Governments and government institutions K 2.2 385 complete ballast exchanges to be carried out at sea. The Council welcomes this proposal and recommends swift implementation since this measure, if applied worldwide, could considerably reduce the unintentional release of alien species in aquatic ecosystems. K 2.2.9 Improving comparability through indicators Under the CBD not a great deal of progress has been made on drawing up a coherent system of indicators for monitoring the global status of biological diversity. There are still great uncertainties in the methodology and scientific basis; these should be addressed through targeted research (Section J 2.1). It would make sense to combine the existing projects on indicator development for biodiversity at international level (CSD, IUCN, OECD, IFF, CCD, etc). It would be desirable to achieve iterative development andthe binding introduction of an internationally compatible catalogue of biodiversity indicators, which can record pressures, status/trends and responses to intervention at various levels of aggregation. It would be important in that context to establish close linkage with the development of sustainability indicators, as is currently being advanced in the context ofthe Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) andthe Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). In order to speed up this process, it should be investigated whether a dialogue among international experts could be set up. K 2.2.10 Reconciling interests in the use of genetic resources In accordance with the CBD the extraction of genetic resources and use ofthe same should be compensated by the fair and equitable sharing ofthe benefits derived from that extraction and use (Section D 3.3; WBGU, 1996). On the basis of sovereign rights of use the countries of origin have the power to regulate access to their genetic resources. Regarding the design of agreements between users and suppliers, the CBD contains general parameters relating to obtaining the prior consent ofthe country of origin (Prior Informed Consent, PIC) and incorporating the ideas of both sides (Mutually Agreed Terms, MAT). Experience with national and regional rules of access have so far shown that there is a need for an internationally agreed standard to serve as a framework of orientation for supplier and user countries in order to shape access to genetic resources in line with the CBD. The Council recommends swiftly moving forward in the process of developing international standards for access to genetic resources and benefitsharing in the context ofthe CBD. Greater use should be made ofthe experience in cooperation with countries of origin gained in GTZ sectoral projects. The role of technical cooperation for capacitybuilding measures should especially be reinforced, as also should the development of technology and research capacities and training programmes. Cooperation with the partner institutions in the supplier countries of genetic resources should, in the Council’s view, be aimed at achieving transparency in the decision-making and participatory processes, sustainable use and benefit-sharing. All initiatives already under way to involve natural-substance companies and research institutions in the political debate should be continued and stepped up. Furthermore, a network of model cooperation arrangements for the promotion of sustainable bioprospecting should be developed – in cooperation with the responsible ministries – and with the executing agencies (eg GTZ, Bundesamt für Naturschutz [Federal Agency for Nature Conservation], ZADI, Zentralstelle für Agrardokumentation and -information [Central Office for Agricultural Documentation and Information]. K 2.2.11 Enhancing the attractiveness ofthe foundation system The opportunities that foundations offer for the conservation and sustainable use ofthe biosphere are not being used sufficiently. Therefore, the legal basis in Germany for the foundation system should be made more attractive in tax terms. Promotion of nature and environmental protection fulfils the preconditions for a ‘certain non-profit purpose’ within the meaning of Section 10 b I clause 1 ofthe Income Tax Law, but does not fulfil the required profile in clause 2, since only environmental protection with certain cultural purposes is covered there (eg care of monuments). This does not tie in with the constitutional obligation on the state to protect the natural foundations of human life (Art. 20a Basic Law). It should be examined whether environmental protection cannot be upgraded in the light ofthese aspects. In order to enhance the attractiveness ofthe foundation system for the purpose of biosphere conservation, various social value categories could be introduced under an amendment ofthe foundation law and various release clauses added. This would seem appropriate given the special ranking that environmental protection is given under constitutional and
386 K Recommendations for action international law (Art. 20a Basic Law). This would also encourage a certain degree of privilege being accorded to environmental foundations. K 2.3 National and multinational companies K 2.3.1 Promoting bioprospecting projects Private players in natural substance research and industry should use the opportunities that the agreement of international framework directives provides in terms of access and sustainable use of genetic resources, and take an active role in international negotiating processes. Framework directives can stabilize the very divergent expectations in the countries of origin and buyer countries and prevent a greater polarization of interest groups. The provisions on access issued in countries of origin thus generally serve to ensure transparency in prospecting projects andthe associated decisionmaking process, hoping to promote access, not prevent it. One precondition for long-term constructive cooperation is the adequate participation of countries of origin in the results of research and development. This demand can for instance be met at the planning stage ofthe project through an exchange of information and cooperation with partner institutions in the countries of origin. Development of suitable structures for the first phases of bioprospecting on the ground, inventorying of biological diversity, studies on interaction in situ, ascertaining traditional applications and first test procedures ex situ, would be an important contribution to the promotion of national capacities in countries of origin and thus the long-term safe-guarding of resources (Section J 1.3). Large companies can set up their own cooperation projects and develop participation in partner institutions in a project into company policy. For smaller and medium-sized natural substance companies, the development of an institution to facilitate such cooperation and develop investment strategies would make sense. The Council would like to suggest working with the associations to investigate the possibility of developing an internationally transferable system of labelling for pharmaceuticals from sustainable production, eg in the form of voluntary commitments. This could provide an important contribution towards sustainable bioprospecting. K 2.3.2 Supporting the trend towards voluntary commitments Private activities are an important condition for success in global biosphere policy. A good example of this is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), founded by representatives ofthe timber industry, environmental associations and indigenous communities to promote sustainable forestry. It has had a market presence since 1996, with its seal having been used to label approx 12 million hectares of forest worldwide already. Since the FSC timber has conquered the German market, the seal has become an attractive brand under the aspect of biosphere conservation (Section I 2.4 and Box E 3.3-8). It does not have to remain the only standard however. For example, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Waldbesitzerverbände [Association of German Forest Owners’ Federations] (AGDW) is already thinking about establishing its own system of certification for sustainable forestry under a pan-European initiative. Furthermore, in 1998 at the Conference of Ministers in Lisbon the ‘Pan-European Guidelines for Sustainable Forest Management of European Forests’ were adopted.They form the basis ofthe German Forestry Council’s suggestion for a pan-European certification initiative. Various European organizations from the forest and timber industry are taking part. In the interests ofthe intended promotion of sustainable forest management, the Council considers that it is necessary to reach an agreement to help move the certification approach on to a breakthrough, as this is in essence the right approach. K 2.4 International institutions K 2.4.1 Improving positive regulations International cooperation on the protection ofthe biosphere is strengthened in particular if four institutional features of positive regulations can be respected or improved (Section I 2.3). The Council recommends: 1. Strengthening environments conducive to cooperation for international regimes to protect the biosphere so that norms, rules and principles for the conservation and sustainable use ofthe biosphere may be adopted and enforced, and transparency, information exchange and communication processes are anchored institutionally.