Progress slow at COP talks although some agreement achieved, says Guilbeault

Steven Guilbeault (photo), ministre fédéral de l'Environnement, n'a pas manifesté d'intérêt pour une taxe sur les bénéfices exceptionnels des pétrolières, malgré l'appel du secrétaire général de l'ONU. (Sean Kilpatrick | La Presse canadienne)

Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says there's been agreement on one of Canada's main goals at the international conference in Montreal aimed at protecting the world's declining biodiversity.

Guilbeault says the more than 190 nations at the COP15 meeting have agreed that Indigenous people must be fully consulted on conservation moves and play a role in how those decisions are made.

He says delegates have also agreed that women should have equitable access and benefits from conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

The agreements have not yet been formally adopted by the conference.

The plan for Indigenous involvement checks off one of the items that Canada listed as a priority coming into the meetings.

Guilbeault acknowledged on Thursday that negotiations, which began last weekend before the conference officially opened, aren't advancing as fast as he'd like.