At its fifth meeting, in decision BS-V/9, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP) mandated a number of activities for laboratories involved in the detection and identification of living modified organisms (LMOs). Specifically, the COP-MOP requested the establishment, through the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), of an electronic network of laboratories involved in the detection and identification of LMOs and the organization of workshops for heads of detection laboratories. The COP-MOP also requested Parties and encouraged other Governments and relevant organizations to make available to the BCH, inter alia, methods for the detection and identification of LMOs.
In decision BS-V/16, the COP-MOP adopted the Strategic Plan for implementation of the Protocol for the period 2011-2020. Among the outcomes set out by the Strategic Plan, the following are relevant to LMO detection and identification:
(i) Easy to use and reliable technical tools for the detection of unauthorized LMOs are developed and made available (under Focal Area 1, Operational Objective 1.6);
(ii) Guidance developed to assist Parties to detect and take measures to respond to unintentional releases of living modified organisms (under Focal Area 1, Operational Objective 1.8); and
(iii) Personnel are trained and equipped for sampling, detection and identification of LMOs (under Focal Area 2, Operational Objective 2.3).
At its sixth meeting, in decision BS-VI/3 on Capacity-Building, the COP-MOP adopted a framework and action plan aimed at advancing the implementation of the capacity-building components of the Strategic Plan. The indicators, results and activities linked to outcome (iii) above as adopted in the capacity-building action plan are available in the annex to the decision. With a view to assisting Parties to address their capacity-building needs and to achieve the outcomes of the Strategic Plan related to the detection of LMOs, and taking into account the activities and expected results of the Capacity-Building Action Plan, the Secretariat is reconvening the Network of Laboratories for Detection and Identification of LMOs and launching a process comprising online discussions and a face-to-face workshop to bring together representatives of laboratories performing LMO detection.
The objectives of the Network are to:
(i) develop a strategy to address Parties’ needs regarding detection and identification of LMOs to be presented as a set of recommendations for consideration of the COP-MOP at its seventh meeting; and
(ii) compile laboratory methods for the detection of LMOs, in particular those unauthorized or unintentionally released into the environment for publication in the Biosafety Technical Series.
In line with the tentative calendar of activities
, a new series of online discussions will start in May 2013 and will focus on the following themes:
- National regulatory context and current capacity for detecting LMOs;
- Overview of existing networks for LMO detection and identification;
- Compilation of laboratory methods for the detection and identification of LMOs;
- Access to DNA sequence information and reference material;
- Specificity, sensitivity and costs of established methods for LMO detection;
- Emerging techniques for LMO detection;
- Challenges and progress in the detection of LMOs unintentionally released into the environment and unauthorized LMOs;
- Recommendations to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.
An international workshop for representatives of laboratories involved in the detection of LMOs will be held tentatively in September 2013. Participants in the workshop will be selected from among those participating actively in the online discussion groups.
What is the forum?
This is a virtual platform where experts can interact and exchange experiences on the use and development of LMO sampling and detection techniques. The online forum is part of a continuous process established in decisions BS-III/10
Who can participate
As per notification SCBD/BS/CG/KG/jh/77120
an invitation for the nomination of LMO detection laboratories to the Electronic Network of Laboratories for LMO detection and identification was issued in August 2011 (Also available in French
Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis:
To find out whether or not your organisation is registered with the BCH please search our records for Organizations involved in Biosafety Activities.
For more information, please contact the Secretariat