Nagoya, 21:30 – Friday evening. I am sitting in a stuffy, crowded room for the contact group on finance. At the centre of the room negotiators sit around a U-shaped table where at its top the chairman from Switzerland sits. Behind many rows of chairs and other government representatives and observers sit the NGOs. Next to me a Swedish colleague from WWF, with whom I have been with over many hours over the past few days watching and listening to delegates argue from the Philippines, Brazil and Kenya with the EU and Canada – on the “indicators of the future strategy for mobilizing financial resources.”
The mood is depressed, the conference as a whole hardly a step further than when it started on Monday. Today, all the working groups reported on their progress, and everywhere you look there are problems unresolved. Particularly annoying are the position of Germany and the EU on the subject of biopiracy where, apparently under pressure from the pharmaceutical industry, they are not conceding enough rights and benefits to developing countries. German environmental organizations today issued a joint press statement, so they know it in Berlin, that the conference negotiations can not go on like this.
This coming Monday the award of a “negative prize” to the worst government is planned – I bet the first “Dodo of the Day” will go to Canada or the EU. Over the weekend the official negotiations are put on hold. But tomorrow at 2PM I will join again the Finance Group which will probably go on into the early hours of the morning. It would have been nice to have joined an excursion organised by the Wild Bird Society of Japan (BirdLife in Japan) and experience nature at first hand. Not that I need reminding on what is at stake here for the future of biodiversity.