A number of Civil Society Organizations are currently in Paris at the 7th Meeting of the Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing, to "witness the negotiations and to name - and if necessary to shame - governments who continue to obstruct the negotiations and violate their responsibilities under the CBD. "
As they state in their Call: "Half a generation of postponing the implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD has served the spread of organized biopiracy. There is no excuse for further delays. The negotiations now are neither about gap analysis, nor about studies, but about political will and countries’ positions."
They have also written up some very useful background papers on Scope and definitions as a key issue for the fate of fair and equitable benefit-sharing and on Suggestions to ensure the enforcement of provider rights.
Update 7.4.09: According to reports in the ECO No.2, it looks like the negotiations have run into more problems.
Update 8.4.09: Civil society organisations are calling for "negotiating definitions for the ABS Protocol" since it "becomes more and more obvious that these negotiations suffer from a lack of work on definitions."
Update 8.4.09 Another question that came up: Whose microbes is the EU actually storing in its new Microbe Storage Network EMBARC?