The results from Kuala Lumpur: International consensus reached on fundamental steps to tackle the loss of biodiversity worldwide important also for the European Community.
The 7th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP7) and the 1st Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (MOP1) ended on Friday 27 of February in Kuala Lumpur. COP7 could go down as one of the most important in the history of the CBD. COP7 achieved agreement on a focused and comprehensive work programme on protected areas and on indicators to assess progress towards the 2010 target of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. Equally satisfactory is the outcome of MOP1. The Biosafety Protocol is up and running as the 1st Meeting of the Parties was a complete success setting the scene for an effective implementation and further development of the Protocol.
Despite an overloaded agenda, COP7 managed to adopt an ambitious and targeted work programme on protected areas aimed at establishing, by 2010 on land and 2012 at sea, national and regional systems of protected areas which are representative, comprehensive, effectively managed and which contribute to a global network. For the first time, an open ended working group on this matter was established which, inter alia, will assess implementation of the Programme of Work and could lead to public private partnerships funding for new protected areas, particularly in developing countries. In addition, the working group will also look into the matter of marine protected areas outside national jurisdiction. COP7 also adopted a process and framework for assessing progress made towards the 2010 target and the implementation of the CBD, including trial indicators and a process on the review of the implementation of the Convention at the global level and within countries. MOP1 took some fundamental decisions for the future of the Protocol. It further developed the documentation requirements for the transboundary movements of GMOs to be finalised at the next meeting. A preparatory workshop to this end will be hosted by Germany later this year. The documentation requirements will allow importing countries, particularly developing countries, to take informed decisions on the import of GMOs. MOP1 also adopted a Compliance Procedure and Mechanism. This is an outstanding result: the mechanism is one of the strongest among existing Multilateral Environmental Agreements and provides room for the adoption, starting from MOP3, of any measure, including trade-related ones necessary to fulfil the objectives of the Protocol. Finally, MOP1 agreed on the launching of the negotiation on rules and procedures on liability and redress for damage arising from the transboundary movement of GMOs. Commissioner Wallström attended the Ministerial segment of COP7. COP7 has set the scene for a shift of the Convention towards more effective action on the ground. The CBD is refocusing on matters which are essential to halt biodiversity loss by 2010. The Cartagena Protocol is now established as the international framework for the transboundary movements of GMOs to ensure proper risk assessment and responsible decision-making on imports of GMOs. Virtually all EU objectives set out in the December 22nd Council Conclusions for both COP and MOP were achieved.