Focus on incentive measures

23/06/2003

Incentive Measures

Inter-agency coordination committee meeting, 5 June 2003

Summary of the meeting

An inter-agency coordination committee meeting was held at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) on the afternoon of 5 June 2003, back-to-back to the second Workshop on Incentive Measures. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss further work on incentive measures as mandated by the Conference of the Parties under decision V/15.

The representatives of the following organizations attended the meeting: Mr. Juan Carlos Vasquez, Legal and Trade Policy Officer, Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); Ms. Leslie Lipper, Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Mr. Philip Bagnoli, Principal Administrator, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mr. Alain Lambert, Senior Advisor, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Ms. Tomme R. Young, Senior Legal Officer, Environmental Law Centre (The World Conservation Union-IUCN) and Mr. Stephan Pagiola, Senior Environmental Economist (World Bank). The meeting was chaired by Mr. Olivier Jalbert, Principal Officer, Division for Social, Economic and Legal Affairs of the CBD Secretariat. The CBD Secretariat was also represented by Mr. Markus Lehmann, Economist, and Ms.Gordana Dosen, Economics Assistant.

The chair opened the meeting by recalling that its purpose was to discuss coordination of work on incentive measures in response to decision VI/15 of the COP on incentive measures. The Conference of the Parties, by its decision VI/15, Annex II, endorsed recommendations for further cooperation on incentive measures. Specifically, paragraph 23 of Annex II states that: "an inter-agency coordination committee should be established, based on the liaison group established by the Executive Secretary (including representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and IUCN as set out in decision V/15 of the Conference of the Parties) to coordinate activities at the international level, thus avoiding overlapping initiatives and activities while providing support to parties. The committee should also include representatives from the World Bank and the secretariats of other relevant multilateral environmental agreements."

The chair invited participants to share information regarding relevant work being carried out in their respective organizations on the issue of incentive measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and to share their views on a coordinated effort to address incentive measures in response to paragraph 23 of Annex II of decision VI/15 of the Conference of the Parties.

The representative of the CBD Secretariat summarized the state of play with regard to the implementation of the CBD programme of work on incentive measures, making references to the endorsement of the proposals for design and implementation on incentive measures by COP-6 and the recent elaboration, by the second workshop on incentive measures, of proposals for the application of ways and means to remove or mitigate perverse incentives. He underlined the importance of ongoing work on collecting, analyzing and disseminating information on incentive measures via the Clearing House Mechanism, including case studies and best practices. He also pointed to recent analytical work undertaken by the CBD Secretariat on the role of trade liberalization for agricultural biodiversity, and in particular of the incentive effects of domestic support measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, undertaken pursuant to a request of the Conference of the Parties in Decision VI/7, on agricultural biodiversity.

The CBD Secretariat also reported on the status of work to improve the clearing-house mechanism for compilation and classification of case-studies, best practices and related information on incentive measures submitted by Parties and organizations, by developing and implementing a searchable database.

Participants decided to explore ways to make the case-studies received by their respective organizations available to the CBD Clearing House Mechanism. In this connection, it was also agreed that further coordinating activities should be undertaken to improve electronic information systems on incentive measures, though, inter alia, linking respective webpages and the development of a common portal on incentive measures for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

Further to the request of the chair, participants provided a brief overview of work carried out by their organizations on incentive measures and related issues.

In particular, CITES briefed participants on their upcoming technical workshop on economic aspects of wildlife trade, to be held tentatively beginning of November 2003. He also suggested enhancing cooperation, in particular among biodiversity-related Conventions, on economic issues.

Even while it was recognized by participants that informal cooperation on the Secretariat level is intensive and very fruitful, there was a general agreement, in particular among representatives of biodiversity-related conventions, that an enhancement of more formal cooperation is warranted to increase visibility and impact beyond the MEA Secretariats. The representatives of FAO, OECD and the World Bank signaled their readiness to participate in such a coordinated effort, time and resources permitting. The representative of the World Bank pointed out that decisions on formal partnership would have to be taken by the Bank on a case-to-case basis.

As a first step to further such cooperation, there was agreement on the desirability of organizing a joint workshop during one afternoon of the CITES technical workshop. Participants agreed on a tentative title "trade, incentives and sustainable use". The representative from CITES agreed to prepare a technical proposal further to the organization of such an event.

Participants tentatively discussed a number of other topics that could be addressed in a similar manner in the future. It was decided that further topics to be addressed by the group in a coordinated way, and related activities, would be identified during that meeting.

[More information can be found at http://www.biodiv.org/programmes/socio-eco/incentives/wsim-02.asp.]

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