Negotiations are well underway! And increasingly they are expected to be protracted. The opening statements of almost all developing countries made it clear that they are here on an “all or nothing” ask – if agreements on the financial assistance and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) are not reached then the overarching new 2020 strategy for CBD will not be agreed. And without the strategy the CBD would be essentially paralysed.
Brazil has positioned itself as the champion for developing countries. Their speech ended with a with a veiled threat: that if they return home empty-handed the beautiful city of Nagoya would for future generations always be linked to a failed conference.
As if there were not already enough sticking points a number of Latin American countries today registered strong objections against an inventory of protected areas on the high seas. Before COP10 began this was considered to be as good as agreed. Seasoned negotiators say that “nothing is decided until everything is decided”.
Meanwhile, our NGO delegation of BirdLife International Partnership is growing each day. By the end of the conference some 34 BirdLife Partners will have been involved. Some are part of Government delegations so can give good insight into the negotiations from a different perspective. Each morning, the BirdLife delegation meet up to share news and analysis on the state of the negotiations and, of course, discuss actions on getting our policy positions heard more widely.
Today there to was something to celebrate as it the birthday of our delegation leader, Muhtari Aminu-Kano. Not that he has much time for it, as he is constantly talking to government officials. He is a familiar face at CBD COPs as he has been to most of the previous ones. More than most he knows that it’s early days still. There are many more hours of negotiations on the CBD clock.