PRRI Statement on Assessment and Review
Thank you Chairman,
I speak on behalf of PRRI.
Mr. Chairman, in rapidly evolving fields as biotechnology and biosafety, it is good that there are regular evaluations whether the Protocol fulfills its overall aim and its specific objectives.
As regards the overall aim of the Protocol, it is important to remember that the Convention on Biodiversity underlines that transfer of biotechnology is essential to the goals of the Convention.
To facilitate and complement such technology transfer, the third paragraph of article 19 of the Convention instructed the Parties to consider the need for a protocol. This instruction resulted in 2000 in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
Mr. Chairman, we believe that the Protocol’s main aim is to contribute to the objectives of the CBD through facilitation of responsible technology transfer.
As regards the proposed approach to assess whether the Protocol is effective in achieving its objective, PRRI believes that it would indeed make sense to consider the effectiveness of the institutional processes, the annexes, and the procedures and mechanisms.
In this context, we share the following for consideration:
With regard to the AIA procedure, the BCH shows that while there are many decisions on import of LMOs by countries that have a domestic framework in place, there are very few decisions of countries under article 10.
This suggests that after more than 10 years in force, one of the main functions of the Protocol, i.e. providing Parties that do not yet have a domestic regulatory framework for biosafety a tool to make informed decisions about the import of LMOs, is hardly being used.
With regard to the Annexes, the BCH shows that in many domestic regulatory frameworks we recognise increasingly elements of the Annexes.
With regard to one of the main mechanisms of the Protocol, the BCH, we see in the BCH itself that an extensive effort from many Parties is still necessary to lift the BHC to a level that it can really be used for the purpose it was designed for.
Thank you Mr Chairman