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Activities of the Open-Ended Online Forum (2016-2018)

NEW! Online Forum resuming its activities on 29 January 2018.

See updated calendar of activities.

In its decision BS-VIII/12, the COP-MOP decided to extend the Online Forum on Risk Assessment and Risk Management to exchange experiences on risk assessment, provide information and views on, and perceived gaps in existing guidance materials, and proposals to address any gaps identified.

To give effect to the COP-MOP’s decision the following three discussions topics are being organized under the Online Forum:

- Topic 1: Experiences on risk assessment of living modified organisms

- Topic 2: Information and views on existing guidance materials on risk assessment

- Topic 3: Perceived gaps in existing guidance materials on risk assessment, and proposals to address any gaps identified

Moreover, the COP-MOP requested the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to review the information provided and to recommend a way forward to address the needs, priorities and gaps identified by Parties for consideration by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol at its ninth meeting, including the possible establishment of a new ad hoc technical expert group, with the understanding that new guidance proposals should only be presented upon approval by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol.

In light of these requests, a tentative calendar of activities outlining a way forward for the implementation of the elements of the COP-MOP decision is available.

Topic 1: Sharing experiences on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms

Discussions will be held: 29 January-12 February 2018
Discussions open and close at 1:00 a.m. GMT

Forum participants are requested to share their experiences in conducting risk assessment of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs). In doing so, they are encouraged to point out particular challenges (if any) that have emerged during the process as well as the instruments (i.e guidelines) and/or methodologies that they have used. It would also be useful for participants to share their experiences regarding any support received from other parties, organisations or partners, among others, in conducting the risk assessments.

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Topic 2:Information and views on existing guidance materials on risk assessment

Discussions will be held: 29 January-12 February 2018
Discussions open and close at 1:00 a.m. GMT

In this discussion, forum participants are invited to provide information on existing guidance materials on risk assessmen and their views on the utility of these resources. Please bear in mind that information gaps regarding existing guidance materials are meant to be discussed under topic 3. Thus, it would be helpful to limit discussion under this topic to the perceived strengths and weaknesses of existing guidance materials. It is important to note that views by Parties, which were submitted in response to decision CP VIII/12, may provide a useful background for this discussion.

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Topic 3:Perceived gaps in existing guidance materials on risk assessment, and proposals to address any gaps identified

Discussions will be held: 29 January-12 February 2018
Discussions open and close at 1:00 a.m. GMT

Forum participants are invited to use this space to gather views on gaps identified in existing materials (i.e., specific topics for which they see a need for further guidance to conduct risk assessments of living modified organisms). Participants are urged to be as specific as possible in defining the information that is lacking (i.e for which part of the risk assessment, for assessing what type of LMOs, under which particular circumstances, etc). If possible, participants may provide examples of actual cases where they felt that existing guidance materials were not sufficient for conducting one or more risk assessments. In addition, participants who do not think that additional guidance should be developed, are invited to indicate their reasoning behind their views, which will also enrich the discussion. It is important to note that views by Parties, which were submitted in response to decision CP VIII/12, may provide a useful background for this discussion.

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