sustainable use (Article 10(c)), as a major component of the work programme on Article 8(j), the COP requested the Secretariat to develop a draft plan of action, including a proposal for phased implementation of the plan, for consideration by the next meeting of the Article 8(j) Working Group; and mandated the Working Group to provide views and advice on TK and sustainable use directly to SBSTTA on a regular basis. The COP decided that the initial tasks shall be to: incorporate customary use practices or policy into national biodiversity strategies and action plans; promote community-based initiatives contributing to customary sustainable use and collaborate with ILCs in joint activities to achieve enhanced implementation of Article 10(c); and identify best practices.

The COP adopted terms of reference to advance task 15, emphasizing that task 15 is to be interpreted in accordance with the Convention provisions, in particular Article 8(j) and Article 17(2) (exchange of information), and is intended to build on, and enhance repatriation by governments and other entities, including international organizations, museums, herbaria, botanical and zoological gardens, databases, registers and genebanks. The COP acknowledged that the Nagoya Protocol on ABS provides a favorable framework for the development of sui generis systems for the protection of TK and for ABS from the use of TK associated with genetic resources, and decided to hold an expert group on the issue, with the participation of indigenous experts; and on the basis of UNPFII recommendations, requested the Article 8(j) Working Group to consider the matter of terminology related to “indigenous peoples and local communities” and all its implications for the CBD and its parties, for further consideration by COP 12.

Integration of TK-related items in other decisions indicate that Article 8(j) is gradually being considered as a cross-cutting item throughout the CBD work. In the decision on ecologically and biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs), the COP invited governments and international organizations to consider the use of guidance on the integration of TK in the application of EBSA criteria, with the approval and involvement of TK holders, where applicable, in any future description of areas meeting the EBSA criteria and for the development of conservation and management measures, and further noted that socially and culturally significant areas may require enhanced conservation and management measures and that criteria for the identification of areas in need of such enhanced measures may need to be developed. Under guidance to the financial mechanism, the COP called upon the GEF, donors, parties and others to consider providing technical support and financial resources for work on indicators on TK and customary sustainable use.

Due to budget cuts, the next meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) (TK) depends on voluntary contributions, which were pledged by a number of countries, including notably the African Group and India. Visit the meeting’s webpage … Read the summary and analysis of the meeting by IISD Reporting Services …

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