Biosafety COP/MOP 6 Adopts 16 Decisions, Initiates Substantive Work on Socio-economic Considerations
5 October 2012: The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 6) adopted 16 decisions, including a decision on socio-economic considerations which, for the first time, initiates activities aiming to provide a basis for future substantive work on considerations with regard to socio-economic impacts of living modified organisms.
COP/MOP 6 adopted 15 other decisions on: compliance; the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress; subsidiary bodies; cooperation with other organizations, conventions and initiatives; the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH); capacity-building; the roster of experts; monitoring and reporting; assessment and review; notification requirements; handling, transport, packaging and identification (HTPI) of living modified organisms (LMOs); unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs; financial mechanism and resources; risk assessment and risk management; and the budget.
Being the first COP/MOP after the adoption of the Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, the meeting revealed several substantive issues that the COP/MOP might focus on in the future. The decision on socio-economic considerations, which establishes for the first time an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) to develop conceptual clarity, opens the way to developing guidance for the inclusion of socio-economic considerations with regard to transboundary movements of LMOs.
The decision on risk assessment and risk management, while stopped short of endorsing the guidance for risk assessments, provides a detailed process for testing the guidance, which should allow for endorsement at a future COP/MOP. COP/MOP 6 was held 1-5 October in Hyderabad, India. [CBD Press Release][IISD Reporting]