Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Governments and government institutions K 2.2


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


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 and

the 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 of the

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

(OECD) and the 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


In accordance with the CBD the extraction of genetic

resources and use of the same should be compensated

by the fair and equitable sharing of the 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 of the 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 of the CBD. Greater use

should be made of the 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


K 2.2.11

Enhancing the attractiveness of the foundation


The opportunities that foundations offer for the conservation

and sustainable use of the 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 of the 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 of these aspects.

In order to enhance the attractiveness of the foundation

system for the purpose of biosphere conservation,

various social value categories could be introduced

under an amendment of the foundation law

and various release clauses added. This would seem

appropriate given the special ranking that environmental

protection is given under constitutional and

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