Ambassador Janine Felson, September 14th: Report on MGR Working Group

Met for one and half days during Tue 11th, Wed 12th, Thurs 13th of September.

Structured around sections in President's aid - scope, access and benefit sharing, monitoring and cross cutting elements.

Will share main trends.

Scope - manner in which geographic scope reflected in ILBI, some convergence on ILBI should apply to MGR in Area and High Seas. Another view was for Area only as others sufficiently regulated by UNCLOS already.

On those overlapping ABNJ - ensuring common approaches for MGR within and beyond NJ, taking into account ecosystem approach, without  prejudice to rights of coastal states. Access prioritised for ILBI, otherwise CBD on fair and equitable benefit sharing would apply to areas in NJ. Consultation mechanism for coastal states.

Should respect rights and jurisdictions of all states for areas within NJ including EEZ and continental shelf within 200 nautical miles. Need for without prejudice clause 142 UNCLOS and FSA.

Material scope - distinguish between commodity and genetic material... - ILBI apply for first only. Traceability regime in case of changing use. In situ collection regime - also apply to ex situ, in silico.

Temporal scope - not have retroactive application. Only apply to MGRs collected after EIF.

Manner of access being addressed - approaches varied, from not regulating to regulating, convergence that MSR should not be hampered. Affirm that MSRs do not constitute the legal basis for any claim to any part of marine environment or resources as in 421 of UNCLOS.

Access regulated - license/permit based, borrow from sponsoring states, otr notification based model - sampling or collection activity mortified to designated body prior to or after activity. T&C - CBTT, deposit sampling requirement, open source platforms eg biorepositories, biobanks, database, contribute to ABS fund. Prior consent of local/indigenous bodies should be sought.

Different access provisions should be included depending on where MGR sources/originate from.

Different levels of access regulation for VMEs, EBSAs was suggested. Regulating access for all activities differentiated science/commercial purposes - only regulating the latter. Transfer of use modalities could be developed. Section 3 of PrepCom report - other objectives also put forward

Principles and guidance - reference made to CHM and FHS, divergent views of applicability to MGR. proposal that CHM could govern exploitation of MGR, while FHS could governaces with regulation as appropriate. Different suggestions also made to Prep Com report.

Benefits - monetary and non monetary. Detailed ideas put forward - proposals that different benefits occur at different stages, states parties would benefit especially developing countries. Request to share benefits should fall on proponents and those benefiting from MGFR exploiting. How to use benefits: ensure CSU, build capacity of states to that end and to access MGR and promote MSR.

Monetary benefits supporters suggested these could be shared through fund to implement ILBI and its institutional arrangement.  Adaptable benefit sharing models could better suit needs of recipients. Number of existing frameworks were referred to. Convergence on potential benefits of CHM to administer elements of sharing benefits eg data sharing of samples, capacity building, promoting cooperation and compliance. Could administer trust fund for equitable sharing of benefits. Protocol, code of conduct or guidelines could be developed to ensure transparency. Special circle of developing countries eg SIDS, LDS, coastal African, landlocked should be taken into account for modalities of sharing of benefits.

Different views on including IPR - some said sui generis system of MGR in ABNJ and mandatory disclosure of source, others highlighted ongoing discussions in competent fora eg WTO and WIPO

Monitoring - different views on whether to monitor utilisation of MGR. Those in favour: robust track and trace regime or source of MGRs as well as research and collection activities. Could provide conditions for access to samples/information.. Who would carry out such monitoring: CLHM, Secretary, scientific/technical body or existing bodies

Cross-cutting issues - use of terms convergence on key terms relevant to this could be developed and be consistent with existing bodies, some specific definition put forward. Which terms depends on which terms included in ILBI.

Relationship to existing - all provisions of ILBI should be consistent and not undermine existing bodies.

Proposals made for specific provision recognizing this principle. General principles - some support for specific on MGRs including ABS, others said no general approaches other than those relating to entire ILBI were needed.

On ABS and in section 3 of prep com report, a number of principles were mentioned. Different views on CHM and/or FHS would apply to MGR and ABS.

International cooperation - some convergence on ILBI having obligation to cooperate on MGR including ABS, special requirements for developing countries on CBTT should be recognized.

Institutional arrangements - under ILBI could be responsible for monitoring and managing access to BS. rules for decision making body, secretary, scientific/technical body. ABS mechanism and CLHM mechanism.

In considering these, best practices and lessons learnt should be drawn from existing bodies. existing bodies could be used or have a relationship with ILBI bodies. Coordinate with regional bodies given some consideration.

Convergence on need for CLHM - in establishing, guidance could be drawn from CBD and Nagoya, IOC of UNESCO and ISA, UNFCCC. CLHM link to regional and sub regional CLHMs could be made. CLHM should be easily accessible, not overly cumbersome and user friendly. Could provide for single CLHM, not several for each element of package.

UNTV link to Statement from Ambassador Janine Felson, September 14th