15th Global Biodiversity Forum announced for May 2000
[Note: The Ramsar Bureau is pleased to assist in distributing information about the forthcoming Global Biodiversity Forum 15 in Nairobi, May 2000, on behalf of IUCN-The World Conservation Union. The Ramsar Bureau is not a part of the organizing process for GBF15, and further information should be sought from Laurence Christen of IUCN, not from the Bureau.]
"Sharing the Benefits from Biodiversity"
15th Session of the Global Biodiversity Forum
Announcement/Call for Papers
12-14 May 2000
at UNEP, Gigiri
IUCN - The World Conservation Union
World Resources Institute (WRI)
African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
Biodiversity Action Network (BIONET)
Indigenous Peoples Biodiversity Network (IPBN)
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The Indonesian Biodiversity Forum (Kehati)
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)
the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA)
Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG)
Environment Liaison Center International (ELCI)
RIOD - International NGO Network on Desertification
The Indonesian Indigenous Peoples National Organization (AMAN)
Kechua-Aymara Association for Sustainable Livelihoods (ANDES)
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Asociación para la Defensa de los Derechos Naturales (ADN)
The 15th session of the Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF15-Nairobi/COP5) will be convened in Nairobi, Kenya, on 12-14 May 2000, immediately prior to the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP5) (Nairobi, Kenya, 15-26 May 2000). GBF15-Nairobi/COP5 will focus on the theme: "Sharing the Benefits from Biodiversity" and will have workshops addressing the following three topics: Biodiversity for Poverty Alleviation; Instruments for Access and Benefit-Sharing from Genetic Resources; and Agricultural Biodiversity and Sustainable Livelihoods: the Case of Dryland Ecosystems.
The Purpose of the GBF
The Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF) provides an independent, open and strategic mechanism to foster analysis, dialogue and debate among all interested parties to address significant ecological, economic, institutional and social issues related to the options for action to conserve biodiversity and use biological resources sustainably and equitably. It contributes to the further development and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other biodiversity-related instruments at the international, regional and national levels. It complements intergovernmental processes by: 1) providing a broad spectrum of perspectives, proposals and experiences from all stakeholders; 2) building diverse partnerships among stakeholders (including governments, indigenous groups, local communities, NGOs and the private sector); and 3) identifying key issues and areas that require further development and attention.
Background to the GBF
The Forum concept was initially proposed by the Global Biodiversity Strategy (WRI, IUCN, UNEP, 1992). The following sessions of the Forum have been held:
- GBF1-Gland, October 1993 prior to the ICCBD1.
- GBF2-Nassau, November 1994 prior to CBD COP1.
- GBF3-Jakarta, November 1995 prior to CBD COP2.
- GBF-Latin America (Colombia), May 1996 (regional session).
- GBF4-Montreal, August 1996 prior to CBD SBSTTA2.
- GBF-East Africa 1 (Kenya), September 1996 (regional session).
- GBF5-Buenos Aires, November 1996 prior to CBD COP3.
- GBF6-New York, April 1997 in association with a CSD meeting.
- GBF7-Harare, June 1997 prior to CITES COP10.
- GBF8-Montreal, August 1997 prior to CBD SBSTTA3.
- GBF-East Africa 2 (Kenya), November 1997 (regional session).
- GBF9-Kyoto, December 1997 during the Climate Change Convention COP3.
- GBF-Asia (China), March 1998 prior to Asian CBD COP4 preparatory session (regional session).
- GBF10-Bratislava, May 1998 prior to CBD COP4.
- GBF11-Buenos Aires, November 1998, during the UNFCCC COP4
- GBF12-Dakar, December 1998, during the Desertification Convention COP2.
- GBF-Moscow, May 1999 (national session)
- GBF13-San José, May 1999 prior to Ramsar COP7
- GBF14-Montreal, June 1999 prior to SBSTTA4
- GBF-South and Southeast Asia (Sri Lanka), October 1999 (regional session).
- GBF-East and Southern Africa 3 (Kenya), February 2000 (regional session).
Call for Papers
Interested individuals from all sectors of society are invited to submit 1-2 page abstracts of papers by 1 April 2000 for possible presentation at one of the workshops during the Forum. Please use the enclosed Abstract Submission Form and send in your submissions (if possible by email) to Laurence Christen (e-mail: email@example.com/ fax: +41 22 999-0025). A limited number of papers will be chosen for formal presentation by Workshop Organizers on the basis of relevance to the topic, quality, balance among sectors, and geographical balance. The Forum is not an academic seminar, and at least 50 percent of its time will be devoted to open discussion.
Participation at the GBF
Please use the enclosed pre-registration form to notify the Convenors of your intent to participate to Laurence Christen /fax: +41 22 999-0025). The deadline for receiving the participation form is 20 April 2000.
Institutions that are interested in co-organizing a workshop are encouraged to contact the focal point(s) of the workshop concerned directly, or the GBF15 Coordinator. The following workshops are currently planned:
- Biodiversity for Poverty Alleviation (Organizers: IUCN, Kehati, Kalpavriksh, Sobrevivencia, CARE, UNDP, GEF, World Bank, and others to being sought)
- Instruments for Access and Benefit-Sharing from Genetic Resources (Organizers: WRI, IPGRI, The Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew, IPBN, SPDA, AMAN, ANDES, WWF)
- Agricultural Biodiversity and Sustainable Livelihoods: the Case of Dryland Ecosystems (Organizers: ITDG, ELCI, RIOD, UNDP)
Delegates to COP5 will be coming to a region where the food security of a majority of the people, and the livelihoods of millions, are based on the activities of small scale producers who help to shape, manage and develop the regions agricultural biodiversity. Their interest is in how to survive and prosper through managing biodiversity to its maximum benefit. Nowhere is this more true than in dryland areas where both the land and the livelihoods derived from it are marginal. It often seems that marginal environments offer fewer possibilities for people to diversify their livelihoods and manage risks associated with natural and economic contexts. Therefore it is important to understand how people cope with ecosystems that can be easily abused and to what extent their practices and traditional knowledge are effective to mitigate the human impacts on the biodiversity of these ecosystems.
While agricultural biodiversity and drylands are addressed in a separate programmes at COP5, the issues surrounding its use for sustainable livelihoods cut across most areas of the CBDs work. They integrate genetics, species and ecosystem management with concerns for farmers rights, access, benefit sharing and biosafety.
What meaning will the COP discussions have for the farmers and pastoralists in drylands areas? And how can farmers and pastoralists perspectives on biodiversity influence the understanding of delegates to the international meeting?
This workshop will bring farmers and pastoralists from drylands ecosystems into the international policy dialogue, examining how their sustainable livelihoods manage diversity, and the implications of their experience for aspects of the COP5 agenda, for the implementation of the work programmes on agricultural biodiversity and drylands, and for Parties national plans.
The conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of biological resources as tools for sustainable development are often linked to the objective of helping to alleviate poverty. However, the fact that many of the worlds economically poor live in the richest areas of biodiversity suggests that the relationship between increasing poverty and decreasing biological resources is highly complex. For instance, the places that currently exhibit rich biodiversity often are those that have been only recently integrated into the local, national and global markets. These locations often have highly complex geography and cultural diversity, based on interactions of many social groups with natural resources in different ways according to their livelihood strategies, access to resources, links to markets, etc. Such variables shape their level of income, their degree of well-being, food security, health and other variables that should be taken into account when defining the term poverty. Addressing that complexity and diversity involved in these processes, the workshop will to go beyond the general statements that typically link poverty with environmental degradation and instead identify under which conditions and for which groups does poverty enhance or limit resource degradation. Further, many of the institutions that have development mandates are also part of the CBD's implementation constituency, so linkages between poverty and biodiversity are important to them. Among others, this workshop will explore issues and questions such as: What is a useful definition of poverty in the context of the CBD? How can we better understand how different groups affect nature as they seek to improve their standard of living? How can we design strategies to minimize negative impacts on biodiversity as communities develop? How can the benefits of biodiversity be harnessed for the poorest of the poor? What are the most significant relationships between land tenure, biodiversity and poverty? How can funds be directed to the rural poor for biodiversity-friendly habitat restoration as a means for carbon sequestration? How can community-based conservation be promoted most effectively? How do institutions that have both development and biodiversity mandates effectively address the issue of poverty alleviation?
Focal contact: Jeffrey A. McNeely, Chief Scientist, IUCN, Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, Switzerland, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: +41 22 999-0284; fax: +41 22 999-0025.
Building on the work accomplished by the CBD Expert Panel on ABS (Costa Rica, October 1999) and the ad hoc working group on Article 8(j) (Spain, March 2000), the workshop will consider the key conclusions of these meetings and the draft COP Decisions, and allow key stakeholders to share experiences of implementation of measures on ABS and Article 8(j). Representatives from indigenous and local communities and companies involved in particular partnerships involving access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge will share their experiences of negotiating and implementing an ABS agreement. The workshop will split into two parallel working groups - on 8(j) and ABS - for part of the workshop. The ABS group will discuss strategies on access and benefit-sharing, and how the inclusion of these in national biodiversity strategies (149 of which are now underway) could help the development of access legislation that is geared to meet priority national needs, facilitate fair partnerships and ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits. The ABS group will also examine how national ABS legislation can best take into account and harmonize with the possible development of a multilateral system for the international exchange of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA). The ABS group will then discuss potential "user measures" - ranging from binding legal measures to voluntary instruments such as industry "codes of conduct" - that countries importing genetic resources might take to support effective implementation of ABS legislation in source countries. The 8(j) group will explore a number of instruments for protecting the intellectual property of indigenous and local communities, for securing their prior approval for the use of their traditional knowledge and for ensuring the fair and equitable sharing of resulting benefits. These may include specific draft laws to implement Article 8(j); the inclusion of 8(j) provisions in access legislation, and local-level measures such as community registers. The 8(j) group will also examine the link between Article 8(j) and various kinds of intellectual property rights, including patents, plant variety rights, trade marks and appellation of origin.
Focal contacts: For ABS: Charles Barber World Resources Institute Philippines, 14 Cabbage Street, Valle Verde 5, Pasig, Metro Manilla, Philippines, e-mail: email@example.com, Phone: ++63(2)631-0421, Fax: ++63(2)631-0406. For Article 8(j): Mr Alejandro Argumedo, IPBN, P.O. Box 567, Cusco, Peru, tel: +51 84 24-6020, fax: +51 84 23-2603, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Focal contact: Don Redding, Public Affairs Manager, Intermediate Technology Development Group Schumacher Centre for Technology Development, Bourton Hall, Bourton On Dunsmore, Warwickshire CV23 9QZ, UK, e-mail: email@example.com, Tel: +44 - 01788 661100, Fax: +44 - 01788 661101.
Registration will commence on Friday 12 May at 11:00 and will continue until Saturday 13 May at 17:30. A participation fee of US$ 25 (or 1,800 Ksh) will be collected during registration.
Day 1 (Friday, 12 May 2000)
13:00 - 15:00 OPENING PLENARY
15:00 - 15:30 Coffee/Tea Break
15:30 - 17:00 Workshop Session 1 (Workshops in parallel)
Day 2 (Saturday, 13 May 2000)
09:00 - 10:30 Workshop Session 2 (Workshops in parallel)
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee/Tea Break
11:00 - 12:30 Workshop Session 3 (Workshops in parallel)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 Workshop Session 4 (Workshops in parallel)
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee/Tea Break
16:00 - 17:30 Workshop Session 5 (Workshops in parallel)
18:00 GBF RECEPTION (VENUE TO BE ANNOUNCED)
Day 3 (Sunday, 14 May 2000)
08:30 10:00 Workshop Session 6 (Workshops in parallel)
10:00 10:30 Coffee/Tea Break
10:30 - 12:30 CLOSING PLENARY
Limited financial assistance for travel and/or per diem may be available for developing country participants chosen to present formal papers or otherwise contribute substantively to the Forum. Please send your requests for financial assistance to the focal point of the workshop you are interested in contributing to. Participants requiring financial assistance are urged to also seek travel support from the local offices of international donor organizations.
As May is a high season month in Kenya, it is highly recommended to arrange for your hotel bookings as soon as possible. Participants are responsible for making their own hotel accommodation arrangements. Please see Annex 1 for a list of hotels in Nairobi. The quoted rates are subject to change and do not include the applicable taxes (15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) and 10% service charge). We have block booked 50 rooms at the Panafric Hotel to ensure accommodations for GBF participants. When making hotel reservations, kindly notify the Panafric that you will be attending the GBF.
- Visa. Nationals of most countries require an entry visa for Kenya except those from the East African region (Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia). Annex 2 contains list of countries whose nationals require an entry visa for Kenya, including those who can obtain visas at the airport upon arrival (visa fee US$ 50).
- The international airport in Nairobi is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. A departure tax of US$ 40 is applicable.
- Time zone. Kenya is GMT + 3 hours.
- Language. The official language of the Republic of Kenya is English.
- Currency. The official currency is the Kenyan Shilling (Ksh). The currency exchange rate is approximately 75 Ksh for 1 US dollar.
- Weather. The temperature for May ranges between 20°C and 30°C.
- Credit card. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants in the city.
- Electricity. 240 Volts
For further Information on GBF15-Nairobi/COP5, please contact:
Caroline Martinet, GBF-Coordinator, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, 28 Rue Mauverney, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland, Tel: +41.22.999-0001; Fax: +41.22.999-0025; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE INVITE YOU TO VISIT THE GBF WEB SITE AT http://iucn.org/themes/gbf/index.html .