Recalling the relevant provisions of the Convention and, in particular, Article 25, paragraph 2(c) and Article 20, paragraph 4;
Recalling also that the Conference of the Parties at its first meeting requested the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to provide advice to the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties on ways and means to promote and facilitate access to, and transfer and development of technology;
1. The SBSTTA recommends for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its second meeting that:
(a) The SBSTTA, in order to provide advice to the Conference of the Parties on technical and technological matters concerning technical cooperation, access to and transfer of technology relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity or which makes use of genetic resources, subject to the provisions of Articles 16, 18 and 25(2)c, should, inter alia, develop and maintain an overview of relevant existing mechanisms and activities, and identify the unmet needs of Parties, and the ways and means to achieve synergy with existing activities and to facilitate new initiatives to meet such needs;
(b) As the Conference of the Parties at its second meeting will review concrete costed recommendations for the establishment of the clearing-house mechanism, and the SBSTTA will address scientific, technical and technological questions, consideration should be given by the Conference of the Parties to the need for coordination between the SBSTTA and the clearing-house mechanism so as to facilitate the objectives of the Convention, whilst avoiding duplication;
(c) The Conference of the Parties may wish to clarify the relationship which it envisages between the SBSTTA, the clearing-house mechanism and the Secretariat, identifying relevant operational and service responsibilities. These should allow the clearing-house mechanism to provide assistance to the SBSTTA and the SBSTTA to make inputs to the clearing-house mechanism. The SBSTTA stands ready to provide assistance to the Conference of the Parties in its guidance of the functioning of the clearing-house mechanism;
(d) The Conference of the Parties request the Executive Secretary to prepare, for consideration by the SBSTTA at its second meeting, a substantive and well-focused background document, taking into account the views expressed by States Parties and observers during the first meeting of SBSTTA, the deliberations and decisions of the first and second meetings of the Conference of the Parties, including those decisions related to the clearing-house mechanism, and the deliberations of the first and second sessions of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity, and of the open-ended Intergovernmental Meeting of Scientific Experts on Biological Diversity, held in Mexico in April 1994;
(e) The Conference of the Parties request the Executive Secretary to invite relevant submissions by States Parties, observers and relevant international and non-governmental organizations, including, in particular, the private sector, and to take these into account in the preparation of the background document. Subject to the approval of the Conference of the Parties, the background document should identify key priority issues and contain specific proposals for consideration by the SBSTTA for recommendation to the Conference of the Parties. To assist in the preparation of the background document, the Executive Secretary may, as appropriate, establish a liaison group, in accordance with recommendation I/1 on the modus operandi of the SBSTTA.
2. The SBSTTA recognizes that the issue of intellectual property rights is on the medium-term programme of work of the Conference of the Parties and looks to the Conference of the Parties for guidance with respect to the future work of the SBSTTA on the transfer of technology in accordance with the provisions of Article 16 and other relevant provisions of the Convention. For instance, one specific issue which came up in the SBSTTA's deliberations was the utility of including in patent applications using biological source materials information relating to country/countries of origin and common public knowledge of the use of those materials.