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About this Forum


In decision CP-9/13, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP) decided to establish a process for the identification and prioritization of specific issues regarding risk assessment of living modified organisms. It also decided to consider at its tenth meeting, whether additional guidance materials on risk assessment are needed for (a) living modified organisms containing engineered gene drives, and (b) living modified fish. The process entails the establishment of and ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG) on risk assessment, to work along the lines of the terms of reference provided in annex II of the same decision, and to extend the online forum on risk assessment and risk management to assist the work of the AHTEG.

Posting and receiving messages

  • To share comments with the forum, please sign-in to the BCH with your registered BCH email address, click on the title of the message you wish to reply to, and then click the reply button at the bottom of the message;
  • All messages posted to the forum will also be sent via email to the address registered on the BCH profile of all participants;
  • Participants may also reply via email by using the address provided at the bottom of the email message you received from the forum. Alternatively, you may follow the link "See this post in the online forum" and click on the "Reply" button at the end of a posting;
  • To stop receiving future postings by e-mail, you may click on the “Stop Watching” button.

What is the forum?

This is a virtual platform where experts will interact and exchange opinions on specific aspects of risk assessment and risk management of living modified organisms (LMOs). The online forum is part of a process established in decision BS-IV/11 and has been used as a tool for experts in risk assessment and risk management to meet and discuss the issues mandated by the Parties.

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Who can participate?

The online forum will be publicly accessible through the BCH, but posting will be restricted to registered participants. Experts who are actively involved in risk assessment and risk management are invited to participate in this process. There is no limit to the number of participants per country or organization taking part in the online forum. Nomination of Experts is ongoing and can be carried out as indicated below:

  1. National Experts that are not currently registered as participants to please fill in the Biosafety Expert Nomination form and forward it to your BCH Focal point for them to submit your nomination to the Secretariat.

  2. National Experts that are currently registered as participants on the Open-ended On-line Forum to update and revise their profiles and contact information. Please consult the List of Participants page and follow the appropriate links to edit your profile. If you have been nominated, but your name does not appear in the List of Participants, please send an email to the Secretariat at riskassessment.forum@cbd.int.

  3. National Biosafety Focal Points to ensure that experts that are currently registered as participants update their profiles and further nominate experts from your country, who are actively involved in scientific disciplines relevant to risk assessment and/or risk management, to participate in the Open-Ended Online Forum. To nominate new National Experts, use the Biosafety Expert Nomination form.

  4. Observers are continually requested to submit new nominations and can do so by completing the Observer Nomination form.

In case of problems with your internet connection, the nomination of experts may be done by filling out the offline common format and submitting it to the Secretariat by email at riskassessment.forum@cbd.int.

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How does it work?

There are currently two possible modalities of online events that take place under this Forum:

  • In the Discussion Groups, participants are able to share their opinions on specific themes through written postings and shared documents. Several Discussion Groups may run in parallel for a defined period of time (approx. 2-4 weeks). After the discussions are posted, all contributions remain publicly available for reading.

  • In the Real-time Online Conferences are also convened for each geographical sub-region. These conferences are chaired by a participant from each region. Each Real-time Online Conference runs for approximately 4 hours (including a 30-minute break) on specific dates. During the Real-time Online Conferences, registered participants, connected to an online “chat” through the BCH, will be able to exchange ideas and discuss the different topics by posting and reading written interventions.

Documentation used for discussions in the online forum should be made available through the Biosafety Information Resource Centre.

For further information on this forum please contact riskassessment.forum@cbd.int.

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