At their seventh meeting, the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety requested
the the Executive Secretary to organize, in cooperation with relevant organizations, capacity-building activities such training workshops on sampling, detection and identification of living modified organisms to assist Parties in fulfilling the requirements under Article 17 and towards achieving the relevant outcomes of the Strategic Plan
for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety for the period 2011-2020.
With support from the Government of Japan through the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Korea Biosafety Capacity Building Initiative and in collaboration with Slovenian National Institute of Biology, the Secretariat is organizing the “Central and Eastern European Workshop on the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms” in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 7-11 March 2016, with the objectives of providing theoretical and hands-on training on:
- Sampling, detection and identification of living modified organisms (LMOs) in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety;
- Laboratory methodologies used for the analysis of test samples; and
- Sharing experiences and assessing national needs and gaps for the effective implementation of the relevant outcomes under the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol.
As part of the participants' conclusions and recommendations
following the workshop, they agreed that a series of online activities by the group would facilitate the consolidation of the knowledge gained during the workshop and encourage the sharing of information between labs within the region. As such the participants of the workshop requested that the Secretariat organize online discussions to facilitate participants continued sharing of knowledge and practical experiences on the following topics:
- Sample preparation: Sharing of practical experiences and knowledge on adequate sample size for various matrices, considerations for adequate sample storage and procedures for sample homogenisation were amongst the issues to be discussed under this topic with the view to develop a reference table to be shared amongst the group.
- Extraction methods: Compilation of information and best practices on the most efficient extraction procedures for specific matrices and considerations for troubleshooting difficult samples.
- Testing methods: Assemble an inventory of commonly used testing methods and experiences involving the adaptation of such methods to specific purposes.
In light of these requests the Secretariat has prepared a tentative calendar of activities
outlining the schedule for these discussions.