In decision BS-IV/11
, the Parties to the Protocol established an open-ended online forum, through the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), and an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Risk Assessment and Risk Management, with the aim of developing further guidance on specific aspects of risk assessment and risk management.
The First Meeting of the Ad hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Risk Assessment and Risk Management was held from 20 to 24 April 2009 at the CBD Secretariat in Montreal, Canada (the report of the meeting is available here
). In accordance with its terms of reference (Annex to decision BS-IV/11
), the Group discussed the development of guidance documents to further support countries in conducting risk assessment of LMOs in the context of the Protocol.
To further draft the Roadmap and test it, a Meeting of the AHTEG Sub-working Group on the Roadmap was held from 12 to 14 October 2009 in The Hague, The Netherlands (the report of the meeting is available here
The Group produced a draft roadmap on the steps in risk assessment and established four Sub-working Groups (SWGs)
and an Action Plan
outlining the work to further develop the roadmap and guidance documents on specific aspects of risk assessment and risk management prior to the Group’s second meeting, scheduled to take place in April 2010 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. During this meeting the group revised and finalised the work on the Roadmap as outlined in the report of the meeting
At their fifth meeting, the Parties welcomed the resulting Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms developed through the joint efforts of these two groups and noted that the first version of the Guidance required further scientific review and testing to establish its overall utility and applicability to living modified organisms of different taxa introduced into different environments. The Parties decided to extend the work of the open-ended online forum and AHTEG to acomplish these tasks.
To acheive the expected outcomes outlined in its terms of reference (Annex to decision BS-V/12
), the Group held several rounds of online discussions and two face to face meetings. The third meeting of the AHTEG took place in Mexico City, Mexico on 30 May - 3 June 2011 and the outcomes of the discussions are available in the final report
of the meeting. The fourth meeting of the AHTEG took place in Montreal, Canada on 4 - 8 June 2012. During this meeting the group finalised the Guidance to be submitted to the COP-MOP6 and submitted its recomendations to teh Parties as outlined in the final report
of the meeting.
In their decision BS-VI/12
, the Parties commended the progress made on the resulting Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms and decided to extend the Open-ended Online Forum while bringing to a close the AHTEG of the 2010-2012 intersessional period. The Parties further decided to establish a new AHTEG on Risk Assessment and Risk Management, that will work following the input provided by the Open-Ended Online Forum, in accordance with the terms of reference and modalities of work in the Annex to the decision, and specified below:
- Provide input, inter alia, to assist the Executive Secretary in his task to structure and focus the process of testing the guidance, and in the analysis of the results gathered from the testing;
- Coordinate, in collaboration with the Secretariat, the development of a package that aligns the Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms (e.g. the Roadmap) with the training manual “Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” in a coherent and complementary manner, for further consideration of the Parties, with the clear understanding that the Guidance is still being tested;
- Consider the development of guidance on new topics of risk assessment and risk management, selected on the basis of the Parties’ needs and their experiences and knowledge concerning risk assessment.
The online discussions under the Open-ended Online Forum will provide initial input to guide the work of the AHTEG on Risk Assessment and Risk Management. The AHTEG will produce the final documents to be presented to the seventh meeting of the COP-MOP.
Members of the AHTEG
have been selected by the Secretariat, in consultation with the COP-MOP Bureau, from among those experts nominated by Parties on the basis of their expertise, and their active participation in the Open-ended Online Forum, taking into account geographic distribution, gender balance and with a view to achieving a balance between past and new members. The selection was also, also, be in accordance with paragraph 18 of the consolidated modus operandi of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity (decision VIII/10, annex III).