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Third National Report on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Record information and status
Record ID
110835
Status
Published
Date of creation
2016-08-23 15:43 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2016-08-23 15:43 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)

Origin of report
1. Country
  • Antigua and Barbuda
Contact officer for report
Coordinates
Diann Black-Layne
Director
Department of Environment
Ministry of Health and the Environment #1 Victoria Park Botanical Gardens
St. John’s
Antigua and Barbuda
Phone:2684624625
Fax:2684624625
Email:dcblack11@gmail.com
Consulted stakeholders
9. Organizations/stakeholders who were consulted or participated in the preparation of this report
Ato J. Lewis, Appoy Robinson, Nneka Nicholas Department of Environment;
Janil Gore-Francis, Plant Protection Unit
Submission
10. Date of submission
2016-08-22
11. Time period covered by this report
Start date
2012
11. Time period covered by this report
End date
2016
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
  • 2012
16. Which specific instruments are in place for the implementation of your national biosafety framework?
  • One or more sets of biosafety guidelines
  • Other laws, regulations or guidelines that indirectly apply to biosafety
17. Has your country established a mechanism for the budgetary allocations of funds for the operation of its national biosafety framework?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Sustainable Island Resource Frame Work Fund
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?
  • More than 10
20. Has your country’s biosafety framework / laws / regulations / guidelines been submitted to the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH)?
  • Partially
21. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 2 in your country
The Environment Protection and Management Act (EPMA) was passed into law in 2015. The EPMA has [pollution control] provisions that directly apply to biosafety and provides a domestic legal framework that formerly regulates national biosafety. The Act further bolsters existing laws related to trade management, phytosanitary control, pest and chemical management and pharmaceutical control,  forestry and watershed management are the primary means of legal control and enforcement.

The Plant Protection Act No. 18 of 2012 has some provisions related to Biosafety [namely import restrictions and permits (section 15 and 16) and containment and eradication of pests(Part 5)]. 

With respect to staff, since we are a small island the staff allocation is more like several persons in various agencies sharing the work load, with the Plant Protection Unit serving as the lead. Additionally, the government has established a Technical Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from various public sector and private sector agencies and civil society, which provides technical advice upon request for all matters regarding the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements. This body stands as a resource available to the management framework for Biosafety.

Significant administrative systems have been put in place to ensure that the administrative work continues, but is expected to change when the legal framework in in place.  To date, some genetically modified (GM) seeds have been confiscated by the Plant Protection agency.
Through funding provided by the UNEP-GEF Regional National Biosafety Frameworks Implementation Project for the Caribbean, a draft biosafety policy as well as a draft Biosafety bill and draft regulations have been developed and are currently in the consultative phase prior to submission to Parliament for approval.
Article 5 - Pharmaceuticals
22. Does your country regulate the transboundary movement, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) which are pharmaceuticals?
  • Yes
23. If you answered Yes to question 22, has this information been submitted to the BCH?
  • No
24. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 5 in your country:
The Ministry of Health is responsible for the approval of all pharmaceuticals used and imported into the country [through the Pharmacy Council established under the Pharmacy Act (1995)]. The existing border controls for general trade management provide the enforcement capacity with customs officials providing the main support.
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
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
  • No
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:
As indicated above, Antigua and Barbuda has made interceptions and processed applications to import GM seed.  All of these requests were rejected.  The  decisions were made on the basis of general risk analyses.  The risk assessment and administrative systems used are outlined in the NBF and are also implicit in the Plant Protection Act.  A coordinating mechanism exists to ensure that the management of LMOs is done in a manner consistent with the treaty. The Department of Environment and Plant Protection Unit are the two main agencies (along with national experts and competent authorities) responsible for the implementation of the NBF.
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
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?
  • Yes
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?
  • No
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
As explained earlier, there has been applications and even illegal importation of LMOs into the Antigua and Barbuda.  Although there is some national capacity to conduct risk assessment, due to the lack of specific legislation to regulate LMOs, the small number of applications received to date have been denied.

The risk assessment would be conducted by the network of agencies and competent authorities e.g.  Customs, Plant Protection, Department of Environment and Analytical Services Lab.  During this reporting period there have been no interceptions or applications for importation. It is felt, however, that LMOs are being imported illegally, primarily in personal baggage, but border control agenies are not aware of the extent of this.

The Plant Protection Import Permit Application Form provides the AIA notification format for LMOs that are seeds while the Veterinary Import Permit allplication process would serve this role for animal LMOs.
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
  • No
48. Has your country established legal requirements for the accuracy of information to be provided by the applicant?
  • No
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
  • Yes
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
This mechanism has not yet been triggered since Antigua and Barbuda has not had any application to import LMOs  FFP.   It is generally viewed that since the system is not being fully implemented it is uncertain if this is a reflection of no imports or just no application to import.  A local coordinating network exists that has linkages to regional bodies such as CARDI, the University of the West Indies and IICA and international bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). This network provides Antigua and Barbuda with the capacity to carry out limited risk assessment and it is on this basis that decisions would be made.  Antigua and Barbuda has adopted a risk averse stance in any case of scientific uncertainty. It is anticipated that this process would be a regional effort to reduce cost of risk assessment and improve decision making.
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?
  • No
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
The need for a review mechanism has not arisen since no decisions have yet been made on LMO-FFPs.
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?
  • Yes
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
Antigua and Barbuda is not adverse to utilising the simplified procedure if the opportunity arises, once the national parties are fully convinced and assured of the safety of the transfer. However with the country having no experience with the importation of LMOs it is unlikely that the simplified procedure would be used before the authority gained significant experience with the transfer and trade of LMOs.
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
Antigua and Barbuda is part of two regional trade and Political  organisations Caricom and OECS.These two groups of countries usually coordinate sectoral policy; trade in LMOs could eventually become the subject of a regional agreement. Presently Antigua and Barbuda is responsible for making its own decisions although it relies on the support of several specialised regional institutions in its decision making process.
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Several Competent National Authorities have been identified and some capacity building efforts have been made in this regard
78. If you answered Yes to question 77, does this framework include procedures for identifying and/or training national experts to conduct risk assessments?
  • Yes
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:
  • One or more
b) Management / Control:
  • One or more
c) Monitoring:
  • One or more
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
  • Yes
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
  • Yes
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:
  • No
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
some laboratory detection and human capacity building activities & the development of draft legislation are in process to support such an activity
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
  • Yes
97. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Articles 15 and 16 in your country
There is a regional approach to the risk assessment procedures.  There is a draft manual that should be finalized and adopted by CBD.  This process is currently underway with consultations in the various regions.   This should be finalized by this year for adoption by the COP. 

Although no specific detailed risk assessment has been done to date, risk assessments carried out for the purpose of importing regulated plant articles also takes into account requests for import of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment.

Notwithstanding the information stated above, activities conducted under the UNEP-GEF Regional NBF Implementation Project have sought to train a cadre of persons through workshops and an M.Sc. (Biosafety) program at the University of the West Indies, the latter of which  has already produced at least ten graduates.  In addition, the capacity of regional laboratories to conduct GMO detection and related activities has been built through provision of a range of equipment and reagents to facilitate the process.
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
Intransit plant items are monitored and managed under the Import Permit regime
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
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
Presently procedures exist for the illegal importation of products which are applicable to the illegal importation of LMOs. Search and destroy would be the main emergency response.
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?
  • No
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
  • No
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
  • No
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
  • No
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
draft regulations are being developed for adoption to address such issues
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?
  • Existing types of documentation
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
  • Yes
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?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
a national LMO surveillance manual is being developed
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
  • One 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
  • None
122. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 18 in your country:
There has been some work in this area of implementation of the treaty, particularly of a capacity-building nature.  Draft regulations have been developed and efforts are ongoing to establish the required institutional arrangements to support execution of the draft biosafety legislation once passed into law.   Regulations to the EPMA will provide the legal enforcement capacity to give adequate effect and full implementation of the specified requirements for safe transportation of LMOs.
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?
  • Yes
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?
  • Yes
125. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 19 in your country
Several national competent authorities were established with the assistance of the UNEP-GEF project for the preparation of a National Biosafety Framework for the country.  In addition, an operational focal point for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety was established and is responsible for all comunications with the BCH and for liaising with the Competent National Authorities.  Due to the lack of the required resources in some instances, the competent national authorities are unable to function optimally.  The Government, however, does support the attendance of various regional and international training sessions and workshops that may be held on various aspects of biosafety.
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 and 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 and 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 available and in the BCH
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 available but not in the BCH
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 available but not in the BCH
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 available and in the BCH
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?
  • Yes
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
129. Does your country use the information available in the BCH in its decision making processes on LMOs?
  • No
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
  • 25 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
  • One or more
134. If biosafety related publications were made available (see question above), please indicate which modalities were preferred:
This question is relevant to indicator 4.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • National Libraries
  • Actual documents that could be circulated or displayed for information to the general public
135. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 20 in your country
Antigua and Barbuda has had little to report since there has been no official trade in LMOs. No risk assessment for LMOs has been done and hence no decisions have been taken and/or reviewed or review any decisions. The establishment of a specific legal framework to manage biodiversity and the movement of LMOs has been passed into law. Existing laws have been and are used to manage biosafety and the movement of LMOs.  The sole instance of an unintentional release into the environment on an LMO in the country has not been assessed for impact and the scale of the significance of this remains largely unknown.  A basic framework as regards Article 20 exists but specific draft biosafety legislation that has been developed is still to be finalised, passed in Parliament and implemented.  All of the required information - some of which is available - has to be entered/updated on the BCH.  The ongoing NBF Implementation project is expected to address a number of outstanding information sharing requirements.
Article 21 – Confidential information
136. Has your country established procedures to protect confidential information received under the Protocol?
  • Yes
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
This matter has not yet come up but provisions have been made in the National Biosafety Framework and the existing draft biosafety bill, including limiting access to the information.
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
141. If you answered Yes to question 140, how were these resources made available?
  • Multilateral channels
142. Has your country provided support to other Parties in the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • No
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.
  • Average
146. Has your country ever received funding from the GEF for building capacity in biosafety?
  • Development of national biosafety frameworks
  • Implementation of national biosafety frameworks
  • Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the BCH (Phase I)
  • Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the BCH (Phase II)
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?
  • Yes
148. If you answered Yes to question 147, in which of the following areas were these activities undertaken?
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • 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
  • Identification of LMOs, including their detection
  • Socio-economic considerations
  • Measures to address unintentional and/or illegal transboundary movements of LMOs
  • Taking into account risks to human health
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
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Technology transfer
  • 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
  • Yes
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
  • Yes
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
  • None
156. Has your country submitted the details of national biosafety experts to the Roster of Experts in the BCH?
  • Yes
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
Economic difficulties and budgetary constraints have limited the management of biosafety and the development of institutional capacity for biosafety.   External assistance is therefore vital  and such assistance has been/continues to be critical in the development of national biosafety capacity and in assisting the nation in fullfilling the requirements of the convention. Accessing GEF Funding has been challenging particularly as regards meeting the documentation requirements.
The ongoing UNEP-GEF regional NBF Implementation Project has served greatly over the last two to three years to build capacity, mainly in the areas of human and institutional capacity.  The activities have mainly been conducted at the regional level and have provided a medium through which countries participating in the project have been able to share experiences and best practices.  Such activities have also served to facilitate a regional, coordinated and more cost-effective approach to biosafety management.
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
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
  • No
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
  • One or more
164. Has your country established a mechanism to ensure public access to information on living modified organisms that may be imported?
  • No
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
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
  • Yes
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
  • Yes, to some extent
168. If you answered Yes to question 167, please indicate the modalities used to inform the public:
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Forums
169. If you indicated more than one modality for public participation in question 168, which one was most used?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Forums
170. Has your country taken any initiative to inform its public about the means of public access to the Biosafety Clearing-House?
  • Yes
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
  • None
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?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
There have been several radio and TV interviews by local technicians but  not as a coordinated strategy
174. If you answered Yes to question 173, has your country cooperated with other States and international bodies?
  • 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?
  • Never
176. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 23 in your country
Members of the public who are desirous of importing commodities that may be LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment have been briefed on the procedures that have to be followed if such an LMO is to be considered for introduction into the environment.  In addition, several publics would have been in attendance of workshops that have been held in the reporting period on accessing information on the BCH.  To date there has been no decision made on an LMO as a result of the conduct of a risk assessment on same; hence, there has been no need to inform the public on such decisions.
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
183. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 24 in your country:
There was one instance of importation from a non-Party known to the authorities and this was a case of unintentional importation.  The incident, therefore, did not occur in a manner that is consistent with the Protocol.
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
185. Has your country established a strategy for detecting illegal transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • Yes
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 LMO in question was able to bypass the measures that are in place to prevent the illegal transboundary movement since the agency responsible for issuing permits after the conduct of risk assessment was not consulted and hence the item was imported in the absence of official permission to do so.
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
195. What is your country's experience, if any, in taking socio-economic considerations into account in LMO decision making? Please give details:
This question is relevant to indicator 1.7.3 of the Strategic Plan
The country's experience in this regard is limited to the attendance of training workshops on the topic.  At least three persons have received such training through regional workshops offered under the UNEP-GEF Regional NBF Implementation Project.
196. Has your country cooperated with other Parties on research and information exchange on any socio-economic impacts of LMOs?
  • No
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
  • Yes
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
  • Yes
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
  • 100,000 USD or more
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:
  • Yes
205. Has your country submitted all the previous due National Reports?
  • Yes
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.
Antigua and Barbuda continues to struggle after the most recent global financial crisis which resulted in the adoption of austerity measures and budgetary contraints which challenged much of our environmental management and sustainable development programmes.
External assistance was critical in continuing the work in biosafety and in meeting the obligations under the treaty. However, with the passage of the Plant Protection Act and the Environment Protection and Management Act, a more applicable legal framework is now available.  The EPMA establishes an independent environment fund which, if successfully supported and managed, should ensure greater financial support for implementing the protocol as well as other MEAs.  Efforts are currently ongoing to finalise primary and secondary biosafety legislation.
During the next reporting period, work  will be focused on  public awareness and technical capacity enhancement especially in the areas of risk management, socioeconomic considerations, and identification and detection of LMOs.  Efforts to strenghthen institutional capacity will continue.
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
Due to unforseen circumstances, this report was not submitted as per the expected deadline. However even had the deadline been met question 15 did not include the year of submission within its scope of possible answers. This is important as the passage of the EPMA stands as a major event toward the successful implementation of the Convention, its protocols and other MEAs in Antigua and Barbuda.