During the plenary on Tuesday morning and afternoon, three intervetions were made by NGOs and IPLCs on agenda item 3 with regard to the issues pending of decision 15/9. Two of these are reproduced here.
TWN and SEARICE intervention
We thank the Secretariat for preparing the documents in a balanced manner.
However, Chair, there are a few concerns and inputs from our side. We have five
The first is with regard to the concerns we have heard about tracking and tracing
measures due to the perceived administrative burden and technical complexity. We
believe this is an exaggerated issue. More importantly, what is actually needed is an
agreement from the Parties to put in place certain disclosure and transparency
requirements on the users of DSI as well as the databases.
Second, with regard to non-monetary benefit sharing, we believe that the MLM
should deal with monetary and non-monetary benefit sharing as distinct items. Both
are obligations under the Convention. The fact that users are contributing to some
form of (non-monetary) capacity building in provider countries should not be
considered as a reason to discharge their obligations to share monetary benefits.
Similarly, funds from the global fund should not be repurposed for transfer of
technologies or to build capacities that should have been part of the non-monetary
benefit sharing obligations of the users.
Third, Para 27 refers to concerns relating to the linkages between research,
technology and the multilateral mechanism. Open science approaches cannot end
with open access to the data. It should also result in open sharing of research results
including technologies. Technology pools may be established requiring users to
submit the technology or know-how relating to product development or use of the
technologies developed using the MLM.
Fourth, Para 47 speaks about an interest in having a common system for DSI across
multiple fora, which is concerning, given that there are sector specific concerns to be
addressed, both in the sharing of data as well as in benefit-sharing. For example, in
WHO, we are dealing with sequences derived from highly pathogenic materials.
Finally Co-Chair, we would like to reiterate the need for a network of databases that
is accountable to the CBD Parties. These could be national databases established by
governments or other databases serving the purpose of sharing DSI. There should
be, at a minimum, due diligence standards whereby the databases ensure that DSI is
uploaded only after the legitimate consent from the provider of genetic resources.
They should also undertake obligations to share information with the CBD and its
Parties about the usage especially when there is a query from the national authorities
about use by any particular user. There are further details about data governance,
which we look forward to share in the contact group. We must note that the current
practices neither guarantee access nor benefit sharing.
We echo the concern of Brazil on the selection of GEF as the vehicle for managing the fund. All 7 sociocultural regions of Indigenous Peoples and local communities must be served by these funds, in both developing and developed countries. Many funds are likely to obtained from DSI derived from GRs, TK associated with GRs, and TK from IPs and LCs from non-parties and from developed countries. Support needs to be provided to IPs and LCs , women and youth in in all countries to continue their stewardship, protection and conservation of genetic biodiversity.
We request that discussion on the management of the funding consider multiple sources of funding, including those that can accommodate direct funding to IPs and LCs, women and youth, with building capacity over time.
For similar reasons, while we believe there can be geographic criteria, these cannot be the only ones. All areas have appropriate biodiversity deserving of conservation, and risk, vulnerability and threats are also important. Arctic biodiversity may be low, but is at high risk under climate change. Multiple criteria for benefit sharing should be developed, involving representatives of IPs and LCs and stakeholders.
The hybrid mechanism is also part of Decision 15/9, and conflicts may be due to different understandings of what is meant by the hybrid approach. All DSI is derived from GRs that come from somewhere, and therefore regulated by the Convention, the NP, national laws. For IPs, the UNDRIP Article 31 is also relevant. MAT is only relevant to bilateral approaches to GRs, FPIC, PIC or approval and involvement is necessary for access to TK, and the deposit of DSI of derived from the genetic resources of States, IPs and LCs into databases covered by existing rights and interests.
Once deposited, then DSI should be regulated by universal principles of open and responsible data governance, ethical guidelines and safeguards for societal rights in and interests in open access and use. This applies to the rights and interests of IPs and LCs. Many States have already developed these, as IIFB referenced in our opening statement. DSI should only be deposited into databases that provide for benefit sharing.
Non-monetary benefits should go beyond technology capacity building. Multiple forms of capacity building, including capacity to improve land rights and land tenure security are also critical. The stewardship of biodiversity by IPs and LCs that are necessary for the maintenance of GRs from which DSI is derived must be maintained against environmental pressures and the erosions of TK and other values that underpin these. Even support for the languages and values of Indigenous Peoples and those of local to local communities that contribute to biodiversity conservation can also have significant benefits to conservation and sustainable use.