| | english | español | français |
Go to record ID

  Home|Finding Information|Record details   Printer-friendly version

Third National Report on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Record information and status
Record ID
110604
Status
Published
Date of creation
2016-06-15 10:07 UTC (l.samaha@moe.gov.lb)
Date of publication
2016-06-15 10:07 UTC (l.samaha@moe.gov.lb)

Origin of report
1. Country
  • Lebanon
Contact officer for report
Coordinates
Ms. Lara Samaha
Head of Department of Ecosystems
Ministry of Environment (MoE)
Lazarieh Center, 7th and 8th floor, Block A4 New, P.O.Box:11/2727; Beirut-Lebanon
Beirut, Beirut
Lebanon, P.O.Box:11/2727; Beirut-Lebanon
Phone:+961 1 976 555 ext 417
Fax:+961 1 9765353
Email:l.samaha@moe.gov.lb
Consulted stakeholders
9. Organizations/stakeholders who were consulted or participated in the preparation of this report
Ministry of Environment (MOE), Ministry of Economy and Trade (MOE&T), Ministry of Agriculture MOA), Ministry of industry (MOI), Ministry of Finance/Customs (MoF), Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI), Industrial Research Institute (IRI), National Council for Scientific Research (NCSR), International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), Universities: American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanese University (LU), American University of Science and Technology (AUST), University of Saint-Joseph (USJ), Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanese International University (LIU), University of Balamand (UOB), Notre Dame University (NDU), Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture-Zahle (CCIAZ), Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture-Tripoli (CCIAT), Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture-Beirut (CCIAB), Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture-Saida (CCIAS), Consumers Lebanon Association, Syndicate of Lebanese Agro-food Industries, Private Companies, Independent Experts.
Submission
10. Date of submission
2016-06-15
11. Time period covered by this report
Start date
2013-05-07
11. Time period covered by this report
End date
2016-05-07
Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Is your country a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB)?
  • Yes
Article 2 – General provisions
14. Has your country introduced the necessary legal, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the Protocol?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.1.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, and 3.1.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • A domestic regulatory framework is partially in place
15. If you indicated that a national biosafety framework exists in the above question, when did it become operational?
This question is relevant to the indicator 1.1.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 2005
16. Which specific instruments are in place for the implementation of your national biosafety framework?
  • One or more national biosafety regulations
17. Has your country established a mechanism for the budgetary allocations of funds for the operation of its national biosafety framework?
  • No
18. Does your country have permanent staff to administer functions directly related to the national biosafety framework?
  • Yes
19. If you answered Yes to question 18, how many permanent staff members are in place whose functions are directly related to the national biosafety framework?
  • Less than 10
20. Has your country’s biosafety framework / laws / regulations / guidelines been submitted to the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH)?
  • No
21. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 2 in your country
Under UNEP-GEF Project Number GF/2716-01-4319 that was executed by the Lebanese Ministry of Environment in 2004 and 2005, the National Biosafety Framework of Lebanon was developed in 2005 in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders.
The "Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Measures" Law # 778 dated 28/11/2006 states in its Article 14 that the plants or its derivatives are forbidden from entering the country "if it was genetically modified and if the aforementioned modification would create a risk or damage to humans or animals", while in its Article 16, the Law states that "Subject to the provisions of Articles 6, 8 and 9 of this Law, the Ministry of Agriculture shall issue instructions regulating plant quarantine procedures, including…prohibiting the import of Living Modified Organisms".
This Law should be amended and updated, especially that the Government of Lebanon has ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) through law # 31 dated 16/10/2008, and accessed the Protocol in 2013, and the provisions of the CPB are predominant and shall apply at national level.
On the other hand, and while awaiting the issuance of a specific national legislation on Biosafety, the Minister of Agriculture has established a "National Committee on Biotechnology and Biosafety" through the Decision # 612/1 dated 11/10/2010, which includes 13 members representing concerned ministries, research and academic institutions and independent experts. The Committee's mandate is to follow up and discuss all matters of relevance to the use of biotechnology in agricultural production and their potential impact on the environment and human health, in order to submit scientific suggestion and appropriate recommendations needed for the issuance of suitable decisions in this field, and to suggest national policies related to the use of biotechnology in the programmes of improvement of agricultural production. Once the National Decree on Biosafety which was approved recently (mentioned in the last paragraph below in this box), will be issued and become operational, this committee will be replaced with that one proposed by the recently approved National Decree. 
The Food Safety Law # 35 dated 26/11/2015 established a "Food Safety Lebanese Commission" (FSLC) to be the designated body responsible for the enforcement of this law, and states in its Article (19) that the Ministry of Agriculture in coordination with the "Food Safety Lebanese Commission" sets the criteria and standards that should be met by the genetically modified food.
In order to put national legal measures for the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety at national level, the Ministry of Environment (MoE) has developed and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) a draft decree on national measures regarding Biosafety which was approved by the CoM through its decision No. 53 dated 27/11/2014, the decree is currently  in process of issuance. This approved Decree establishes a National Council on Biosafety of 18 members (including representatives from: MoE; MoA; MoE&T; MoPH; MoF/Customs; NCSR; LARI; IRI; Academic Institutions; Union of the Chambers of Commerce, Trade and Agriculture; Syndicate of Lebanese Agro-food Industries; Consumers Lebanon Association; Non-Governmental Organization (dealing with Biosafety issues) to manage the issue of LMOs in the country.
Article 5 - Pharmaceuticals
22. Does your country regulate the transboundary movement, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) which are pharmaceuticals?
  • No
24. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 5 in your country:
In Lebanon the pharmaceutical products management is regulated by specific application laws and regulations. There is no legislation at present regarding the use of medicines containing GMOs/LMOs and there is not yet apparently any specific restrictions on the research, production, or marketing of medicines containing LMOs.
The draft decree on national measures regarding Biosafety which was approved by the the Council of Ministers (CoM) through its decision No. 53 dated 27/11/2014, and which is currently  in process of issuance, excludes from its scope of application (Article 3) the pharmaceuticals materials that include LMOs as follows:
1. This Decree shall apply to the use of all living organisms that are genetically modified.
2. Despite the provisions of the preceding paragraph, and without prejudice to the right of the concerned authorities to subject all living modified organisms to risk assessment prior to the making of decisions on import, the following shall be excluded from the scope of coverage of this Decree:
- Pharmaceutical materials using LMOs that are covered by international treaties other than   the CBD or the CPB, or that are or governed by specific international organizations;
-  The use of LMOs in Human Gene therapy
Article 6 – Transit and Contained use
25. Does your country regulate the transit of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.8.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Transit of LMOs is regulated by the recently approved National Biosafety Decree that is awaiting issuance/publication in the official gazette.
26. Does your country regulate the contained use of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.1.2 and 1.8.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
27. If you answered Yes to questions 25 or 26, has this information been submitted to the BCH?
  • No
28. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 6 in your country:
Regulations and procedures related to transit and contained use of LMOs have been included in the National Biosafety Framework (developed in 2005).
Moreover, the recently approved National Biosafety Decree that is in the process of issuance regulates the passage in transit and the contained use of LMOs. However, this decree is not yet operational, awaiting its issuance and publication in the official gazette to start its enforcement.
At present, there is no national measures regulating the transit through the Lebanese territory of  LMOs nor the transboundary movement of LMOs destined for contained use,  only the "Quarantine and the Phytosanitary Measures" Law # 778 issued in 2006 is applied at present while awaiting the enforcement of the National Biosafety Decree mentioned above. However, the Quarantine Law bans the import of LMOs to the country. 
Articles 7 to 10 – Advance Informed Agreement (AIA) and intentional introduction of LMOs into the environment
29. Has your country adopted law(s) / regulations / administrative measures for the operation of the AIA procedure of the Protocol OR a domestic regulatory framework consistent with the Protocol regarding the transboundary movement of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.1.2 and 3.1.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
30. Has your country established a mechanism for taking decisions regarding first intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
In its recent approved National Decree on Biosafety, Lebanon has established legal requirements and administrative mechanism for taking decisions regarding the transboundary movements of LMOs and the intentional introduction into the environment, but the decree is not yet published in the official gazette and is not operational yet
31. If you answered Yes to question 30, does the mechanism also apply to cases of intentional introduction of LMOs into the environment that were not subject to transboundary movement?
  • No
32. Has your country established legal requirements for exporters under its jurisdiction to notify in writing the competent national authority of the Party of import prior to the intentional transboundary movement of an LMO that falls within the scope of the AIA procedure?
  • No
33. Has your country established legal requirements for the accuracy of information contained in the notification?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
In its recent approved National Decree on Biosafety, Lebanon established legal requirements for the accuracy of information contained in the notification, but the decree is not yet published in the official gazette and not operational yet.
34. Has your country ever received an application / notification regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
35. Has your country ever taken a decision on an application / notification regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
38. In the current reporting period, how many applications/notifications has your country received regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • None
39. In the current reporting period, how many decisions has your country taken regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • None
46. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Articles 7-10 in your country, including measures in case of lack of scientific certainty on potential adverse effects of LMOs for intentional introduction to the environment
The recent approved National Biosafety Decree states that the import of LMOs in Lebanon should be subject to an advanced approval and Authorization from the National Council on Biosafety based on an application that the importer should submit to the Competent National Authority. The Decree also defines all the needed information about the LMO and its import/introduction/use that should be provided by the applicant through this application.
In case of lack of scientific certainty, the Council has the right to request from the applicant to submit any additional needed information in a defined delay and if the applicant didn't submit the needed information within said delay, the Council shall reject the application. However, if the applicant provides the additional information, and if this information was compelling, then the Council will issue the Authorization.
The applicant should use the LMO in accordance with the authorized use specified in the Authorization.
However this decree is not operational yet, awaiting its issuance and publication in the official gazette.

At present, and until the National Biosafety Decree mentioned above becomes operational, the introduction of LMOs into the country is forbidden as per the "Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Measures" Law # 778 dated 28/11/2006 which prohibits in its Article 16, the import of Living Modified Organisms. There is interest shown by individuals/companies in the import of LMOs to the country and they inquire about related information from relevant ministries, but since the import of LMOs is prohibited currently, no application was submitted to Lebanon so far about the intentional import/ introduction of LMOs to the country.
Article 11 – Procedure for living modified organisms intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (LMOs-FFP)
47. Has your country adopted specific law(s) or regulation(s) for decision-making regarding domestic use, including placing on the market, of LMOs-FFP?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
48. Has your country established legal requirements for the accuracy of information to be provided by the applicant?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent approved National Decree on Biosafety requires that the importer of LMOs obtains an advanced yearly approval from the National Council on Biosafety based on an application submitted by him for this purpose. The Decree also specifies the kind of information to be provided by the applicant. Thus approvals are given on yearly basis and the information should be provided on yearly basis with each application. In addition, once the applicant obtains the annual  approval to import and use LMOs, he should also re-notify the national competent authority about the type of LMOs that he wants to import and its intended use, precisely one week before the expected arrival of each shipment of LMOs to the country. However the Biosafety Decree is approved by the Council of Ministers but not published yet and not operational yet.
49. Has your country established a mechanism to ensure that decisions regarding LMOs-FFP that may be subject to transboundary movement will be communicated to the Parties through the BCH?
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
50. Has your country established a mechanism for taking decisions on the import of LMOs-FFP?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
51. Has your country indicated its needs for financial and technical assistance and capacity-building in respect of LMOs-FFP?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
52. Has your country ever taken a decision on LMOs-FFP (either on import or domestic use)?
  • No
58. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 11 in your country, including measures in case of lack of scientific certainty on potential adverse effects of LMOs-FFP
[Currently the Quarantine law # 778 dated 28/11/2006 prohibits in its article 16 the import of any kind of LMOs. However, this law needs amendment after the ratification of the Government of Lebanon of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) and the recent approval by the Council of Ministers of the National Biosafety Decree, which constitutes the national legislation for the implementation of the CPB in Lebanon.
According to the mentioned National Biosafety Decree, the import and use of any kind of LMOs require an advanced approval from the National Biosafety Council based on an application submitted to the National Competent Authority, the decree also specifies the kind of information that should be provided  by the applicant.
According to the same decree, in case of lack of scientific certainty, the Council has the right to request from the applicant any additional information, and may reject the application if the applicant doesn't provide the requested information or in case the information is not compelling.
The food Safety law # 35 dated 24/11/2015, establishes a "Food Safety Lebanese Commission", and states in its article 19, that the Ministry of Agriculture  in coordination with the "Food Safety Lebanese Commission" will set the standards that should be met by the genetically modified food.
Article 12 – Review of decision
59. Has your country established a mechanism for the review and change of a decision regarding an intentional transboundary movement of LMOs?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
According to the recent approved (but not operational yet) national Decree on Biosafety, the importer may submit an objection to a decision taken by the National Council on Biosafety about LMOs. The Council will then convene within a time limit of two months to review the application and take necessary decision to change its previous decision or not. If the Council doesn't take any decision in this regards during said two months period, its silence constitutes a rejection of the objection.The decision of the Council can be appealed before the Council of State in accordance with the procedure governing the administrative proceedings.
60. Has your country ever received a request for a review of a decision?
  • No
61. Has your country ever reviewed / changed a decision regarding an intentional transboundary movement of LMOs?
  • No
62. In the current reporting period, how many decisions were reviewed and/or changed regarding an intentional transboundary movement of an LMO?
  • None
66. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 12 in your country
Lebanon through its National Biosafety Decree that was recently approved by the Council of Ministers, but still pending its issuance and publication in the official gazette, has set a mechanism for the review of the decisions taken by the National Council on Biosafety with respect of LMOs transboundary movement in case of objection received from the applicant.
Article 13 – Simplified procedure
67. Has your country established a system for the application of the simplified procedure regarding an intentional transboundary movement of LMOs?
  • No
68. Has your country ever applied the simplified procedure?
  • No
70. In the current reporting period, how many LMOs has your country applied the simplified procedure to?
  • None
71. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 13 in your country
Apart from the NBF, BCH is not mentioned in any law, decree or decision in the country. Even though, the Ministry of Environment is planning to benefit from the global BCH and to activate its national BCH.
Till now, the national BCH that was developed in 2005 by the Lebanese Ministry of Environment (http://biosafety.moe.gov.lb) includes only information about CPB, experts, Focal Points and NBF. The Ministry of Environment will shortly make the National BCH a part of the international BCH, and is planning in the future to use it for posting the national decisions and procedures related to the transboundary movements of LMOs, once the National Biosafety Decree becomes operational.
Article 14 – Bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements and arrangements
72. Has your country entered into any bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements or arrangements?
  • No
76. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 14 in your country
Lebanon ratified the Biosafety Protocol in 2008 and accessed the Protocol in 2013. Subsequent to this and in the absence of a national biosafety legislation, the country couldn't enter into any bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements or arrangements regarding transboudary movements of LMOs, especially that till present (and until that the recent approved Biosafety National Decree becomes operational) LMOs are prohibited to enter to Lebanon as per Article 16 of the Quarantine law
Articles 15 & 16 – Risk Assessment and Risk Management
77. Has your country established a national framework for conducting risk assessments prior to taking decisions regarding LMOs?
  • Yes
78. If you answered Yes to question 77, does this framework include procedures for identifying and/or training national experts to conduct risk assessments?
  • No
79. How many people in your country have been trained in risk assessment, monitoring, management and control of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.3 of the Strategic Plan
a) Risk assessment:
  • None
b) Management / Control:
  • None
c) Monitoring:
  • None
80. Is your country using training material and/or technical guidance for training in risk assessment and risk management of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
81. Is your country using the "Manual on Risk Assessment of LMOs" (developed by CBD Secretariat) for training in risk assessment?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
82. Is your country using the "Guidance on Risk Assessment of LMOs" (developed by the Online Forum and the AHTEG on Risk Assessment and Risk Management) for training in risk assessment?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
83. Are the currently available training materials or technical guidance on risk assessment and/or risk management of LMOs sufficient?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.6 of the Strategic Plan
  • Not applicable
84. Does your country have the capacity to detect, identify, assess and/or monitor living modified organisms or specific traits that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking into account risks to human health?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.4.2 and 1.6.3 of the Strategic Plan
a) Detect:
  • Yes
b) Identify:
  • Yes
c) Assess:
  • Yes
d) Monitor:
  • No
85. Has your country adopted or used any guidance documents for the purpose of conducting risk assessment or risk management, or for evaluating risk assessment reports submitted by notifiers?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
a) Risk assessment:
  • No
b) Risk management:
  • No
86. Is your country using the "Guidance on Risk Assessment of LMOs" (developed by the Online Forum and the AHTEG on Risk Assessment and Risk Management) for conducting risk assessment or risk management, or for evaluating risk assessment reports submitted by notifiers?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
87. Has your country adopted any common approaches to risk assessment with other countries?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
88. Has your country cooperated with other Parties with a view to identifying LMOs or specific traits that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.4.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
89. Has your country ever conducted a risk assessment of an LMO including any type of risk assessment of LMOs, e.g. for contained use, field trials, commercial purposes, direct use as food, feed, or for processing?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.3.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
94. Has your country taken measures to ensure that any LMO, whether imported or locally developed, undergoes an appropriate period of observation that is commensurate with its life-cycle or generation time before it is put to its intended use?
  • No
95. Has your country established a mechanism for monitoring potential effects of LMOs that are released into the environment?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent approved National Decree on Biosafety states that the National Council on Biosafety has among its mandate, the task of developing and recommending plans for monitoring and inspection, the Decree also states that the process of Risk Assessment related to  the release of the LMOs should cover -among others-measures for monitoring and control. Furthermore, the Decree states that based on the results of the Risk Assessment, the National Biosafety Council shall recommend to the National Competent Authority a Risk Management Plan which should cover a series of measures, among which, specific inspection and monitoring processes. However this Decree was not issued yet and not operational yet.
96. Does your country have the infrastructure (e.g. laboratory facilities) for monitoring or managing LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
97. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Articles 15 and 16 in your country
The recent approved National Biosafety Decree assigned to the National Council for Biosafety the task of assessing, managing, and monitoring the potential risks of LMOs. The role of  the Council in this regards, as defined in the Decree, is to establish the procedures for assessing the risks presented to the environment, taking into account risks to human health, by the LMOs and their products, and the information required for risk assessment, and to conduct a survey on the LMOs present in the Lebanese market before the issuance of  the Decree and to assess the risks associated with the said LMOs and consequently to classify them into four categories according to the level of risks that they constitute, and to review and update these four categories regularly, and to submit recommendations on the measures/actions that aim at minimizing the level of risks of LMOs, and recommendations on survey programs, and risk detection, and assessment of further risks/impacts of the LMOs on the environment, taking into account risks on human heath, and to set guiding principles for risk assessment and to develop and propose plans for monitoring and inspection processes. Furthermore, according to the Decree, risk assessments should be carried out prior to taking decisions by the Council regarding the import of LMOs to the Country. The cost of the risk assessment should be borne by the applicant, and the assessment should be conducted in a scientifically sound manner in accredited laboratories according to biosafety requirements. The Council may seek assistance of  international qualified experts in this field in order to contribute in the risk assessment process and in developing a risk management plan, in case the needed qualified experts for risk assessment are not available locally. However the decree is not operational yet, awaiting its issuance and publication in the official gazette.

On the other hand, recently, a Law on Food Safety was issued recently (Law# 35 dated 24/11/2015). This law establishes the Food Safety Lebanese Commission that will take in charge GMO/GMF risk assessment on health.

At present, nobody in Lebanon has been trained for Risk Assessment, Risk management, Control and Monitoring of LMOs.
Regarding detection, identification and quantification: in the AUST, they are trained and they provide training on GMOs/LMOs detection, identification and quantification. The AUST has been designated in 2007 by the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade as a reference laboratory for GMOs testing; and it has acquired in 2011 the ISO 17025 accreditation for GMO analysis in food, feed, seeds and derived products.  It has started detection studies on GMOs/LMOs since 2007, and several masters' theses have been carried out at its laboratory. Nowadays, AUST is conducting also GMOs/LMOS detection for commercial purposes based on the request of Lebanese exporters intending to export food, feed, seeds and derived products to countries requesting certificates regarding GMOs/LMOs. In the AUB, they have the capacity to detect and identify GMOs/LMOs but within laboratory research for occasional very small number of students.  GMOs detection are also conducted occasionally in the laboratories of other universities: UOB, USJ, LU and NDU but only within courses/research for the students.

The LARI and IRI have laboratory facilities for GMOs/LMOs detection but they are not accredited for GMOs testing. They have the ISO 17025 accreditation, but GMOs analysis is not included in their scope of accreditation. IRI detects GMOs/LMOs for research only and LARI conducts GMOs/LMOs qualitative detection tests occasionally and only for research purposes too.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahleh (Beqaa Governorate), and in Triploli (North Lebanon) have laboratories that are equipped for GMOs/LMOs testing, and are recognized for GMOs testing by MOA, MOE&T and MOPH and Customs authority. In Zahleh, they have ISO 17025 but GMOs analysis is not included in their scope of accreditation yet. In Tripoli, their laboratory is accredited  for GMOs testing by ISO 17025  from ANAB accreditation body. They are conducting  GMOs testing upon requests from exporters, this covers Lebanese food products namely from Soya, Corn and wheat origin, all the tests are conducted by using real time PCR technique.
Article 17 – Unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures
98. Has your country established and maintained appropriate measures to prevent unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Lebanon's recent approved National Decree on Biosafety assigned to the National Council of Biosafety the task of proposing appropriate methodologies and  procedures to prevent unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs and their unintentional release in the environment. However, this Decree is not operational yet.
99. Has your country established a mechanism for addressing emergency measures in case of unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs that are likely to have significant adverse effect on biological diversity?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
According to the recent approved National Decree on Biosafety, the National Biosafety Council will put in place specific biosafety and emergency measures to confront and contain the risk and damage that may be produced by any unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs, or by any activity linked to these organisms. However this Decree is not operational yet.
           
100. Does your country have the capacity to take appropriate measures in the event that an LMO is unintentionally released?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.8.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
101. In the current reporting period, how many times has your country received information concerning occurrences that led, or may have led, to unintentional transboundary movement(s) of one or more LMOs to or from territories under its jurisdiction?
  • Never
105. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 17 in your country
The recent approved National Decree on Biosafety assigned to the National Council of Biosafety the task to handle the matter of emergency measures in case of unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs and to take necessary measures to confront and contain the risk and damage that may result from such movement on the environment. The Council may seek the assistance of experts from abroad when necessary.
Article 12 of this Decree sets the mechanism to be adopted by Lebanon in case an unintentional release of a potentially harmful LMO into the environment occurs, and states that in this case the National Council on Biosafety should immediately inform the neighboring countries that may be affected, as well as the international organizations that are concerned with biosafety. The Decree specifies the type of information that should be included in the notification.
However this decree is not operational yet.
Article 18 – Handling, transport, packaging and identification
106. Has your country taken measures to require that LMOs that are subject to transboundary movement are handled, packaged and transported under conditions of safety, taking into account relevant international rules and standards?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent approved National Biosafety Decree has mentioned under its Article (15) the measures of handling, packaging and transportation  of LMOs  under conditions of safety, taking into account the relevant Lebanese and  international rules and standards. This Decree is supposed to be published in the official gazette soon.
107. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs-FFP clearly identifies that, in cases where the identity of the LMOs is not known through means such as identity preservation systems, they may contain living modified organisms and are not intended for intentional introduction into the environment, as well as a contact point for further information?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Article 15, § 2 of the approved (but pending issuance and  enforcement) National Decree on Biosafety states that "LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing should carry labels that clearly identifies that they "may contain" living modified organisms and are not intended for intentional introduction into the environment, as well as a contact point in Lebanon that facilitates obtaining further information.
108. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs-FFP clearly identifies that, in cases where the identity of the LMOs is known through means such as identity preservation systems, they contain living modified organisms and are not intended for intentional introduction into the environment, as well as a contact point for further information?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Article 15, §2 of the approved but pending National Decree on Biosafety.
109. If you answered Yes or Yes, to some extent to question(s) 107 and/or 108, what type of documentation does your country require for the identification of LMOs-FFP?
  • Existing types of documentation
110. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs that are destined for contained use clearly identifies them as living modified organisms and specifies any requirements for the safe handling, storage, transport and use, the contact point for further information, including the name and address of the individual and institution to whom the LMO are consigned?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Article 15, §3 of the approved but pending National Decree on Biosafety states that "The LMOs destined for contained use should carry a label that clearly identifies them as living modified organisms; and specifies any requirements for the safe handling, storage, transport and use, the contact point in Lebanon for further information, including the name and address of the individual and institution to whom the living modified organisms are consigned"
111. If you answered Yes or Yes, to some extent to question 110, what type of documentation does your country require for the identification of LMOs that are destined for contained?
  • Existing types of documentation
112. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs that are intended for intentional introduction into the environment of the Party of import, clearly identifies them as living modified organisms; specifies the identity and relevant traits and/or characteristics, any requirements for the safe handling, storage, transport and use, the contact point for further information and, as appropriate, the name and address of the importer and exporter; and contains a declaration that the movement is in conformity with the requirements of this Protocol applicable to the exporter?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, to some extent
Article 15, § 4 of the approved but pending National Decree on Biosafety states that "The LMOs that are intended for intentional introduction into the environment in Lebanon and any other living modified organisms, should carry a label that clearly identifies them as living modified organisms; specifies their identity and relevant traits and/or characteristics, any requirements for the safe handling, storage, transport and use, the contact point in Lebanon for further information and, as appropriate, the name and address of the importer and exporter; and contains a declaration that the movement is in conformity with the requirements of the applicable laws and international treaties and regulations"
113. If you answered Yes or Yes, to some extent to question 112, what type of documentation does your country require for the identification of LMOs that are intended for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • A stand-alone document
114. Does your country have available any guidance for the purpose of ensuring the safe handling, transport, and packaging of living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
115. Does your country have the capacity to enforce the requirements of identification and documentation of LMOs?
  • No
116. How many customs officers in your country have received training in the identification of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • None
117. Has your country established procedures for the sampling and detection of LMOs?
  • No
118. How many laboratory personnel in your country have received training in detection of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 10 or more
119. Does your country have reliable access to laboratory facilities for the detection of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
120. How many laboratories in your country are certified for LMO detection?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
121. How many of the certified laboratories in the previous question are currently operating in the detection of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
122. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 18 in your country:
Article 15 of the recent National Decree on Biosafety has set the requirements for handling, packaging and transportation of LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed or for processing, and LMOs that are destined for contained use, and for LMOs that are intended for intentional introduction into the environment. However this Decree is not enforced yet.

With regards to detection, GMOs detection studies were carried out in 2007 at the American University of Beirut (AUB) to study the "Prevalence of genetically modified corn in Lebanon and implications on biosafety", and at the University of Balamand (UOB) in 2008-2009 to investigate into the genetically modified corn in Lebanon, and the Saint Joseph University (USJ) in 2009 to study GMOs in corn imported into Lebanon, and at the Lebanese University (LU) in 2010 to detect the presence of GMOs through the promoter 35S in different maize and soy bean samples imported into Lebanon.

As for the American University for Science and Technology (AUST), several masters' theses related to GMOs have been carried out at its laboratory. The AUST GMOs Testing Laboratory serves as a National Reference Laboratory, It provides testing services for private and public institutions. It has been designated in 2007 by the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade as a reference laboratory for GMOs testing; and it has acquired the ISO 17025 accreditation for GMO analysis in food, feed, seeds and derived products in 2011, it has started detection studies on GMOs and LMOs since 2007, and nowadays is conducting also detection for commercial purposes based on the request of Lebanese exporters intending to export food, feed, seeds and derived products to countries requesting certificates regarding GMOs and LMOs.

The Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute (LARI) and the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) have laboratory facilities for GMOs/LMOs detection but they are not accredited for GMOs testing. They have the ISO 17025 accreditation, but GMOs analysis is not included in their scope of accreditation. IRI detects GMOs/LMOs for research only and LARI conducts GMOs/LMOs qualitative detection tests occasionally and only for research purposes too.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahleh (Beqaa Governorate), and Triploli (North Lebanon) have laboratories that are equipped for GMOs/LMOs testing, and are recognized for GMOs testing by MOA, MOE&T and MOPH and Customs authority. In Zahle, they have ISO 17025 but GMOs analysis is not included in their scope of accreditation yet and they didn't start yet LMOs detection (they will start soon). In Tripoli, their laboratory is accredited  for GMOs testing by ISO 17025  from ANAB accreditation body. They are conducting GMOs testing upon requests from exporters, this covers Lebanese food products namely from Soy ,Corn and wheat origin, all the tests are conducted by using real time PCR technique.

With regards to trainings on detection, the laboratory personnel of the AUST has participated in many related regional and international training courses and workshops, mainly:
1. Regional workshop On Strengthening Capacities towards Establishment of a Regional Platform for Detection of GMOs, FAO project TCP/RAB/3202, Amman - Jordan, 28 - 30 July, 2009
2. Study tour, "Strengthening capacities towards the establishment of a regional platform for the detection of genetically modified organisms", Training at the European Commission Joint Research Center In the frame of the FAO Project TCP/RAB/3202, Italy, 14-18 December, 2009
3. High level workshop and training course on regional capacity building for GMOs detection and biosafety for food and agriculture, In the frame of the FAO project TCP/RAB/3202,Damascus, Syria, 16- 24 June, 2010
4. ISO procedures for GMOs Detection - FAO project TCP/RAB/3202 "Strengthening Capacities towards the Establishment of a Regional Platform for the Detection of Genetically Modified Organisms", Lebanon, 24 - 27 January, 2011.
5. "International Workshop of GMO-Analysis Networking", Italy, 8 - 10 April, 2013.
6. International training course "GMO Quantification: Proper Calibration and Estimation of Measurement Uncertainty", Institute of Reference Materials and Measurements, Belgium, 21 - 22 November, 2013
7. International training workshop "Quality Management - ISO 17025 accreditation", European Union-Reference Laboratory for Genetically modified Food and Feed (EU-RL GMFF), Italy, 20 - 22 May, 2014.
8. Next Steps in Initiating the MENA Network for GMOs Testing. 2. First Comprehensive GMOs Testing in Lebanon: Screening, Identification and Quantification of GM Soybean Imports - "The 2nd GMO Regional Workshop for MENA Countries", EU-RL GMFF, Italy, 25 - 26 June, 2014.
9. International training workshop "Practical Aspects of Regulatory GMO Testing", EU-RL GMFF, Italy, 25 - 27 March, 2015
10. International workshop "Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms", EU-RL GMFF, Italy, 9 - 11 June, 2015
11. GMOs Testing Current Status in the MENA Region. 2.  Genetically Modified Organisms: Current State of Affairs in Lebanon. "The 2nd International Workshop of GMO Analysis Networking", EU-RL GMFF, Italy, July 21 - 23, 2015

Furthermore, personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture (Plant Quarantine Department) and from the Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute "LARI" (Department of Plant Biotechnology) have received training on GMOs/LMOs detection in ICARDA in 2010, and  LARI has participated recently in May 2016 in a regional training organized in Tunisia by the "Arab Organization for Agricultural Development" (AOAD) on the detection of GMOs.
Article 19 – Competent National Authorities and National Focal Points
123. In case your country has designated more than one competent national authority, has your country established a mechanism for the coordination of their actions prior to taking decisions regarding LMOs?
  • Not applicable
124. Has your country established adequate institutional capacity to enable the competent national authority(ies) to perform the administrative functions required by the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety?
  • No
125. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 19 in your country
The Lebanese Ministry of Environment is the national focal point designated to be responsible for liaison with the CBD Secretariat with regards of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

According to the recent approved National Decree on Biosafety (which set the national mechanisms for the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol at national level), the Ministry of Environment shall be considered as the National Competent Authority with respect of all matters that relate to LMOs within the context of the implementation of this Decree. The National Competent Authority will be responsible for performing the administrative functions required by the Protocol and will act on its behalf with respect to those functions. Moreover the Decree establishes a National Council for Biosafety of 18 members from various concerned institutions headed by the National Competent Authority, to manage the LMOs and biosafety matters at the national level. According to the Decree, the Council is the responsible body, for taking decisions -among other tasks- regarding importation or release of LMOs on case by case basis.
Article 20 – Information Sharing and the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH)
126. Please provide an overview of the status of the mandatory information provided by your country to the BCH by specifying for each category of information whether it is available and whether it has been submitted to the BCH.
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
a) Existing national legislation, regulations and guidelines for implementing the Protocol, as well as information required by Parties for the advance informed agreement procedure (Article 20, paragraph 3 (a))
  • Information available but not in the BCH
b) National laws, regulations and guidelines applicable to the import of LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (Article 11, paragraph 5)
  • Information available but not in the BCH
c) Bilateral, multilateral and regional agreements and arrangements (Articles 14, paragraph 2 and 20, paragraph 3 (b))
  • Information not available
d) Contact details for competent national authorities (Article 19, paragraphs 2 and 3), national focal points (Article 19, paragraphs 1 and 3), and emergency contacts (Article 17, paragraph 3 (e))
  • Information available but only partially available in the BCH
e) Reports submitted by the Parties on the operation of the Protocol (Article 20, paragraph 3 (e))
  • Information not available
f) Decisions by a Party on regulating the transit of specific living modified organisms (LMOs) (Article 6, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
g) Occurrence of unintentional transboundary movements that are likely to have significant adverse effects on biological diversity (Article 17, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
h) Illegal transboundary movements of LMOs (Article 25, paragraph 3)
  • Information not available
i) Final decisions regarding the importation or release of LMOs (i.e. approval or prohibition, any conditions, requests for further information, extensions granted, reasons for decision) (Articles 10, paragraph 3 and 20, paragraph 3(d))
  • Information not available
j) Information on the application of domestic regulations to specific imports of LMOs (Article 14, paragraph 4)
  • Information not available
k) Final decisions regarding the domestic use of LMOs that may be subject to transboundary movement for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (Article 11, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
l) Final decisions regarding the import of LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing that are taken under domestic regulatory frameworks (Article 11, paragraph 4) or in accordance with annex III (Article 11, paragraph 6) (requirement of Article 20, paragraph 3(d))
  • Information not available
m) Declarations regarding the framework to be used for LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (Article 11, paragraph 6)
  • Information not available
n) Review and change of decisions regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs (Article 12, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
o) LMOs granted exemption status by each Party (Article 13, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
p) Cases where intentional transboundary movement may take place at the same time as the movement is notified to the Party of import (Article 13, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
q) Summaries of risk assessments or environmental reviews of LMOs generated by regulatory processes and relevant information regarding products thereof (Article 20, paragraph 3 (c))
  • Information not available
127. Has your country established a mechanism for strengthening the capacity of the BCH National Focal Point to perform its administrative functions?
  • No
128. Has your country established a mechanism for the coordination among the BCH National Focal Point, the Cartagena Protocol focal point, and the competent national authority(ies) for making information available to the BCH?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
No mechanism for coordination was established yet, however the BCH National Focal Point, and the Cartagena Protocol Focal Point work both at the same unit at the Ministry of Environment which is the Competent National Authority. Thus the coordination will be easy.
129. Does your country use the information available in the BCH in its decision making processes on LMOs?
  • Not applicable
130. Has your country experienced difficulties accessing or using the BCH?
This question is relevant to indicator 4.1.8 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
131. Is the information submitted by your country to the BCH complete and up-to date?
  • No
132. Please indicate the number of regional, national and international events organized in relation to biosafety (e.g. seminars, workshops, press conferences, educational events, etc.,) in the last 2 years:
This question is relevant to indicator 4.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
133. Please indicate the number of biosafety related publications that has been made available in your country in the last year:
This question is relevant to indicator 4.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • None
135. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 20 in your country
Lebanon has established its national BCH (http://biosafety.moe.gov.lb) with some basic information. Presently, Lebanon is planning with relevant experts to make its National BCH part of the Global BCH.

Regarding events organized in relation to biosafety in the last 2 years, a Lebanese private academic institution (AUST) was co-organizer of regional workshops on GMOs for MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries. In addition, AUST has published in 2014 an article on GMOs testing in Lebanon, in a peer-reviewed journal but it was not made available through national website, BCH Central Portal or national libraries. Furthermore, AUST has participated as moderator and Lebanon's representative in discussion forum in the BCH in 2014 (Viljoen, C.#, Agapito-Tenfen, S.#, Abou-Sleymane, G.# Overview of available detection methods, including validated methods.  Biosafety Clearing House. 2014. https://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/ portal_detection/discussions.shtml#topic1# Equally contributed to this report.)
Article 21 – Confidential information
136. Has your country established procedures to protect confidential information received under the Protocol?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent approved national Decree on Biosafety set procedures for the protection of  confidential information related to any document or information submitted by an applicant as a requirement of this Decree  in order to obtain an Authorization for the Import/Use of any LMO. However this Decree is still pending issuance in order to become operational.
137. Does your country allow the notifier to identify information that is to be treated as confidential?
  • Yes, always
138. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 21 in your country
Article 16 of the recent approved national biosafety Decree allows the protection of confidential information.  The article states that    "When submitting any information or documents required by this Decree in order to obtain an Authorization for the Use of any LMO, the applicant can protect  his confidential information that constitutes a part of said information and documents by clearly marking the information or document that contain such confidential information with a stamp or any other sign to indicate its confidential nature. Any information or documents so marked shall be protected by the National Competent Authority and the National Biosafety Council and all of their employees, outside experts and agents against any disclosure or use by them or others, and against the appropriation of said information and documents.
However, the following information shall not be considered as confidential even when so marked by the applicant:
- The name and address of the applicant;
- A general description of the LMOs; 
- A summary of the risk assessment of the effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health; and
- Any methods and plans for emergency response.
If the applicant withdraws his application, the National Competent Authority and the National Coordinating Commission shall continue to respect the confidentiality of the information or documents so identified, including the research and development information. The information and documents marked as confidential shall be returned to the applicant.
The violation of the provisions of  article 16 shall constitute the misdemeanor of disclosing information provided for in the Lebanese Penal Code."

However, this Decree is not operational yet, awaiting to be issued and published in the Official Gazette.
Article 22 – Capacity-building
139. Does your country have predictable and reliable funding for building capacity for the effective implementation of the Protocol?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.6 and 3.1.8 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
140. Has your country received external support or benefited from collaborative activities with other Parties in the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
External support was provided in this regards, through a regional Project (TCP/RAB/3202) entitled "Strengthening capacities towards the establishment of a regional platform for the detection of GMOs". The project was executed by the FAO  from 2008 till 2010. The participating countries included Jordan, Lebanon, the Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The aim of the project is to strengthen regional capacities and to enhance regional information exchange and dialogue on biosafety issues that would lead to the establishment of a regional platform for handling and managing GMO detection and related procedures through increased regional cooperation and standardization of GM detection and analysis procedures within the region. .
141. If you answered Yes to question 140, how were these resources made available?
  • Regional channels
142. Has your country provided support to other Parties in the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
This was done through training programs executed by private academic institutions namely the university of AUST as follows:
AUST GMOs Testing Laboratory serves as a regional center for GMOs analysis. In this regards. it has conducted the following activities:
     - Organizing training courses for laboratories from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on GMOs analysis to ISO 17025       
       standards.
    - Participating as trainers in capacity building programs on GMOs detection and related procedures that are mainly organized by   
       FAO
       - Moderating a regional project about GMOs assessment in 13 participating MENA markets in attempt of harmonizing GMOs  
          analysis procedures in the region.]
143. If you answered Yes to question 142, how were these resources made available?
  • Regional channels
144. Has your country ever initiated a process to access GEF funds for building capacity in biosafety?
  • Yes
145. If you answered Yes to question 144, how would you characterize the process?
Please add further details about your experience in accessing GEF funds under question 157.
  • Easy
146. Has your country ever received funding from the GEF for building capacity in biosafety?
  • Development of national biosafety frameworks
147. During the current reporting period, has your country undertaken activities for the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • No
149. During the current reporting period, has your country carried out a capacity-building needs assessment?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
151. Does your country still have capacity-building needs?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.7 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
152. If you answered Yes to question 151, indicate which of the following areas still need capacity-building.
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • Risk management
  • Public awareness, participation and education in biosafety
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Technology transfer
  • Identification of LMOs, including their detection
  • Socio-economic considerations
  • Implementation of the documentation requirements under Article 18.2 of the Protocol
  • Handling of confidential information
  • Measures to address unintentional and/or illegal transboundary movements of LMOs
  • Scientific biosafety research relating to LMOs
  • Taking into account risks to human health
153. Has your country developed a capacity-building strategy or action plan?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
154. Does your country have in place a functional national mechanism for coordinating biosafety capacity-building initiatives?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
155. How many biosafety short-term training programmes and/or academic courses are offered annually in your country?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • 5 per year or more
156. Has your country submitted the details of national biosafety experts to the Roster of Experts in the BCH?
  • No
157. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 22 in your country, including further details about your experience in accessing GEF funds
Lebanon benefited from GEF funds to develop its National Biosafety Framework through the UNEP-/GEF Project number G.F./2716-01-4319  "Development of National Biosafety Framework for Lebanon" which was executed by the Ministry of Environment from February 2004 until December 2005. Within the same project, Lebanon has also benefited from GEF funds to establish his national BCH http://biosafety.moe.gov.lb//, but the website needs currently to be updated and upgraded to become part the global BCH.

With regards to academic courses offered in Lebanon, nine academic institutions offer courses related to biotechnology and tackling GMOs issues, two of them cover in their courses directly the GMOs issues and in details, and one only of these nine universities provides courses on biotechnology for PHD students, and only one other university among these nine academic institutions provides training courses on detection, identification and assessment of GMOs/LMOs.

One Lebanese expert was registered in the BCH Roster of Experts, but the MoE will submit soon details of other national biosafety experts to the Roster of Experts in the BCH.
Article 23 – Public awareness and participation
158. Has your country established a strategy or put in place legislation for promoting and facilitating public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent approved National Decree on Biosafety has covered in its Article 17 the issues related to public awareness and public participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs. However , this Decree is not operational yet.
159. Has your country designed and/or implemented an outreach/communication strategy on biosafety?
This question is relevant to indicator 5.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
160. Does your country have any awareness and outreach programmes on biosafety?
This question is relevant to indicator 5.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
162. Has your country established a biosafety website searchable archives, national resource centres or sections in existing national libraries dedicated to biosafety educational materials?
This question is relevant to indicators 2.5.3 and 5.3.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
163. How many collaborative initiatives (including joint activities) on the Cartagena Protocol and other Conventions and processes has your government established in the last 4 years?
This question is relevant to indicator 5.2.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • None
164. Has your country established a mechanism to ensure public access to information on living modified organisms that may be imported?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent approved National Decree on Biosafety states in its Article 17 that the National Competent Authority shall endeavor to inform the public about the means of public access to the information that relate to the safe transfer and use of LMOs  through a special internet site, booklets, brochures, leaflets, pamphlets,  educational manuals, and other publications, as well as through seminars, workshops, professional discussions and training program. However, the Decree is not operational yet.
165. Has your country established a mechanism to consult the public in the decision-making process regarding LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent National Decree on Biosafety states in its Article 17  that the National Competent Authority shall involve the public and consult the stakeholders on LMO related decisions in the framework of the existing legislation. However, the Decree is not operational yet.
166. Has your country established a mechanism to make available to the public the results of decisions taken on LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
167. Has your country informed the public about existing modalities for public participation in the decision-making process regarding living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
170. Has your country taken any initiative to inform its public about the means of public access to the Biosafety Clearing-House?
  • No
171. How many academic institutions in your country are offering biosafety education and training courses and programmes?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.7.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 5 or more
172. Please indicate the number of educational materials and/or online modules on biosafety that are available and accessible to the public in your country:
This question is relevant to indicators 2.7.2 and 5.3.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • None
173. In the current reporting period, has your country promoted and facilitated public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs?
  • No
175. In the current reporting period, how many times has your country consulted the public in the decision-making process regarding LMOs and made the results of such decisions available to the public?
  • Not applicable
176. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 23 in your country
During the preparation of the NBF, awareness activities have been undertaken in various universities, government agencies and non-governmental organizations in order to ensure public participation and promote public awareness. Awareness was also ensured through media coverage of the workshops (that were held within the process of the preparation of the NBF), via newspapers and talk shows on local and regional TV stations. These activities were undertaken in an attempt to engage a broad spectrum of the public and raise their awareness about LMOs and biosafety issues.

In relation  to academic institutions, nine universities in Lebanon offer courses related to biotechnology and GMOs, two of them cover in their courses directly the GMOs issues and in details, and one only of these nine universities provides courses on biotechnology for PHD students, and only one other university among these nine academic institutions provides training courses on detection, identification and assessment of GMOs/LMOs.
Article 24 – Non-Parties
177. Has your country entered into any bilateral, regional, or multilateral agreement with non-Parties regarding transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • No
178. Has your country ever imported LMOs from a non-Party?
  • No
179. Has your country ever exported LMOs to a non-Party?
  • No
Article 25 – Illegal transboundary movements
184. Has your country adopted domestic measures aimed at preventing and/or penalizing transboundary movements of LMOs carried out in contravention of its domestic measures to implement this Protocol?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The recent approved National Decree on Biosafety has put in place in its Article 20 administrative measures to be applied in case of the violation of any of the provisions of this Decree, however this Decree is not issued and enforced yet. 
185. Has your country established a strategy for detecting illegal transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Measures for detecting illegal transboundary movements of LMOs were put in place to some extent through the provisions of  the recent approved National Decree on Biosafety, however this Decree is not operational yet.
186. In the current reporting period, how many times has your country received information concerning cases of illegal transboundary movements of an LMO to or from territories under its jurisdiction?
If you replied Never to question 186 please go to question 191
  • Never
191. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 25 in your country
The measures that were put in place in the recent approved Biosafety National Decree, with regards to the prevention and /or penalization and detection of the illegal transboundary movements of LMOs, will be effective after the date of publishing of the said Decree in the official Gazette and the beginning of its enforcement.
Article 26 – Socio-economic considerations
192. Does your country have any specific approaches or requirements that facilitate how socio-economic considerations should be taken into account in LMO decision making?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.7.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
193. If your country has taken a decision on import, has it ever taken into account socio-economic considerations arising from the impact of the LMO on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity?
  • Not applicable
194. How many peer-reviewed published materials has your country used for the purpose of elaborating or determining national actions with regard to socio-economic considerations?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.7.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • None
196. Has your country cooperated with other Parties on research and information exchange on any socio-economic impacts of LMOs?
  • No
197. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 26 in your country
Lebanon didn't experience decision making about LMOs because its Biosafety National Decree was approved by the Council of Ministers recently but not issued and published in the Official Gazette yet and not operational yet. In addition, research related to socio-economic impacts of LMOs were not conducted so far in the country.
Article 27 – Liability and Redress
198. Has your country ratified or acceded to the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress?
  • No
199. If you answered No to question 198, is there any national process in place towards becoming a Party?
  • No
200. Has your country received any financial and/or technical assistance for capacity-building in the area of liability and redress relating to living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.4.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
201. Does your country have administrative or legal instrument that provide for response measures for damage to biodiversity resulting from living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.5.2 and 2.4.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
202. Here you may provide further details on any activities undertaken in your country towards the implementation of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress
Lebanon is not a party yet to Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress.   
Article 28 – Financial Mechanism and Resources
203. How much additional funding (in the equivalent of US dollars) has your country mobilized in the last four years to support implementation of the Biosafety Protocol, beyond the regular national budgetary allocation?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Not applicable
Article 33 – Monitoring and reporting
204. Does your country have in place a monitoring and/or an enforcement system for the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol?
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.6 of the Strategic Plan
a) Monitoring system:
  • No
b) Enforcement system:
  • No
205. Has your country submitted all the previous due National Reports?
  • No
206. If you answered No to question 205, indicate the main challenges that hindered the submission:
  • No obligation to submit (e.g. country was not a Party at the time)
Other information
184. Please use this field to provide any other information on issues related to national implementation of the Protocol, including any obstacles or impediments encountered.
The Government of Lebanon has ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) through law # 31 dated 16/10/2008, and accessed the Protocol in 2013, thus Lebanon was not yet a Party to the CPB during the submission period of the first and second National Reports.
Comments on reporting format
185. Please use this field to provide any other information on difficulties that you have encountered in filling in this report
This reporting format is very practical and time saving and well studied to assess the implementation of the CPB, especially that ticking in the boxes is apparently related to indicators to make the task of the assessors easier. In some places we were forced to choose "Yes to some extent" to indicate that we have a National Decree on Biosafety approved by the Council of Ministers but not enforced yet since the decree was not published yet in the official gazette and thus not operational yet. But the term "yes to some extent" was also used to explain other situations.