Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Indian NGO Forum for CBD (INFC)

Preparation Meeting for CBD COP11

July 1, 2012 New Delhi

Organisations represented
WWF, Fishermen Support Centre, UN Universities, International University Network, Bern Declaration, Kalpvriksh, Rainfed Livestock Network, PondyCAN, Conservation International, IYCN, BNHS

Agenda of the meeting

1.   Who is going to track negotiations?

2.   Getting on the same level as those representing NGOs or organisations from outside India here in Delhi to participate in ICNP-2

3.   Discuss practicalities of COP11 in Hyderabad

Discussion Points

1.   Expectations from Indian NGOs
The expectations from Indian NGOs will be to support foreign NGOs before and during COP to gain insight into the NGO world of India; organise coordination meetings of all NGOs wherein main issues are discussed and controversies are flagged; access to certain Indian government people is provided; COP is a good opportunity to network and build capacity - local NGOs can help here.

2.   NGOs with expertise
Those NGOs who have expertise and strength in one or more area of Biodiversity Conservation should be approached to make briefing notes for other organisations regarding this area of negotiations as well as help reach a collective consensus or position so as to be able to make a point during the negotiations.

3.   Lobbying
Indian NGOs together with international partners should make a good lobby with the Indian government and other key countries; preparation before CBD is a must.

4.   Issues at CBD, Hyderabad
a)   Cartagena Protocol is 20 years old so the Risk Assessment Procedure is from 1990s.
b)   There has been debate about how to do also socio-economic risk assessment than just science-based. At Hyderabad, we will know if this issue will be buried or will governments sponsor socio-economic expert group for assessments.
c)   There is a sub-protocol under Cartagena which is very condensed but establishes principles of Liability Redressal if there is a calamity. A mechanism for this protocol is required.
d)   There is a debate on who can file a complaint if a company from one country is found involved in Bio-piracy (Compliance & Complaint mechanism). Nagoya Protocol is unique as it gives rights to both countries and indigenous people so they can file a complaint. The idea of Ombudsman could be re-introduced.
e)   The debate on Articles 8j and 10c can affect Nagoya Protocol.
f)    IPR issue is not liked by many delegates of countries such as European nations as they are from environment background, so it will be good to talk to them during COP.

5.   Action Days
October 2nd and 16th are kept as Action Days for NGOs to participate

6.   Side Events and participation by civil society
The space for side events is very expensive and the venue is not very appropriate for organising actions around it during COP. Still Indian NGO forum and international partners should talk to Ministry of Environment to subsidise the prices for space at venue and encourage participation of community groups and civil society such as farmers group. Their participation is very important.

Side Events and other follow-up after this meeting
Side Events are being organised by Conservation International, Rainfed Livestock Network, Kalpvriksh, Bern Declaration, International University Network, Fishworkers Support Centre, WWF
It will be nice if there are no blocks at the venue and people are free to move around, talk to each other.

A letter will be written to Ministry of Environment to subsidise the space and allow participation by civil society.

A meeting of all CBD Alliance members present in New Delhi is to be organised this week.

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