Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) expresses in article 16 (“Access to and Transfer of Technology”) that access to and transfer of modern biotechnology are essential elements for the attainment of the objectives of the CBD. The CBD expresses in the first two paragraphs of article 19 (“Handling of Biotechnology and Distribution of its Benefits”) that Parties shall promote and advance priority access to the results and benefits arising from biotechnologies. The third paragraph of article 19 instructs consideration of  a protocol in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs). This instruction resulted in 2000 in the adoption of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) reflects the  key elements of article 19 of the CBD in the Preamble: “Recognizing that modern biotechnology has great potential for human well-being if developed and used with adequate safety measures for the environment and human health”.

Main elements of the CPB are:

  • Procedures that allow a Party that does not yet have a regulatory framework for biosafety, to make informed decisions about the import of LMOs for environmental introduction in its territory.
  • General principles and methodology for risk assessment
  • A mechanism for information sharing: the Biosafety Clearing House

The full text of the CPB can be obtained here in various languages.

The titles of the articles and annexes are listed below. Provisions and topics of interest to PRRI are printed in bold and link to brief information-sheets’. These  information sheets contain an introduction to the topic as well as PRRI positions for discussions in Meetings of the Parties (MOPs). These information sheets will be expanded and updated over time.

  • Preamble
  • Article 1   – Objective
  • Article 2   – General Provisions
  • Article 3   – Use of Terms
  • Article 4   – Scope
  • Article 5   – Pharmaceuticals
  • Article 6   – Transit and Contained Use
  • Article 7   – Application of the Advance Informed Agreement Procedure
  • Article 8   – Notification
  • Article 9   – Acknowledgement of Receipt of Notification
  • Article 10 – Decision Procedure
  • Article 11 – Procedure for LMOs Intended for Direct Use as Food or Feed, Or For Processing
  • Article 12 – Review of Decisions
  • Article 13 – Simplified Procedure
  • Article 14 – Bilateral, Regional and Multilateral Agreements and Arrangements
  • Article 15 – Risk Assessment
  • Article 16 – Risk Management
  • Article 17 – Unintentional Transboundary Movements and Emergency Measures
  • Article 18 – Handling, Transport, Packaging and Identification
  • Article 19 – Competent National Authorities and National Focal Points
  • Article 20 – Information Sharing and the Biosafety Clearing-House
  • Article 21 – Confidential Information
  • Article 22 – Capacity-Building
  • Article 23 – Public Awareness and Participation
  • Article 24 – Non-Parties
  • Article 25 – Illegal Transboundary Movements
  • Article 26 – Socio-Economic Considerations
  • Article 27 – Liability and Redress
  • Annex I     – Information required in notifications under articles 8, 10 and 13
  • Annex II   – Information required concerning living modified organisms intended for
    direct use as food or feed, or for processing under article 11
  • Annex III  – Risk Assessment