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Executive Summary of COP6 Decisions
In The Hague, The Netherlands from April 7 - 19, 2002 more than 70 Indigenous Peoples participated in the 6 th Meeting of the UN Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 6). Prior to the 2-week United Nations meeting, Indigenous participants met April 6 & 7 to prepare their strategy and statements at the 8 th Meeting of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB). At the last COP, the IIFB gained advisory status to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on the implementation of Article 8(j) and related provisions (Decision V/16).
The IIFB was active throughout the meeting lobbying Parties and governments, drafting text and making interventions. Fred Fortier (Canada) gave the opening statement and Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe (Bolivia) gave the closing statement. Recognizing the unique role of Indigenous Peoples in this meeting, the Parties varied from the United Nations norm of allowing nations to speak before intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the IIFB was given to opportunity to address the COP working group II on Article 8(j) and related provisions first. While the priority issues for the IIFB were: Article 8(j) and related provisions, access and benefit-sharing as related to genetic resources and forest biodiversity, interventions were made on most of the 24 issues of the extensive COP VI agenda.
Out of 32 decisions coming out of COP 6, a total of 17 decisions referred to Indigenous Peoples. The participation and capacity-building of Indigenous Peoples was emphasized. Their involvement was called for in: expert groups; research activities, communications; and implementation processes and activities at local, national and international levels.
Decision VI/10 is the principle decision for Indigenous Peoples. Progress on its outcomes will be examined at the 3rd meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) that is tentatively scheduled for January 2004. References to the involvement of Indigenous women is scattered throughout the decision.
The Decision requests the Executive Secretary to prepare reports on the progress of: (a) the integration of Article 8(j) and related provisions into the CBD's thematic programmes (forest, marine and coastal, inland water, dryland and sub-humid, and agricultural biodiversity), and (b) the implementation of the programme of work on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions.
A. Composite Report on Indigenous Knowledge
An outline for a synthesis report on the status and trends regarding Indigenous knowledge, innovations and practices applicable to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity was agreed upon. Research, in the first phase, will focus on the state of retention of Indigenous knowledge related to food, medicine and conservation and sustainable use of flora and fauna and its variability across different ecosystems. As well, there will be a specific emphasis on identifying and assessing measures and initiatives to protect, promote and facilitate the use of traditional knowledge. It is expected that this information will lay the groundwork for a framework for a global plan of action to reverse the loss of this knowledge and monitor and assess future trends.
This first stage of the report will be reviewed at the 3rd meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions. Then the Conference of Parties at their 7th meeting will consider the report and recommendations in early 2004.
In later phases, the relationship between biological, cultural and linguistic diversity will be examined. Processes at national and local levels that threaten the maintenance, preservation and application of traditional knowledge will be identified, for example national development policies or programmes, migration, and new technologies. A survey of international, national and local trends regarding the recognition and implementation of article 8(j) and related provisions will be also be conducted. Finally, the conclusions will contain both best practices and lessons learned for the maintenance, preservations and application of traditional knowledge.
The CBD Secretariat will hire the consultant team to prepare the report. Indigenous Peoples need to play an active and substantial role in the development and writing of the report, as a part of the consultant team, the advisory group and providing information and case studies.
B. Recommendations for Cultural, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments
The objectives of the recommendations are to advance appropriate participation and involvement of Indigenous Peoples, to take into account their concerns and interests, and to include Indigenous knowledge in impact assessments. Notwithstanding, the recommendations are only voluntary, subject to national legislation and serve only as a guide to Parties and Governments in the formulation of their impact assessments.
In the impact assessment process, issues such as cultural concerns, areas of significant environmental value, and socio-economic aspects need to be identified and the potential impacts upon them need to be considered. The general requirements for the impact assessments include the respect for human, social, cultural and environmental rights and customary laws and intellectual property rights of Indigenous Peoples. Assistance to resource and capacity building of Indigenous Peoples and development of protocols for access to and for traditional knowledge in impact assessment procedures are also called for.
The most controversial subject was prior informed consent (Annex II, para.16). After the 2nd meeting of the 8(j) Working Group in Montreal, consensus was not reached on the text of the paragraph and it was left in square brackets: "[16. The assessment processes should consider the inclusion of provisions regarding free, prior informed consent of indigenous and local communities.]" 
At COP the paragraph 16 went through several modifications. A proposal from Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand and the USA requested that prior informed consent be subject to national legislation. It then read: "The assessment processes should consider the inclusion of provisions regarding free, prior informed consent of indigenous and local communities in accordance with national legislation."  Canada further added a provision regarding consultation: "Where the national legal regime requires consultation or prior informed consent of indigenous and local communities, the assessment process shall consider whether such consultation has taken place or such prior informed consent has been obtained."  This addition generated confusion and frustration among the Indigenous participants.
Several countries such as Colombia, the European Union, and Norway preferred the original paragraph text because Article 8(j) is already subject to national legislation, the recommendations are not compulsory and the paragraph already contained weak language.
Finally, Canadian Indigenous delegates of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity lobbied the Canadian delegation for the removal of the term "consultation". The end result is: "Where the national regime requires prior informed consent of indigenous and local communities, the assessment process shall consider whether such prior informed consent has been obtained." 
Further work will be done on the guidelines at the 3 rd meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions.
C. Participatory Mechanisms for Indigenous and Local Communities
A report will be prepared by the Executive Secretary based on information submitted by Parties, Governments, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and local organizations on cases, experiences, practices and lessons regarding participatory mechanisms. Requests for funding, capacity-building, awareness and Indigenous communication mechanisms for facilitating the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities were made. Also cooperation with other environmental conventions (i.e. Climate Change, Ramsar, Desertification, and Migratory Species), the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Global Environmental Facility (GEF) was called for. Finally, a technical expert group will be set up to develop the thematic focal point within the clearing house mechanism related to Article 8(j) and related provisions. It is scheduled to meet October 22-24, 2002 in Bolivia.
D. Assessments of the effectiveness of existing subnational, national and international instruments, particularly intellectual property rights instruments, that may have implications for the protection of the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities.
Information-gathering and evaluation of existing mechanisms (i.e. customary laws) to protect traditional knowledge will continue. At the same time, Parties and governments are called to develop and implement strategies to protect traditional knowledge, innovations and practices. Indigenous Peoples and local communities will participate in both activities. WIPO's Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore was called to increase the involvement of Indigenous Peoples in its work and to consider mechanisms to protect traditional knowledge. The Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions was requested to address the issue of sui generis systems for the protection of traditional knowledge.
The most significant alteration in this section concerned traditional knowledge registers and databases. The document resulting from the 2 nd 8(j) Working Group meeting contained two paragraphs referring to traditional knowledge registries or databases.  However, at The Hague, the Colombian government, at the request of Leonor Zalabata, an Arhuaco from Colombia, asked that all references to databases and registries be removed from the decision. Those references were replaced with the creation of mechanisms to protect the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices. 
Decision VI/24. As part of the decision on Access and Benefit-Sharing as Related to Genetic Resources Resources, the Parties adopted the voluntary Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of their Utilization . Two objectives of the Guidelines are to: (1) guide Parties in developing access and benefit-sharing (ABS) regimes for genetic resources; and (2) assist countries develop national mechanisms and ABS regimes that recognize the protection of traditional knowledge. The Guidelines outline the basic principles, elements, procedures and process of prior informed consent (PIC) as well as the basic requirements for mutually agreed terms. A common feature of most national ABS systems is the requirement to follow a PIC system when accessing traditional knowledge.
Under the Bonn Guidelines, competent national authority(ies) have the authority to grant PIC, and in respecting the legal rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities concerning genetic resources and traditional knowledge, the PIC of Indigenous Peoples and local communities should be obtained in accordance with their traditional practices, national access policies and subject to domestic laws. It was stated that authorizing access genetic resources does not necessarily mean that there is consent to use the associated knowledge and vice versa.
The Guidelines also summarize principles for developing mutually agreed terms (MAT). Contractual agreements are to take into account the ethical concerns of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and conditions to ensure that the customary use of genetic resources and related knowledge continues. One consideration for MAT is whether the knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous Peoples and local communities have been respected and safeguarded and whether the customary use of biodiversity has been protected and supported. Indigenous Peoples and local communities will obtain fair and equitable sharing of benefits (monetary and/or nonmonetary benefits) for their contributions to the process. This would include strengthening their capacity to conserve and sustainably use their genetic resources.
The Bonn Guidelines were referred from the October 2001 meeting of the Working Group on ABS to the February 2002 meeting of the Working group on Article 8(j), however, the agenda did not permit a consideration of the Bonn Guidelines at that meeting.
The chair of Working Group restricted negotiations at COP 6 to a limited number of sections of the Bonn Guidelines, most importantly, to Roles and Responsibilities. The IIFB actively participated to modify text in this section to differentiate Indigenous Peoples, as rights-holders, from stakeholders and successfully introduced some new obligations. The text under Roles and Responsibilities now includes the following obligations for Parties:(1) mechanisms for the effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the ABS process; (2) information on ABS decisions and processes need to be made available and understandable to Indigenous Peoples and local communities; (3) new uses of genetic resources should not prevent traditional use of genetic resources; and (4) support measures to enhance the capacity of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to represent their interests in negotiations.
Additionally, users should: (1) respect the customs, traditions and values of indigenous and local communities; (2) respond to their requests for information, and (3) ensure equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use and commercialization of genetic resources. Providers are obligated to supply traditional knowledge and genetic resources only when they are entitled to do so. The Guidelines also request countries to take measures, as appropriate, to support compliance with PIC systems of other countries including the disclosure of origin of the genetic resources and the origin of traditional knowledge in applications for intellectual property rights and the monitoring of compliance of ABS arrangements.
The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) was successful in ensuring the COP VI/24 decision referred the Bonn Guidelines to the next meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions for review.
COP decided to reconvene the Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing, this meeting is tentatively planned for 1-5 December 2003.
Development of an Action Plan for Capacity-Building
It was decided that an Open-ended Workshop on Capacity-building for Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-sharing would be held to further develop the draft elements for an Action Plan on Capacity-building for Access and Benefit-Sharing. The Workshop is tentatively planned for 26-28 November 2002.
Indigenous Peoples and local communities will be invited to participate. Indigenous Peoples and local communities can submit information to the Executive Secretary on their capacity-building needs, priorities and existing initiatives for capacity-building for access to genetic resources and benefitsharing
A Draft Elements for an Action Plan for Capacity-Building for Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing was adopted. Some of the key areas for capability-building are: developing and strengthening abilities of Indigenous Peoples and local communities for participation in decision-making, implementation and contract negotiation skills; assessment, inventory and monitoring of traditional knowledge and; means for the protection of traditional knowledge.
Role of Intellectual Property Right in the Implementation for ABS Arrangements
There was a call to disclose the origin of relevant traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in applications for intellectual property rights. Additional research and analysis will be undertaken on customary laws and practices, oral evidence of prior art, and disclosure practices for traditional knowledge and its source.
WIPO will examine how Parties could protect traditional knowledge and it was requested to share relevant findings on ABS related to traditional knowledge. Parties are asked to facilitate Indigenous Peoples and local communities' participation in various international, regional and national forums and ABS activities from a very early stage.
Decision VI/5. The decision on Agricultural Biological Diversity emphasizes the participation and capacity-building of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the implementation of the work programme. An ad hoc technical expert group on genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs) will be established to continue to examine the possible impacts of GURTs on smallholder farmers, Indigenous Peoples and local communities and on Farmers' Rights. This expert group will include Indigenous Peoples and it will report to the Article 8(j) Working Group and SBSTTA. In the Plan of Action for the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators, an assessment of Indigenous knowledge and capacity-building and involvement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities are included.
Decision VI/7. The decision on Identification, Monitoring, Indica- Indicators and Assessments includes Guidelines for Incorporating Biodiversity-related Issues into Environmental Impact Assessment Legislation and/or Process and in Strategic Environment Assessment. The guidelines call for Indigenous Peoples and local communities participation in the developing guidelines or recommendations for environmental impact assessments (EIA), and their involvement in assessment processes. In addition, when proposed activities are to take place in or nearby areas designated for Indigenous Peoples and local communities further attention is called to assess the need for EIA.
Decision VI/8. The decision on Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) contains a programme of work for the GTI that calls for the recognition of Indigenous knowledge systems in taxonomic priorities within the major thematic work programmes of the Convention. One planned activity in the work programme is exclusively concerned with the support in implementation of Article 8(j). It acknowledges traditional knowledge systems include taxonomic information that could support the GTI and that could increase the accessibility of Indigenous knowledge to a wide range of users. Principles of prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms are stressed in accessing and using Indigenous knowledge. Indigenous Peoples and local communities will participate in the preparation of regional and subregional guides comparing Indigenous and Linnaean taxonomies (i.e. catalogues and species lists). The Working Group on Article 8(j) should be a key advisor on the development of projects.
Decision VI/9. The decision on Global Strategy for Plant Conserva- Conservation (GSPC) states that it will build on the knowledge, practices and innovations of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and will contribute to the implementation of Article 8(j). The Strategy aims to maintain the Indigenous knowledge associated with crops and other major socio-economically valuable plant species and halt the decline of indigenous knowledge, innovations and practices associated with plant resources that support sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care. Indigenous Peoples and local communities are to be involved in the design, development and implementation of the Strategy.
Decision VI/13. The decision on Sustainable Use recognizes the inclusion and participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in natural resource management is necessary for conservation and sustainable use.
Decision VI/14. The decision on Biological Diversity and Tourism acknowledges the need to strengthen the involvement and participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the planning and management of sustainable tourism activities and developments.
Decision VI/15. The decision on Incentive Measures calls for the participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the development and implementation of incentive measures, including capacity-building arrangements. A call to recognize the cultural, subsistence and commercial value of biodiversity and to design incentive measures that support the socio-economic development needs of Indigenous Peoples and local communities was made. In the recommendations for further cooperation on incentive measures, states are asked to involve Indigenous Peoples and local communities in meaningful policy dialogue for the design and use of incentive measures for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Decision VI/17. The decision on Financial Mechanism under the Convention calls for the enhancement of national capacities for the establishment and maintenance of mechanisms to protect traditional knowledge at national and subnational levels, and for building the capacity of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to develop strategies and systems for the protection of traditional knowledge.
Decision VI/18. The decision on Scientific and Technical Coopera- Cooperation and the Clearing-House Mechanism calls for support in developing communications networks for use by Indigenous Peoples and local communities for information-sharing. These networks would not be used to exchange or impart traditional knowledge.
Decision VI/19. The decision on Communication, Education and Public Awareness contains a Programme of Work for the Global Initiative on Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA). The decision invites Indigenous Peoples' organizations to include communication, education and public awareness in their relevant activities and to support the Global Initiative. In the Programme Element 1 under proposed actions of the CEPA, Indigenous Peoples are to be included in the registry of education and communication experts. There was also a call for the translation the Secretariat's publications in the area of biodiversity communication, education and public awareness into Indigenous languages.
Decision VI/20. The decision on Cooperation with Other Organiza- Organizations, Initiatives and Conventions recognizes the need to initiate cooperation with UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues especially on matters associated with Article 8(j) and related provisions. In its annex, it notes that as a contribution from the Convention on Biological Diversity to World Summit on Sustainable Development that Indigenous Peoples and local communities have been effectively involved in the Convention process.
Decision VI/22. The decision on Forest Biological Diversity calls for the involvement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the preparation of an international workshop on protected areas and in the preparation of a report on forest biodiversity management, sustainable use and benefit-sharing. Another report to be prepared on forest biodiversity and law enforcement will assess illegal harvesting on Indigenous Peoples and local communities. An ad hoc technical expert group will be established and Indigenous Peoples are to participate. At the national level, there was a call for the development of community-based approaches for the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity that incorporate traditional forest-related knowledge and the recognition of the role of Indigenous women.
The Expanded Programme of Work on Forest Biological Diversity calls for the participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in activities regarding protected areas while respecting their rights. Their activities are to be supported where traditional forest-related knowledge in forest biodiversity management is used and in adaptive community-management systems. Capacity-building, incentive measures, resolution of land tenure disputes, cultural maintenance and education and awareness programmes are to be promoted in order to foster respect and safeguarding of traditional forest-related knowledge on forest biodiversity and sustainable use. It was recognized that there is a need to strengthen the skills of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in negotiating benefit-sharing arrangements for the use of forest genetic resources. Indigenous Peoples and local communities are also to be involved in enforcement strategies of sustainable forest management and protected area regulations. Traditional forest-related knowledge is called to be included in the development of international, regional and national criteria and indicators for forest biodiversity.
Decision VI/23. The decision on Alien Species that Threaten Ecosystems, Habitats or Species calls for the involvement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in national invasive alien strategies and actions plans. Also a call was made for research and assessments on the socio-economic implications for Indigenous Peoples and local communities of invasive alien species, as well, on the use of traditional knowledge in the development and implementation of measures to deal with invasive alien species. When governments make a risk analysis of the impacts of invasive species and measures to control them, it is part of the definition that such risk analysis shall include socio-economic and cultural considerations.
Decision VI/26. The decision on Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity sets a goal for the effective involvement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the implementation and in the processes of the Convention at all levels.
Decision VI/27. The decision on Operations of the Convention calls for the establishment of national mechanisms or consultative processes that pay particular attention to the needs of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and actions plans.
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