The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) provides a tool for countries that do not yet have domestic regulatory frameworks in place to make informed decisions about the import into their territory of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) for release into the environment. One of the key procedures in this respect is the Advanced Informed Agreement (AIA) procedure. The Parties to the CPB meet regularly to discuss matters as implementation of the CPB. These meetings are often referred to as ‘MOPs’. More information about the CPB and MOPs can be found on the website of the Convention on Biological Diversity and under ‘Regulation’ on the PRRI website.
Risk assessment .
The Biosafety Protocol requires Parties to make decisions on import of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment in accordance with scientifically sound risk assessments (Article 15). It sets out in Annex III general principles, methodological steps, and points to consider in conducting a risk assessment.
Over the years, the MOP has taken several decisions relevant to risk assessment.
- In MOP2 (2005), the Parties established an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Risk Assessment (AHTEG) to further consider and evaluate the nature and scope of existing approaches to risk assessment and identify existing gaps, and capacity-building needs.
- In MOP4 (2008), the Parties established: (i) an Open-ended Online Forum); and (ii) an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Risk Assessment and Risk Management with the objective to develop further guidance on specific aspects of risk assessment and risk management.
- In MOP5 (2010), the Parties welcomed the first version of the Guidance and called for it to be further scientifically reviewed and tested to establish its overall utility and applicability to LMOs of different taxa introduced into different environments.
- In MOP6 (2012), the Parties commended the progress made, extended the Open-ended Online Forum and established a new AHTEG on Risk Assessment and Risk Management.
- In MOP7, the Parties mandated further activities relating to risk assessment and risk management.