COP 10

Note by Patricia Borraz, Almáciga

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place in Nagoya (Japan) from 18 to 29 October 2010. This note provides a number of links that will enable you to access relevant information on the process and outcome of the COP in relation to indigenous peoples.

The COP had a number of important issues on the agenda. Firstly, it had to establish a new Strategic Plan and Targets in relation to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The previous target, which anticipated reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, has not been reached. The discussions on the new Plan were long-drawn-out and heated, with many countries against setting targets that were too ambitious or that had fixed dates or percentages, in order to avoid any further failure from being noted, while civil society and some Parties were proposing more ambitious plans and the need to mobilise financial resources to help developing countries fulfil them.

The discussions on the Strategic Plan and resources were also linked to the need to put mechanisms in place in order to fulfil the third objective of the CBD, the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of biodiversity. In this regard, it has been stated since 2002 that there is a need to establish an international regime that will regulate access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, ensuring control over them on the part of their countries of origin (and the indigenous peoples or local communities that possess them), in order to put a stop to so-called biopiracy. The discussions on how to establish this regulation led, at COP8 held in Curitiba in 2006, to the adoption of a process headed by two co-chairs which was to lead to the negotiation of a binding international Protocol in this regard. The Protocol’s negotiations sped up following COP9, held in 2008 in Bonn, and particularly increased in speed over this last year. As a result, the drafting and negotiation of a new Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits was completed at Nagoya, one of the most eagerly-awaited achievements of this COP10, which finally adopted it at the closing plenary session in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 30 October. A number of countries expressed their disappointment with the final instrument, highlighting its limitations, but stated that they did not want to block the consensus and that they would try to turn it into an effective instrument in practice. The IIFB stated that indigenous rights were not sufficiently recognised in the Protocol and that it would be necessary for this respect to be enshrined when developing national legislation on access to and participation in the benefits.

In addition to these outcomes, the COP adopted new decisions on its different programmes of thematic and crosscutting work, which include issues as diverse as Article 8(j) on traditional knowledge, agricultural biodiversity, marine and coastal diversity, protected areas, biodiversity and climate change (with heated discussions on issues such as links with the UNFCCC process and biofuels), continental waters and the biodiversity of arid lands.

A large number of indigenous representatives from all regions of the world attended the COP, most of them under the umbrella of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB). The IIFB held a preparatory meeting, various side events and press conferences and participated in the long negotiations on the decisions, managing to get aspects of interest to indigenous peoples included in them.

The following links will direct you to more information on the two intense weeks of the COP

Closing statement of IIFB to Opening Statement of IIFB in Spanish here (minute 56' 30)
IIFB interventions, photos and statements click here
IIFB Opening Statement click here
IIFB Statement on the Strategic Plan click here
IIFB Statement on marine and coastal biodiversity click here
IIFB Statement on Financing click here
IIFB reception click here
IIFB Statement on CEPA click here
IIFB Statement on protected areas click here
IIFB Statement on forests click here
IIFB Statement on hunting click here
IIFB Statement on climate change click here
IIFB Statement on traditional knowledge click here

The COP documents and official information on the meeting are available from
Daily coverage of the COP10 in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin can be downloaded here