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CBD Report on the Detection and Identification of LMOs Released

CBD14 January 2014: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released the 'Report of the Workshop of the Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs),' which includes recommendations for the compilation of technical tools and guidance to assist parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety with the detection and identification of LMOs.

The workshop aimed to develop an implementation strategy to assist parties in achieving the operational objectives of the Protocol's Strategic Plan with regard to: identification and documentation requirements in the context of handling, transport, packaging and identification of LMOs; and implementation of provisions on transit, contained use, unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures.

As an implementation strategy, participants recommended compiling existing resources for the detection and identification of LMOs as a basis for the further development of technical tools, focusing on the following areas: introduction and strategic umbrellas; overview of available detection methods, including validated methods; overview of available databases for methods and sequence information and available screening matrices; minimum performance criteria for sample handling, extraction, detection and identification methodology; and experience and case studies on detection and identification.

With regard to capacity building, participants recommended measures such as: strengthening regional networks of detection laboratories; promoting information sharing regarding training opportunities; theoretical and practical training through online and face-to-face meetings; online communication platforms; and making available training materials through the Biosafety Clearing House.

Further recommendations focus on measures to assist parties in implementing the Strategic Plan beyond 2014, to be further discussed at the seventh meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties serving as Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the 29 September-3 October 2014. [Workshop Report]