Thursday, February 12, 2009


I just saw Nienke Beintema of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in the breakfast room here in Lisbon. She tells me that their independent report of our whale meeting will be up later today on the website, around 18h00 or 19h00. [The English version, that is; the French, Japanese and Spanish translations will follow shortly, but it will take a while]

The Chairman's Summary of the meeting will take another few days to finalize, especially because we shall circulate a first draft to all participants before it can be released.

One obvious conclusion from the Lisbon conversation is that the whaling debate needs the involvement of ministers with political muscles. Otherwise, it's hard to envisage a breakthrough this year, or anytime in the foreseeable future. This political process is like a banana: if it looks tasty enough, everyone will need to decide very fast if they want to swallow it or not. Otherwise very quickly it will be over-ripe very quickly.

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