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PP Forum: Techniques for engaging the public

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Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5781]
Dear participants,

Welcome to Theme 4: Advisory bodies

Best regards,
Ulrika Nilsson
Associate Information Officer
Biosafety Unit
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
United Nations Environment Programme
413 St Jacques Street, Suite 800,
Montréal, Québec, Canada H2Y 1N9
Tel: +1-514-287-8720
Email: ulrika.nilsson@cbd.int
Internet: http://bch.cbd.int/protocol/
(edited on 2014-04-23 00:46 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson)
posted on 2014-04-23 00:45 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5791]
POSTED ON BEHALF OF JOHANSEN T. VOKER (MODERATOR)

Dear Forum Participants,

I am pleased and honoured to have been invited to moderate this online discussion.

Welcome to Theme 4 on Advisory bodies

We welcome you to answer the guiding questions listed below when the Forum begins 28 April.

1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?

2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?

5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 

6. In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

The discussion will take place for the two weeks and I encourage you to prepare the answers to the questions and post your views as soon as possible in order to foster a lively debate.

Please note that participants must first sign in to the BCH in order to post messages.

Individuals wishing to participate via e-mail after these initial messages can choose to 'watch' the discussions taking place under the different themes. These individuals will then receive copies of the posted messages by e-mail.

If you have any questions or if you encounter difficulties in accessing the discussion sessions or posting your messages, please send an e-mail to: ulrika.nilsson@cbd.int or andrew.bowers@cbd.int

I look forward to reading your suggestions and comments.

Best regards,

Johansen T. Voker
Moderator
posted on 2014-04-24 15:13 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5874]
Dear all,

First of all let me thank Dr. Voker for moderating this forum and the CBD Secretariat for its continuous and efficient support in the on-line discussions.

I am working as scientist in the Biosafety and Biotechnology Unit (SBB) of the Scientific Institute of Public Health, in Brussels (Belgium). The SBB is a permanent centre of scientific expertise for the Belgian Competent Authorities in relation with the assessment of the risks for human health and the environment of activities involving LMOs. We are also in charge of the administrative and scientific secretariat of the Biosafety Advisory Council, the advisory body established to advise the Belgian Competent Authorities about LMOs. Both the SBB and the Biosafety Council are involved in communication activities, including information sharing through their respective websites (http://www.biosafety.be and http://www.bio-council.be).

1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?

In Belgium, the Biosafety Advisory Council has been established by the Authorities and is working for the Authorities. Its role is to provide scientific advice on the risks to human health and the environment associated with the uses of LMOs, based on the provisions and procedures set out in the Belgian and European legislations. Socio-economic and ethical considerations are outside its remit. The Council is not directly involved in public participation. However, all the Council’s advices are published on its website (http://www.bio-council.be). The Council shall also consider, when preparing an advice on individual LMO applications, public comments relevant to biosafety that are made during the public consultation process foreseen by the Belgian legislation.

2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

The internal rules of procedures of the Belgian Biosafety Advisory Council are available on its website (in French and Dutch only). The Council meets 6-7 times a year. The work of the Council is supervised by a Chair, seconded by a Vice-Chair, under the assistance of a secretariat (the SBB). The Council can only validly deliberate in the presence of at least two thirds of its effective members (quorum). The Council works primarily by consensus. In exceptional cases when a consensus cannot be reached, advices can be adopted via a voting procedure.
There is a possibility to invite external persons to the Council’s meeting to provide information on specific aspects related to the matters to be discussed.
The deliberations of the Council’s members are not public. Only the final advices are made publicly available, as well as an annual report.

3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

The Council’s members are designated by the different Belgian authorities sharing competencies in the field of LMOs. They are mostly scientists belonging to Belgian scientific institutions, and also a few people coming from the administration. Their selection is mainly based on their recognised scientific expertise in topics relevant to the assessment of environmental and health aspects associated with the uses of LMOs. Members are nominated for a 4-year period, renewable. There are 12 effective and 12 substitute members.
The Biosafety and Biotechnology Unit (SBB) is a permanent and multidisciplinary group of scientists (currently 12 scientists) performing scientific expertise and research focusing on biosafety-related matters. Its main task is to provide scientific support to the Competent Authorities and to the Biosafety Council.
In the frame of the scientific evaluation of regulatory dossiers and other biosafety-related matters, the Biosafety Advisory Council and the SBB can call for the scientific support of external experts. They belong to scientific institutions and are also selected based on their recognised expertise. The list of external experts is published on the Council’s website. Experts are consulted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specific expertise needed to assess a dossier.

4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?

All costs relating to the functioning of the Biosafety Advisory Council are covered by the Authorities.

5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient?

The Biosafety Council and the Biosafety and Biotechnology Unit (SBB) can provide scientific support to the Competent Authorities at all points in the decision-making process, including development of regulatory texts and accompanying guidelines, and international matters (such as the Cartagena Protocol).
The Biosafety Council is particularly involved in decision-making processes related to field trials and commercialisation of LMOs. The SBB is the main advisory body for contained use activities involving LMOs.

6. In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

The advices of the Biosafety Council are the main scientific element, but not the only one, on which final decisions of the Authorities are based.

Best regards,

Didier Breyer
posted on 2014-05-05 13:16 UTC by Mr. Didier Breyer, Belgium
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5891]
Dear all

I am Lim Li Ching from Third World Network (TWN), based in Malaysia. TWN is an international NGO that has been following the biosafety debates worldwide generally, and the negotiations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety specifically. I was formerly representing TWN as a member of Malaysia’s Genetic Modification Advisory Committee, (GMAC) which provides scientific, technical and other relevant biosafety advice to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and the National Biosafety Board.

1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?

Advisory bodies can play an important role in facilitating public participation, and should do so for all aspects with regard to biosafety. It is often misconceived that scientific discussions on biosafety should be left to the scientists in the policy arena, while the public is left to comment on the ethical and socio-economic concerns. A credible public participation process should enable all views to be heard and debated on all issues.

This also presents an opportunity to hear from all available expertise in the public from all fields, outside of the commonly used pool of expertise. Experience has also shown that the public can well discuss scientific issues if these have been communicated in a way that people can understand, and that the public has an insightful wisdom in dealing with scientific uncertainty and science policy that must be heard if science is truly to serve the needs of society.

In Malaysia, the Biosafety Act 2007 invites public participation for release and import activities involving LMOs (including field experiments, placing on the market, any other activity that does not amount to contained use). The National Biosafety Board makes its decision on approval for release and import after considering the recommendations of GMAC, the comments of relevant departments or agencies, and the views of members of the public.

2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

Usually, regular meetings are held, facilitated by a Chair and in open discussions. In our view, it would also be important for mechanisms to be put in place to ensure a transparent decision-making process, for example, what steps need to be taken if there is no consensus on a decision; how to take into account, reflect in the risk assessment report and communicate to decisions makers minority opinions; how to address conflict of interest issues, etc.

3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

Under the Malaysian Biosafety Act 2007, the function of the GMAC is to provide scientific, technical and other relevant advice to the Minister or the National Biosafety Board. The number of members may be approved by the Minister and shall be appointed by the Board. Members shall consist of experts from various science-based and other relevant disciplines.

The National Biosafety Board shall consist of members from seven named government ministries, and not more than four other persons who have the knowledge or experience or both in any of the disciplines or matters relevant to this Act.

The inclusion of the words “other relevant advice”, “other relevant disciplines” and “who have the knowledge or experience or both in any of the disciplines or matters relevant to [the] Act” means that the law envisages a broad base of expertise, not merely confined to scientific or technical matters. This could include socio-economic considerations, as under the Act, such considerations may be taken into account in decision-taking. This necessitates representation from a full complement of expertise such as scientific, non-governmental (including farmers’ and consumers’ organizations as key stakeholders), academic and legal. In our view, the private sector should not be on the advisory bodies, because it is their activities and the biotechnology industry that are being regulated.

It is also important to note that the Act mandates “experts from various science-based… disciplines”, which implies that there should be a diversity of scientific expertise, not confined to molecular biologists, but also could include ecologists, entomologists, botanists, soil biologists, etc.

4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?

The costs are covered by the government.

5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 

Advisory bodies should meet at all relevant points in the biosafety process, including as listed above and as relevant to the function of those bodies as mandated under the law.

6. In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

The main points/decisions are usually collected and reflected in the minutes of meetings and in reports. In our experience, as civil society commenting on specific applications via the public participation exercises established by the Act for release and import activities involving LMOs (including field experiments, placing on the market, any other activity that does not amount to contained use), it has not been clear how our comments have or have not been taken into account, and if not, why. As such, and in the interest of transparent public participation processes, there is also a need to show the ‘decision-making trail’ clearly in the relevant reports. 

Thanks and kind regards,
Li Ching
posted on 2014-05-06 08:23 UTC by Ms. Li Ching Lim, Third World Network
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5892]
Dear Participants,
We have three more days for our forum.  We are thankful to Dr.  Didier Breyer  of the Biosafety and Biotechnology Unit (SBB)  and Lim Li Ching from Third World Network (TWN), based in Malaysia  for  for starting the discussion thus far.  We look forward to the rest of you PP participants to share with us your perspectives on this theme.
Kind regards,

Johansen Voker
Moderator
PP Forum
posted on 2014-05-06 11:49 UTC by Mr. Johansen T. Voker, Liberia
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5896]
Posted on behalf of Ivy Wellman, United Kingdom of Great Britain:

1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?
An advisory body’s remit should be framed by the legislation it works to. The key function for the UK’s statutory independent Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) is to provide advice to UK Government on the risks to human health and the environmental safety of GMOs and it does this on a case-by-case basis. ACRE  evaluates new research findings and advises on releasing non-native species of animals or plants into the environment and regulations for releasing and marketing GMOs. ACRE assesses GM microorganisms, GM animals and GM crops. Advice from ACRE is published and considers public representations and comments from external assessors. 
It is the UK’s view that public participation should be incorporated formally into the regulatory process. The risk manager is likely to request that the appropriate advisory body considers and advises on the comments submitted in public consultations and this is the case in the UK. However, the advisory committee should only consider comments within the scope of the legislation. It is for risk managers to deal with other types of comment and make decisions on risk management options once risk has been assessed by the Committee.  ACRE will assess and advise on different risk management options (where these have scientific/ technical basis) but otherwise the role of decision makers/risk managers and risk assessors should not be blurred. It is also important that the advisory body does not confuse academic, peer review with risk assessment.
ACRE does not advise on socio-economic impacts. Legislation requires that MS take decisions on LMOs based on a scientific assessment of the risks.

2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)
The UK advisory body that deals with the deliberate release of LMOs into the environment (ACRE) meet approximately 5 times each year; meetings are open to the public as observers. The frequency of meetings depend on the amount of case work and in particular, the number of notifications submitted. The regulatory system dealing with notifications to cultivate LMOs commercially is not functioning properly with the consequence that companies have been withdrawing notifications. Currently, most case- work is associated with trials.
ACRE has a secretariat of 3 – 4 people, the majority of which have relevant scientific expertise. The committee has a chair. Attendance is required and monitored. Members are paid on a pro rata basis for the time they spend on advisory body work. They can serve for a maximum of ten years but are reviewed every 2 or 3 years. ACRE is not a decision-making body; voting is, therefore, not appropriate and how advice / recommendations are worded is reached by consensus through open exchange between members.
The advisory body should operate in a systematic and transparent manner. It should be clear to notifiers what information is required and it should be clear to interested parties how the advice was reached, including how uncertainty or minority disagreement was addressed.
ACRE is subject to a review every 3 years; this is part of the UK Government’s programme to ensure that all advisory committees remain fit for purpose.

3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?
A scientific/ technical advisory board should be appointed on scientific/ technical merit and on other skills required for the position (e.g. communication skills, up to date with current literature and able to evaluate research). The members and the Chair of ACRE are appointed by Ministers following recruitment through fair and open competition. Committee members are recruited for their expertise and not as representative of particular organisations or groups. However, it is likely that experts will have some industrial links if they are eminent in certain fields but this must not be directly related to notifications and prejudice an objective assessment. Experts should be aware of and take into consideration public views relevant to assessments. In the UK, we appoint experts who are active in their respective disciplines – often senior academics. There is no maximum number; the number sufficient to provide the requisite expertise is appointed. ACRE, as risk assessors, are independent of the risk management process and are scrutinised for conflicts of interest.

4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?
The UK considers that the risk manager should cover the cost and so the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pays ACRE as its risk assessors. ACRE members receive a daily fee for Defra-related issues and travel expenses for Defra-related business are refunded. A contract between parties sets out the relationship and what is expected from both parties. Although Defra meets the cost of ACRE for its business, national legislation requires that we operate at full cost recovery so Defra charges for processing notifications and for inspections.

5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 
Advisory boards should not make decisions. Their role is to provide independent advice to risk managers. Risk managers should not compromise this independence.
In our experience it is important to involve the advisory committee early and maintain continual dialogue in order to establish what information is required at an early stage and ensure that advice is fit for purpose to aid better decision making.

6. In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?
The UK’s advisory Committee does not make decisions; it serves to assess scientific risk, not manage risk. The Government, as the risk manager, considers the advice and incorporates it into its final decisions. Most discussions take place in meetings, which are open to the public. The minutes of these meetings are published and any discussions that took place on-line are recorded. The committee has assessors who come to meetings and are copied into email correspondence during which these discussions are formulated into written, formal advice. This formal advice is published.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), UK
(edited on 2014-05-08 14:04 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson)
posted on 2014-05-06 13:54 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5915]
Dear Ivy,
Thanks for your contribution to discussions on this theme.  Kindly clarify if public participation is a formal part  of the regulatory  process in the UK.

Regards
Johansen Voker
posted on 2014-05-08 02:46 UTC by Mr. Johansen T. Voker, Liberia
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5897]
Dear All,

I would like to thank Ms Lim Li Ching from TWN for sharing her experience, knowledge and views on this topic. I just want to add few more points to question no. 2 and 5.

For question 2, the procedure relating to the National Biosafety Board is provided under the Biosafety Act 2007 while for Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC), it may regulate its own procedure. The law stipulates that the Board shall meet once every 6 months. Every member of the Board present shall be entitled to 1 vote. If on a matter to be determined by the Board there is an equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. In most situations, the Board would prefer to defer the decision until further information obtained. As for GMAC, the meeting will depend on applications but for the past 4 years, it has consistently met 8-10 times a year.

For question 5, besides to have a meeting at the points as listed, the Board and GMAC can meet after the decision being made upon receiving new information or evidence on the LMOs relating to such decision. Apart from meeting, when necessary GMAC will make a visit to the facilities used for such application prior to any decision. There are cases where the Board imposes terms on approval that requires GMAC to visit these facilities. For this purpose, a sub-committee under GMAC on monitoring has been established since 2013 consisting members with various expertise.

Regards
Johnny
posted on 2014-05-06 15:00 UTC by Mr. Johnny Anak Andrew, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5979]
Advisory bodies do not only provide advice; in fact, they can be an important conduit by which affect groups and individuals can provide factual information to decision-makers. So, in this regard, they are mis-named.

If members of such panels are wisely chosen (and that is not always the case, since sometimes powerful interests want a "rubber stamp" operation to solidify their own positions), they may have such relevant knowledge.  In addition, if the panel sessions are public (as they should be), attendees can present information and evidence for use by decision-makers.

My most vivid personal experience of the workings of advisory panels was many years ago when I was appointed to a Washington State panel to advise the State Legislature on the question of siting a nuclear waste dump in our state (which, at the time, was actively being considered by the Federal government). In regard to the 4th question posed by J T Volker,  "Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)? "  I noted that industry representatives flew to our meetings from the far-away parts of the State and made up a significant proportion of the attendees. Under the US tax laws, all such expenses, including the salaries these people earned that day, were deductible from the corporate income and thereby reduced any taxes paid.  Thus, everyone was subsidizing their participation.

When I moved that the panel should ask the Legislature to provide funds to subsidize other points of view as well (e.g., for the travel of NGO representatives, affected individuals, etc), it was considered a bizarre notion.  The same consideration is true for the members of the panel--if some are being paid for their time serving, all the others (usually mere "ordinary" citizens) should receive a stipend from the public authority.  Why?  Not only is it just, as a matter of equity, but otherwise certain points of view are actually prevented from participating, to the impoverishment of the advisory process.

Philip L Bereano
Washington Biotechnology Action Council
posted on 2014-05-09 17:09 UTC by Dr. Philip L. Bereano, University of Washington
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5901]
Please find below my answers to the guiding questions on Advisory bodies.

1. In Moldova the National Biosafety Committee is the advisory body for the decision making process and is in duty to ensure public information and participation. The Committee involves the representative of main governmental relevant authorities, academia, universities, private sector, and one representative of NGO. The advisory body is in charge to review notifications, advice scientific risk assessment, monitoring of LMOs, insure public information, organize public hearings, take in consideration the public opinion in the decisions etc.

2. The advisory board are being conducted on request/needs, 2-3 times per year, facilitated by the Chair, and required the quorum/attendance. The open discussion and consensus are the main methods of decision used.

3. In case of Moldova the balanced representativeness between governmental bodies, NGO, academia and private sector is respected. The period of time for nomination of the composition of the Committee is 2 years. Maximum number of members is 13. They are full employees in their basic work position. Their participation in the Committee activity (meetings) is not remunerated.

4. The operational costs for examination of notifications, risk assessment, publication of materials, secretariat costs should be paid by the notifier, a part of logistics costs, public notices,  is covered by National Authority from the budget.

5. From our experience the advisory body should advise all stages of decision making, starting from   development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO. 

Best wishes,
Angela
posted on 2014-05-06 17:32 UTC by Ms. Angela Lozan, Republic of Moldova
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5912]
Posted on behalf of Claudia María Villa, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute:

Theme 4: Advisory bodies

1.        What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?

In Colombia there are three Intersectorial Biosafety Commissions established depending of the kind ok LMO or intended use (agricultural, human health, environmental), which are composed only by delegates of National Competent Authorities (Ministries of Health, Environment and Agriculture; National Institute for Agriculture and Cattle; National Institute for Surveillance of Medicines and Food; National Department of Science and Technology), but currently is not open to public by direct participation as commissions members, and their participation in the decision making is conducted through publication of applications case by case in web sites of National Competent Authorities, giving the opportunity that public can express their considerations and concerns about each application.

2.        In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

Through regular official meetings around six times per year, facilitated by a chair from the sector who leads the Biosafety Commission, open to receive comments and submissions for different stakeholders, but generally close in the decision making process, which are taken into account only if are relevant and appropriate, and if them have solid argumentation that support and, where appropriate, evidence to justify them.

3.        In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

In the Colombian case, National Biosafety Commissions are close to government officials. Nevertheless, the basic criteria for selecting members have to be: knowledge, experience and capacity to give recommendations for decisions making by National Competent Authority.

4.        Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?

In the Colombian case, all members of National Biosafety Commissions are public employees, and their participation in the Commissions Meetings is covered by government salary, and is not necessary to cover other costs. For the occasional participation of other stakeholders as experts, it doesn’t imply any payment and is completely voluntary. Regarding operational costs, those should be covered by each National Competent Authority that leads the Commission.

5.        In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 

From the beginning of the applications and in key stages of the process to decision making.  

6.        In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

In the Colombian case, the public participation regarding final decisions on LMOs is only collected by publication of applications case by case in web sites of National Competent Authorities; giving the opportunity that public can express their considerations and concerns about each application. In the final decision, among all considerations presented by different stakeholders, are taken into account those that are relevant and appropriate, only if them have solid argumentation that support and, where appropriate, evidence to justify them.
posted on 2014-05-07 19:08 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5939]
Posted on behalf of Milena Roudna, Czech Republic:

Theme 4 – Advisory body
• Advisory bodies (Commisions, Commitees) play an important role. Their key task is to advise national competent authorities on scietific issues, review notifications, prepare background documents etc.
• Successful functioning requires regular meetings (app. 4 times a year), under leadership of an experienced chair. In inbetween period members correspond through internet (e-mail).
• As to given tasks, scientific experts and government officials are nominated as members, completed by representatives of private sector, civil society and NGOs, for the period of 2 – 3 years. Selected meetings can be open to public (e.g. once a year).
• Members are renumerated on the basis of contract with government/NCAs
• Minutes and reports from the meetings are forward to assigned government officials.
posted on 2014-05-08 13:50 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5943]
1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?

An advisory body should search the means on how to communicate their decisions and the procedure about how they reached to their decisions to the public. Again, this topic is very complex to communicate and until a country like Bolivia has their National Biosafety Framework, where there is an institution identified and involved into facilitating this information to public, the procedure may not have the desired results.

2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

The National Biosafety Committee (NBC) in Bolivia is not meeting as the national regulation has to be updated. Up to 2011, the NBC was meeting at least a couple of times during a year.

3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced
and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

During a recent meeting to evaluate a document, one of the suggestions from the participants (all from academic institutions and other government offices), was that the NBC should consider to have technical committees where researchers that are independent and have experience in certain topics should be invited, even if they are independent. Technical committees should not have more than 10 members in order to achieve results. Full time employees that would participate from the NBC should have a commitment agreement from their institutions so that the discussions are not interrupted.

4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?

Part of the costs would be covered by the government, but also when a company or institution submits their petition to evaluate a new LMO, that submission should include a fee, from which a percent could go to support the communication part.

5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 

The advisory board should meet at all stages of a risk analysis.

6. In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

In Bolivia usually through minutes that includes the signatures of each participant. The rest has to still be decided under new regulation under development.
posted on 2014-05-08 15:19 UTC by Sra. Cecilia Gonzalez, Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5950]
- What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?

As part of the management is to be done, we believe that the role of consultative bodies should be just under that view: serving as auxiliary bodies for consultation and review in support of the National Competent Authorities .
In the case of El Salvador , the Special Regulations for Safe Management of Genetically Modified Organisms states that they should form a Scientific Committee on Biosafety composed of representatives from the public sector (Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Health ), private sector and academic-scientist whose organization and operation shall be established through joint Executive Agreement between the National Competent Authorities to issue (Environment, Agriculture and Health).
In this context, when the Committee issues a recommendation to the Head of the competent Authority is promoting the decision, this information may be part of the public consultation process that will support the final stages that the decision will be submitted.

- In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

In the case of the Scientific Committee on Biosafety of El Salvador, it must operate call as requested or office, the mode of operation is through open discussions and communication and recommendations to be issued is at the discretion of direct vote of its members, of course, when you have a divided opinion, taking care that the recommendations and issued communications enjoy the consensus of all its members.

- In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

We need and priority when these processes are established public participation should appoint people with an ideal profile and also the knowledge and expertise to provide them with solid professional record with the topics for discussion; this part is extremely sensitive because in some cases, institutions and inter-sectoral representations appoint their "spokesmen" only to meet a requirement requested, but far from providing significant contributions tend to polarize and skew discussions and participatory exercises.

- Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?

We believe that the costs must be made between applicants and the institutions that promote the engagement process; could be under the guise of competition pro tempore demand that each National Competent Authority under the requirements that arise and must be addressed.

- In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient?

For the conditions under which El Salvador Opera that exercise should be performed before making the decision and during field tests to enjoy the process of disclosure, discussion and sufficient participation; in our case, the implementation of the national framework demand through legal instruments that apply sustained and informed process that feed back responses, progress and prospects that will be elucidating.

- In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

The points collected is codified in documents help formats memory or meeting minutes as appropriate, the final results of these papers derive are made available to the competent authorities, who of discretion decide whether incorporated or not other instruments generated in the course of their duties as owners.
posted on 2014-05-08 20:17 UTC by Lic. Jeremias Ezequiel Yanes, El Salvador
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5963]
Dear All,
First I would like to to thank Dr Voker for moderating this forum
Regarding the guiding questions, I will try to answer them briefly.
1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?
In Spain we have two advisory bodies, the National Commission on Biosafety to advise about risk assessment and risk management (so it is a scientific advisory body) and the Participants Committee to give “public and stakeholders opinion”.
Both are advisory bodies to the Interministerial Committee on GMO. This Committee takes every decision about GMO at national level.
The National Commission on Biosafety is chaired by the General Director of Quality and Environmental Assessment, and formed by civil servants from different national and regional administration. There is also a number of experts/scientist from different specialities related to GMO. It gives an opinion about the risk to the environment and humal health about every notification we receive.
To take account public opinion in decision-making process on LMO, we have created a “Participants Committee”. There is represented different stratus of society: seed industry, farm associations and farm unions, consumer associations, food industry, NGOs and pharmaceutical industry. This Committee is chaired by the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Environment.
2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)
From our experience, in Spain both official advisory bodies are chaired by administration. The frequency of the meetings depends on the number of notifications or decision we have to make. In general we can say that NCB meets every month and PC once a year.
In the NBC voting is not secret. In PC there is no voting because the target is hearing public opinion. 
3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?
Selecting criteria depends on the organization of origin of the person, I mean, if he comes from a scientific institution, this institution choose his own representative, and the same if the person represents a NGO.
4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?
Costs are covered by Ministry of Agriculture Food and Environment
5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient?
In Spain, both bodies are one step before the final decision at the Interministerial Committee on GMO.
I would like to remember that in the website of the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Environment, you can leave comments to every new notification of contained use or voluntary release of GMO for a month after the publication of the notification.
6. In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?
The scientific opinion of the NBC is an official report, however the PC opinion is collected in a “report of the meeting”.

Omar del Río
Spain
posted on 2014-05-09 12:30 UTC by Mr Omar del Río Fernández, Spain
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5964]
Posted on behalf of Abisai Mafa, Zimbabwe:

Dear Forum Participants,

Here is my contribution on theme 4: Advisory Bodies


1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?
In the case of Zimbabwe the advisory body the National Biotechnology Authority’s functions are to advise government on all aspects concerning import, export, production, research, development, deliberate release or placing on the market of all LMOs; and to ensure that such undertakings are done as provided for by the law (input into policy development and the implement policy). This also includes informing and involving the public in the development of policy, regulatory frameworks, guidelines, standards and making decisions.

2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)
The minimum number of meetings is 4 times a year for the advisory board, however, committees of the board may meet much more often as business conditions dictate. The meetings are chaired by a chairperson appointed by government. A new corporate governance framework now makes it mandatory to publish the number of meetings attended in a year by each board member. Consensus is encouraged in decision making, however, there are provisions for voting (open).

3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?
In the case of Zimbabwe, members of the board serve in their individual capacity. They are selected based on their competences. Efforts are made to ensure broad representation in terms of stakeholders (scientists, government, academia, civil society) and expertise (technical, legal, financial etc). Members serve for a period of three years. The maximum number is 12. All members are not employees except the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority i.e. the relgulatory body.

4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?
All costs associated with the work of the advisory body are covered by the regulatory agency.

5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 
There are different models of LMO governance. Each having its own strengths and weaknesses. In our case, the body started off as a technical committee to help the country come up with mechanisms to ensure the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology and its products. As the policy came into place and a law was gazetted, the committee gave way to the advisory body with proper legal constitution. This is our experience and we would like to hear from others.

6. In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

The advisory body being a public entity is under scrutiny by the Minister responsible and Parliament. Its activities are tabled annually in Parliament. In addition, any person who is aggrieved by the decision of the body has recourse to the office of the Minister and courts.
posted on 2014-05-09 12:31 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#6008]
I am from Saint Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean.

In Saint Lucia, we are in the process of establishing such a body. Hence I can only say what I would like to see done when this body is set up.  The advisory body should facilitate public participation by giving advice on scientific assessments carried out so that the public can understand the science, take into account socio-economic considerations so that the public can buy into the process, review notifications to help the public understand what is at stake, what is being requested, follow evaluate research so that the public can be clear on the impact of the GMO/LMO, ensure adequate testing of LMOs to deed that information to the public on their possible impact, advice and report to NFPs/CNAs as to what is to be decided upon, and get the public's input into the decision making process.

At present we have no advisory body in place.  However the functions of this biosafety board has been legislated and we hope that this legislation will soon be enacted.

In writing that body into the draft legislation, extensive consultations were held with stakeholders and they decided which agencies should represent the GMO cause on the island comprehensively and as a result, they recommended that public, private, NGO, science, academia should be present on the body. The time period that members should serve and maximum number of members were also in place.

The extensive consultations showed that as much as possible that the notifier should cover the cost of the work of the advisory body.  The body will not expect the members to be paid.

The advisory body should meet at all points from the development of the regulatory frameworks to the implementation of them, field trials, decision making according to Saint Lucia's actual experience and what we would like to see happen.

The main points and decisions are collected through minutes taken of meetings and integrated in development plans for biosafety management.

There are no criteria at this time.
posted on 2014-05-14 20:34 UTC by Ms. Anita James, Saint Lucia
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#6013]
Theme 4: Advisory bodies

Here my comments on the theme 4.

• What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?

There is a number of key functions of an advisory body in facilitating public participation:
- Public awareness and education on biosafety issues;
- Public discussion process;
- Collection and analysis of the final summaries;
- Provision governmental competent bodies with analytical data or concrete conclusion/summary of public discussions. 

• In your experience, how are advisory bodies being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

In our experience, open discussions should be conducted because the people have right to be informed on GMOs and genetic engineering activities.

• In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

In our experience, the meetings should be balanced by representation from the public groups with similar interests or life style, etc. – e.g. by professional or by age criteria, so on. The participants should be able to listen to each other and understand each other what they are talking about. Misunderstanding is the main reason of unsuccessful meetings on sharp social problems.  

• Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?

Organizers should cover the costs (a local administration, a national coordination biosafety centre, etc.).

• In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory bodies meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 

Advisory bodies should organize the public discussions prior to any decision making in regard to LMO import and/or commercial use. 


• In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?

The integration of the outcomes of the public discussions into the decision-making process at the governmental level should be open for the public through the annual/biennial reviews and website of the national coordination biosafety centre or the ministry or other national competent authority.
posted on 2014-05-15 09:25 UTC by Assoc. Prof. Elena Makeyeva, Belarus
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#6031]
Posted on behalf of Mr. Wouamane Mbele, Cameroon:

Dear Participants, please find below my comments on theme 4:

• What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?
Yes the advisory body should include all these.

• In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)
Yes Advisory boards are conducted in regular meetings basis, with a chairperson, with a required quorum, open  discussions and open votings.

• In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?
Government officials, NGOs, public and private sector, scientific experts, academia, youth, gender should be considered. There should be a time period, eventually renewable, as well as ther should be a limited number of members.

• Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?
The Government or the promoter should cover the costs.

• In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 
At all these points.
No this is not sufficient: they should continue meeting for follow-up.

• In what way are the main points/decisions collected (e.g. minutes, reports, votes) and integrated into outcomes of final decisions? Are there criteria for evaluating the integration into decisions (e.g. periodic reviews, assigned government officials)?
Yes the main points are collected through meeting minutes, reports after discussions and often voting. Yes there is a mechanism of follow-up and evaluation, to make sure that recommendations are implemented or integrated, through periodic reviews and assigned responsibilities.
posted on 2014-05-16 09:00 UTC by Mr DECLAN AMBE
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#6047]
Dear All

My views on the Advisory bodies as per the laid questions are as follows

1)functions of Advisory body is to give confidence to the public and should be legally responsible for the out come of the LMOS

2)Advisory boards should be conducted once in a yaer and any time if required.and should be elected on voting ballot .

3) Advisory board member should be technically sound  and should be from research background
should be  permanent  / dedicated employee and should be for a period of at least three years

4) Government should bear the cost.

5) the advisory board should meet regularly or at least  quarterly, this is not sufficient for preparing the decision making process

6) main points / desicions  collected through feed back forms are set as criteria for evaluating the out come of final decisions
posted on 2014-05-16 18:36 UTC by KARIPALLI AGNES RAJU, EXPORT INSPECTION AGENCY-KOLKATA (Ministry of Commerce and Industry , Govt.of India)
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5973]
As a member of the Informal Advisory Board to the BCH, I obviously value advisory boards as a form of public participation with regard to specific organisations.

The key functions are usually determined by the mandate given to the board and the scope of the organisation. In this regard, they can give valuable input and oversight over the workings of a wide range of organisations, but they cannot replace wider public debates. They can also play an important role in providing the necessary transparancy, that in turn allow the public to participate in the decission-making.
posted on 2014-05-09 15:06 UTC by Ms. Antje Lorch, Ecoropa
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#5996]
1. As its name indicates it, a consultative body is not that
which makes the decision but provides to the decision makers the
scientific information and tools, economic and social to make it
possible to the decision makers to make a good decision.  It has a
role primarily to advise. 

2.  Each consultative body has rules of procedure which determine the operating mode.  These rules of procedure can determine the ordinary meetings (4 per year
) and of the extraordinary meetings according to the
need and urgencies'.  It also should be announced that the presence
and the quorum, mode of poll come within province of the rules of
procedure.
3.  The composition of the consultative bodies is
determined by the organic law of the body.  In the known cases, the
such councils economic, and social of Benin, all the stakeholders
are members with knowing economic trade union, trade
associations, operators).  Then concerning the field of the OVM, one
will need scientists, academics, the private sector, associations of
the producers and consumers.  The office of a consultative body must
work in full time.  The others will work at the time of the sessions
ordinary and extraordinary. 
4.  The operational costs will have to be
covered by the government but supports coming from the technical and
financial partners are also requested with regard to the developing
countries.  The public opinions are ensured by the consultative body
through its budget.
5.  By my experience, the consultative body but be at the start of the process:  development and adoption of the reglementation, as of notification, the importation and tests in the
fields.
6.  The consultative body being implied in the process from
the very start these contributions are very useful at the time of the
catch of the decisions.  At the time of the decisions, the
recommendations of the consultative body will have to be integrated.
posted on 2014-05-11 18:51 UTC by Mr. Comlan Marcel KAKPO, Ministère de l'Environnement, de l'Habitat et de l'Urbanisme
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#6007]
1. What should the key functions be for an advisory body (e.g. advisory committees/commissions) in facilitating public participation (e.g. advice on scientific, take into account socio-economic considerations, review notifications, follow/evaluate research, ensure adequate testing of LMOs, advice/report to NFPs/CNAs, involve the public)?
Au Burkina Faso, nous avons deux organes consultatifs en matières de biosécurité.
- Le premier organe consultatif est un comité scientifique national de biosécurité qui a un rôle de conduire l’évaluation des risques lors de demandes d’utilisation des OGM et d’apprécier les résultats scientifiques des expérimentations ; Cet organe fait des recommandations à l’autorité nationale compétente sur le dossier soumis.
- Le deuxième organe consultatif est un observatoire national de biosécurité qui compte 33 membres venant de l’administration publique  et de la société civile. C’est à cet organe que revient un rôle de veille quand à l’utilisation des OGM et aussi un rôle d’information du public. Dans la mesure où ces 33 membres sont des représentants de structures public, d’associations de producteurs, de consommateurs etc, ils doivent relayer l’information à leur base et recueillir les commentaires.
2. In your experience, how are advisory boards being conducted (e.g. regular meetings 1-4 times a year, facilitated by a Chair, required attendance/quorum, voting through secret ballot, open discussions)

Les deux organes consultatifs existants ont deux réunions statutaires par an. Mais peuvent se réunir selon le besoin. Chaque organe consultatif on retrouve un président et un rapporteur des séances.
Pour le Comité scientifique en plus des deux rencontres statutaires par an, il se réunit si un dossier de demande est soumis.
Lors de l’appréciation d’un dossier, une évaluation ne peut se faire que si un certain quorum est atteint. Pour la décision,  il s’agit de retrouver un consensus par rapport à une demande. Il n’y a pas de vote.

3. In your experience, what should the criteria be for selecting and/or nominating a balanced and sufficient representation from the public (e.g. government officials, non-governmental organizations, private sector, scientific experts, academia)? What other criteria are in place (e.g. the time period for members, maximum number of members, full/part-time employees)?

Pour le comité chargé de l’évaluation des risques, le critère pour en être membre est un niveau académique donné et surtout des compétences reconnues dans un domaine touchant la question des OGM. Aussi, tous les membres proviennent du secteur public.
Pour l’Observatoire, ce sont les structures qui sont désignées par le gouvernement et les membres sont désignés par leur structures respectives, selon leurs critères. Les membres sont nommés par la suite pour un mandat d’une durée de 3 ans renouvelable une fois et le renouvellement se fait au 2/3 de façon à garder une mémoire au sein de l’organe.
4. Who should cover the costs (e.g. members being paid, operational costs, public notices)?
Les membres ne reçoivent pas de salaires mais des frais pour leur sessions qui sont payés par l’Etat.
Les frais de fonctionnement proviennent de l’Etat. Ils peuvent utiliser certaines facilités au niveau de l’Autorité nationale compétente
5. In your experience, at what point(s) in the decision-making process on LMOs should advisory boards meet (e.g. development of regulatory frameworks, field trials and/or prior to making a decision on an import of an LMO)? Are these sufficient? 

Ces organes doivent être impliqués à tous les niveaux et ce, depuis l’élaboration des cadres règlementaires jusqu’à la prise de décision.  Leur rôle doit aussi concerner l’après décision dans la mesure où la règlementation laisse la possibilité dans certains cas de pouvoir revenir sur la décision prise.
posted on 2014-05-14 17:11 UTC by Pr. Chantal Yvette Zoungrana Kabore, Burkina Faso
RE: Theme 4: Advisory bodies [#6016]
1. Comme son nom l’indique, un organe consultatif n’est pas celui qui prend la décision mais fournit aux décideurs les informations et les outils scientifiques, économiques et sociaux pour permettre aux décideurs de prendre une bonne décision.  Il a un rôle essentiellement de conseiller.

2. Chaque organe consultatif a un règlement intérieur qui détermine le mode de fonctionnement. Ce règlement intérieur peut déterminer les réunions ordinaires (4 fois par ans  soit une fois par trimestre) et des réunions extraordinaires selon les besoin et les urgences. Il faut également signaler que la présence et le quorum, mode de scrutin sont du domaine du règlement intérieur.

3. La composition des organes consultatifs est déterminée par la loi organique de l’organe. Dans les cas connus, tels les conseils économique, et social du Bénin, toutes les parties prenantes sont membres à savoir syndicat, associations professionnelle, opérateurs économique). Alors pour ce qui concerne le domaine des OVM, il faudra des scientifiques, des universitaires, le secteur privé, les associations des producteurs et des consommateurs. Le bureau d’un organe consultatif doit travailler en plein temps. Les autres travailleront lors des sessions ordinaire et extraordinaire. 

4. Les coûts opérationnels devront être couvris par le gouvernement mais des appuis venant des partenaires techniques et financiers sont également sollicités en ce qui concerne les pays en développement. Les avis publics sont assurés par l’organe consultatif à travers son budget.

5. Par mon expérience, l’organe consultatif dès le début du processus : élaboration et adoption du règlement, dès notification, l’importation et les essais aux champs.

6. L’organe consultatif étant impliqué dans le processus dès le début ces contributions sont très utiles lors de la prise des décisions. Lors des décisions, les recommandations de l’organe consultatif devront être intégrées.
posted on 2014-05-15 12:49 UTC by Mr. Comlan Marcel KAKPO, Ministère de l'Environnement, de l'Habitat et de l'Urbanisme