FCA Policy Briefing for COP6: Report of the Article 17/18 Working Group
The draft policy options and recommendations submitted to COP6 are a substantial improvement over the draft submitted to COP5, but should not be adopted in their present form for a number of reasons:
- One key concern is the nature of growers’ involvement in the policy development process, in particular the wording in Principle 2.
- Other major concerns include the failure to provide guidance on when substantial efforts to implement Articles 17 and 18 may be needed, and the question of funding for transition to sustainable alternative livelihoods.
- There are also a number of recommendations in the draft that are unlikely to be implemented in their current form, because of expense or for other reasons, as well as a reduced but still considerable number of drafting problems.
FCA recommends that the Conference of Parties acknowledge the valuable work done by the Working Group and note with appreciation the Working Group’s report, but without formally adopting the draft policy options and recommendations. Based on the experience and divergent views to date, FCA does not believe that consensus can be reached at COP6 on the full content of the Working Group report nor that concerns with its contents can feasibly be remedied at COP6.
In view of the lengthy work that has already gone into this difficult topic, renewing the Working Group’s mandate would not be appropriate. The Working Group report would nonetheless remain available to assist interested Parties, and COP should highlight some key lessons learnt and identify future action, such as cooperation among Parties.