Tuesday, 12 October 2010

COP/MOP 5 delegates met in two Working Groups (WGs) throughout the day. WG I discussed assessment and review and the Strategic Plan. WG II addressed: the biosafety roster of experts; handling, transport, packaging and identification (HTPI) of living modified organisms destined for food, feed and for processing (LMO-FFPs); risk assessment; and public awareness, education and participation.


ASSESSMENT AND REVIEW: Delegates discussed possible indicators and tools to be utilized for the second evaluation of the effectiveness of the Protocol contained in document UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/5/15. The AFRICAN GROUP requested including the development of indicators for socio-economic impacts of LMOs in the recommendations. UGANDA proposed reviewing the number of parties reporting damages from LMOs or illegal introductions of LMOs, as well as those parties with systems for risk management, impact assessment, and legal and administrative procedures for liability and redress. MEXICO suggested eliminating indicators on the amount of funding made available, while retaining an indicator on efficient use of financial resources. The PUBLIC RESEARCH AND REGULATION INITIATIVE (PRRI) said there were no verifiable negative effects of LMOs to the environment or human health and voiced concerns that indicators made the consideration of socio-economic impacts prescriptive.

STRATEGIC PLAN: Delegates discussed document UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/5/16 on the Strategic Plan for the Period 2011-2020, including a draft multi-year programme of work (MYPOW). On the Strategic Plan objectives and linkages, the AFRICAN GROUP proposed streamlining the strategic objectives with the Convention and discussions in parallel processes, such as on the supplementary protocol on liability and redress. Colombia, for GRULAC, supported by SOUTH AFRICA, said linkages with the CBD Strategic Plan should be strengthened. NORWAY, supported by ARGENTINA, said socio-economic considerations should be included. Many countries highlighted the importance of capacity building.

On reviews of the Strategic Plan, VIETNAM called for a mid-term review in 2015, while MALAYSIA supported minor reviews at every COP/MOP meeting. On financial resources, SOUTH AFRICA, supported by UGANDA and YEMEN, highlighted that the implementation of the Strategic Plan required specific financial resources. SUDAN called for a special biosafety fund to support national strategies and initiatives. JAPAN, supported by KENYA, the EU and NEW ZEALAND, said implementation should be supported by existing GEF funds. On the Strategic Plan indicators, the EU stressed that indicators should be measurable and relate to practical impact. VIETNAM suggested adding quantitative indicators, while the AFRICAN GROUP supported strengthening qualitative assessment.

On the draft MYPOW, BURKINA FASO requested that capacity building be included in subsequent COP/MOP meetings. The EU said that the development of tools and guidance on contained use of LMOs should be addressed earlier than COP/MOP 7, adding that the programme of work for both COP/MOP 7 and COP/MOP 8 would require revision after the completion of the second evaluation of the Protocol. She remarked that planning for COP/MOP 9 and COP/MOP 10 was premature.




BIOSAFETY ROSTER OF EXPERTS: Delegates continued the consideration of UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/5/4/Add.1. MALAYSIA said only one expert in the roster specializes in legal issues and none are socio-economic experts, and, with MEXICO and JORDAN, called for enabling the release of experts. To refine the roster selection process, MEXICO suggested investigating why the roster was not used by certain parties. Noting that he was one of the members of the roster, the WASHINGTON BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION COUNCIL suggested enabling ways to update roster entries.

HANDLING, TRANSPORT, PACKAGING AND IDENTIFICATION OF LMO-FFPS: Experiences with LMO-FFP documentation: Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/5/8. Many countries supported deferring a decision on more detailed documentation requirements from COP/MOP 7 to COP/MOP 8 citing limited experience and lack of capacity to provide necessary information. NORWAY and BOLIVIA preferred not to postpone accelerating the implementation of documentation requirements. SOUTH AFRICA and ARGENTINA cautioned against documentation requirements becoming a barrier to trade. Delegates also called for further capacity building, including for the use of existing documentation and sampling and detection. The THIRD WORLD NETWORK reiterated the need for detailed documentation requirements and a stand-alone document for LMO-FFPs.

Standards: The AFRICAN GROUP, IRAN, NEW ZEALAND and BOLIVIA, opposed by the EU, PARAGUAY, the PHILIPPINES and ARGENTINA, supported establishing an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG), with the AFRICAN GROUP and BOLIVIA insisting that it should consist of both parties and relevant organizations, while PARAGUAY preferred that it consist of standard-setting experts. NEW ZEALAND added that the AHTEG should collect information but not elaborate standards.

IRAN, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, and the AFRICAN GROUP called for a stand-alone document containing more specific guidelines on HTPI; the PHILIPPINES said it was unnecessary. INDIA and PARAGUAY proposed removing reference to providing recommendations to the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, with the AFRICAN GROUP adding that this should be under the Secretariat’s mandate. ARGENTINA cautioned against using the word “dangerous