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Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6568]
Dear members of the AHTEG sub-group,

I am pleased to announce the opening of the second discussion of the sub-group in this intersessional period.

In this discussion, members of the sub-group are invited to identify (i) which general issues highlighted in the testing of the Guidance may be incorporated or improved upon, and (ii) whether or not any of the topics for additional guidance, as prioritized by the previous AHTEG, could also be incorporated during the revision process.

To facilitate the discussion, the Secretariat prepared and made available two background documents (available at http://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/RA_ahteg_subgroup/):

• an Excel file containing the general comments provided through the testing of the Guidance and subsequently grouped into category B;
• an Word file containing the list of topics prioritized by the previous AHTEG for the development of further guidance.

In identifying the general issues and topics that may be incorporated or improved upon during the revision of the Guidance, as appropriate, members of the AHTEG sub-group are invited to focus on the “big picture”, taking into account the relevance and impact of each issue/topic in improving the Guidance, rather than going into detail of how that could be done. Members of the sub-group may also wish to consider assessing the feasibility of their proposals particularly when identifying new topics to be incorporated in the Guidance.

In other words, the AHTEG sub-group is invited to identify on which issues and topics the AHTEG could best focus its efforts with a view to revising the Guidance in an efficient manner, taking also into account the inherent challenges in the process, including time limitations, divergence of views, and the fact that it works primarily online, etc.

This discussion is crucial in the revision of the Guidance as its outputs will pave the way for all future steps in the process.

This discussion will take place from 30 March to 13 April 2015 at 1:00 a.m. GMT (i.e. for countries west of the Greenwich meridian, the discussion will close on the night of Sunday, 12 March 2015).

I very much look forward to your contribution. Thank you.

Best regards,
Manoela
posted on 2015-03-30 12:31 UTC by Ms. Manoela Miranda, UNEP/SCBD
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6573]
Dear Subgroup:
As we discussed earlier, I am re-posting my post made on the 15th of March related to some general comments made. I am doing so to invite all to discuss briefly if you agree/disagree with them, would suggest adding some other issue/s, and how we could maybe develop them further.
Here is the original posting:


Dear Subgroup and Secretariat!
As I mentioned in my previous message, I am adding some general comments and/or issues that I have identified through reading the two sections (roadmap and general comments). I hope these might be helpful in following discussions with the whole AHTEG and with the online forum at due time…..
1.-Scope. There seems to be a need on explicitly recapitulating on scope of the roadmap and targeted audience, I feel there is not an agreement on these issues.
2.- I found out that some of those who went through the testing process did it in a way that to my eyes may have been not too useful. They designed a methodology that included testing the guidance by using BCH reports on previous risk assessments, but expecting them to be aligned and consistent with the guidance (or vice versa?). This is circular in nature, the analysis is then confusing because he or she who analyses is probably expecting something beforehand that the guidance will not provide.
3.-Several information gaps were identified and it might be useful to analyze them.
4.- Some comments are related to a lack of logical linkage (in spanish we say "hilo conductor") between the different steps&sections in the roadmap and how these also relate to the different sections with the specific documents (trees, mosquitoes, stacked genes, etc).
5.- Several comments deal with an absence on "human health issues".
6.- The Roadmap should be more general and less focussed on plants.
7.- The need of including examples.
8.- Several comments talk about the need of mentioning the benefits derived from LMOs and not only focussing on the possible risks…….this is not convincing to me in particular because the whole point of the guidance is trying to "guide" on what the Cartagena Protocol calls on for in relation to "risk assessment"….i.e., benefits are not the point in this exercise all together (that does not mean that the Protocol does not recognize that potential benefits are to be expected and welcomed, but it should´t be part of this guidance)…
9.- Several comments advice taking into account in a formal manner in the guidance all the accumulated knowledge on non LMOs, as for comparative approach when doing the risk assessment.

I hope these comments or identified issues are useful later on in our work.

Un abrazo,
Fran
posted on 2015-03-30 15:02 UTC by Ms. Francisca Acevedo, Mexico
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6581]
Dear members of the AHTEG sub-group,

I would like to thank you all for the very useful teleconference we had yesterday. We will soon prepare and circulate the minutes of the teleconference with the entire AHTEG.

As agreed during the teleconference, I revised the Excel file containing the comments in category B to add two columns entitled "High-priority (yes/no)" and "Comments" (columns F and G, respectively). Kindly use these columns to enter your comments and feedback for each of the sections of the Guidance, ideally starting with the Roadmap, followed by general comments and the comments on the specific sections of the Guidance. The revised Excel file can be found in the page of the discussion at https://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/RA_ahteg_subgroup/ and attached to this message (when seeing it at https://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/ra_ahteg_subgroup/?threadid=6568) for your ease of reference.

Many thanks and please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance.

We are looking forward to your comments.

Best wishes,
Manoela
(edited on 2015-04-01 20:35 UTC by Manoela Miranda)
posted on 2015-03-31 21:38 UTC by Ms. Manoela Miranda, UNEP/SCBD
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6593]
POSTED ON BEHALF OF ABISAI MAFA
(note by the Secretariat: the attachment to this message is only accessible through the webpage of the discussion at https://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/ra_ahteg_subgroup/?threadid=6568#6593 . The attachment will NOT be displayed when this message is read via email)

-----


Dear Manoela,

Many thanks for your email concerning the above subject matter. Forgive me for my lack of clarity. As you may be aware, I got cut off from the teleconference at 507pm Zimbabwean time, just an hour into the conference, and have no idea how the conference finally ended. Hopefully you had a good ending.

I also understand that some of my colleagues in the subgroup had problems picking up my comments. The major issues I raised were that the category B comments can be divided into two: those who felt that the guidance is okay in its current form, is ready for implementation and there will be no value in revising it now, a view which I hold. The other side seemed to suggest that the guidance is difficult, needs to be restructured and simplified etc. However, they did not provide solid suggestions for improvement. My taking of this is that the guidance should be passed in its current form, the comments made for improvements could be noted and archived for consideration at a time when there are strong arguments for its revisions e.g. new biotech tools or advances in biosafety science.

Concerning the framework please find attached my attempt to implement your suggestion. Please let me know if I have done what you requested.

Regards

Abisai
(edited on 2015-04-01 20:22 UTC by Manoela Miranda)
posted on 2015-04-01 20:22 UTC by Ms. Manoela Miranda, UNEP/SCBD
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6595]
Dear Abisai,

Many thanks for sharing your views on the comments under the "general_comments_section" of category B.

I am very sorry that you got disconnected. The teleconference lasted for some 15-20 minutes after we lost you. The minutes of the teleconference will soon be circulated and you will be able to catch up on what you missed.

I understand your point of view regarding the Guidance and the revision process, but the COP-MOP mandated the AHTEG to revise the Guidance on the basis of the comments provided through the testing done last year and submit a revised version of the Guidance to the next meeting of the COP-MOP in December 2016.

As such, the current AHTEG is bound, as per the COP-MOP decision, to revise the Guidance during the current intersessional period. Archiving the comments for consideration at a later time would not be a feasible option.

With that in mind, it would be greatly appreciated if you could also provide your views on the other comments under category B, in particular those related to the Roadmap (please see also my next message addressed to all members of the sub-group).

Many thanks for your contribution!

Best wishes,
Manoela
posted on 2015-04-01 20:59 UTC by Ms. Manoela Miranda, UNEP/SCBD
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6596]
Dear members of the AHTEG sub-group,

Just a technicality which I forgot to explain in my message of yesterday.

Please note that the Excel file containing the comments in category B has 7 tables: “Roadmap”, “Stacked”, “Abiotic”, “LM mosquitoes”, “LM trees”, “Monitoring” and “General comments section”.

You may navigate from one table to the next by clicking on the tabs at the bottom-left corner of the Excel file.

In case of difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you and best wishes,
Manoela
posted on 2015-04-01 21:00 UTC by Ms. Manoela Miranda, UNEP/SCBD
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6597]
Dear Subgroup and Secretariat:
I am now responding to what we were asked, which I include:

"In this discussion, members of the sub-group are invited to identify (i) which general issues highlighted in the testing of the Guidance may be incorporated or improved upon, and (ii) whether or not any of the topics for additional guidance, as prioritized by the previous AHTEG, could also be incorporated during the revision process."

So, I looked into comments categorized as B throughout the excel sheet, and tried to identify those that suggested some kind of improvement, that is, I did not take into account those that said "how good or how bad the guidance was" but had no identifiable improvement suggested.

Again, I did not look into who made the comments to try and be as neutral as possible.

I am adding the excel with the info on the yes/no priority column and the comments column (in which I tried to highlight what, out of the inputs made, I thought was a priority to be taken on board).

I am also adding a second document that shows my reaction towards looking into the prioritized topics for the development of further guidance under the logic of identifying those topics I thought could be included in the roadmap without needing to develop further specific guidance (.....but elaborating on the topics in the roadmap itself).

Un abrazo a todos!

Fran
posted on 2015-04-02 00:00 UTC by Ms. Francisca Acevedo, Mexico
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6605]
Dear Secretariat, Helmut and sub-group colleagues.
First, thanks Manoela for all your guiding and preparatory work. Much appreciated!
And thank you very much Fran and Abisai for already braking the ice.
As I promised during our call last Monday, I'll try to send comments on the RM before my 4-days Eastern break. So here comes!
I have dated my exel April 2 so I can replace it with a newer version later.
Looking very much for our discussions.
Best wishes,
Marja
posted on 2015-04-02 20:57 UTC by Marja Ruohonen-Lehto
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6623]
Dear all,

Many thanks to Abisai, Francisca and Marja for your very useful feedback.

As you may be aware, the next activity according to the tentative calendar is a discussion of the entire Online Forum and the AHTEG starting on 27 April. In preparing for that discussion and, more importantly, presenting the outcomes of the Sub-group to the larger groups in a way that helps the visualization, I made an attempt to merge the feedback which you provided so far on the general comments on the Roadmap.

I was very pleased to see some emerging issues that, according to your feedback, are relevant during the revision of the Guidance. However, instead of focusing on substance, the aim of this message is to invite you to provide feedback on HOW the merge was done.

In dealing with the priorities, I replaced the "yes" and "no" under the priority column by a scale from 1 (low priority) to 5 (high priority). For example, if Francisca and Marja had both given "yes" to a comment to indicate its priority, the resulting rating was "5"; if they both gave "no" to a comment, the resulting rating was "1"; if there was one "yes" and one "no", the resulting rating was "3", and so forth... The idea is to adjust the rating as other members of the Sub-group provide additional feedback.

In dealing with the comments, I merged the ideas, so that they were all reflected in a single column. Moreover, sometimes I made editorial adjustments in an attempt to harmonize the text.

Kindly have a look at the columns with GREEN heading in the attached file (you must look at this message in the online forum at https://bch.cbd.int/onlineconferences/ra_ahteg_subgroup/?threadid=6568 to be able to see the attachment as it will not appear in the email message). For ease of reference, I left your original feedback in the columns with RED headings, but these columns would be deleted before sharing the merged feedback with the Online Forum and AHTEG. 

Please let me know if you think that this is an appropriate way to present the results of this discussion the Open-ended Forum and AHTEG. Please feel at ease to propose changes to improve the way the results are presented to the larger groups. They are YOUR results after all!

Last but not least, please note that, so far, we only have feedback on the Roadmap from Francisca and Marja. It would be very important if every member of the AHTEG sub-group could, at least, provide feedback on the "Roadmap" and on the "General comments section" (we already have Francisca's and Abisai's feedback on the latter). 

Many thanks for your help in this important step of the revision of the Guidance. I look forward to further feedback from you.

Best wishes,
Manoela
posted on 2015-04-07 21:59 UTC by Ms. Manoela Miranda, UNEP/SCBD
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6628]
Dear All,

Sorry for the delayed response. Attached please find my comments. I finish the task in a hurry although I did not recommend rush decision on risk assessment. I am open to your feedback. As you see I did not respond to some positive testing comments.

Thank you!

Wei
posted on 2015-04-09 06:33 UTC by Mr. Wei Wei, China
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6629]
Dear all,

please find attached here my comments to the category B_roadmap.

Thank you and best wishes,
Angela
posted on 2015-04-09 09:16 UTC by Angela Lozan
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6655]
Dear all,
sorry for a late second response.
Too many other things came on the way of this important work.
Here is my second exel-file now containing comments on all sections.
I forgot to mention in my first intervention that yes in parenthesis (yes) would mean that this is not top priority but somewhere in the middle. Manoela already introduced a way forward to combine our comments. So please take this into consideration when combining our comments. I found your suggestion very good Manoela!
I will still comment on Fran's list of "general issues" and the list on "further guidance" (also here using as help Fran's comments).
Best and really looking forward to our combined comments and the discussions at the end of April.
Marja
posted on 2015-04-12 21:41 UTC by Marja Ruohonen-Lehto
RE: Opening of the discussion: Identifying general issues and new topics to be improved or incorporated in the revision of the Guidance [#6656]
Dear all,
please find attached my comments on prioritized topics list (into Fran's file) and Fran's combined list on general comments. Thanks to all of you for your comments. I think that we are really proceeding!
Talk to you all soon again.
Marja
posted on 2015-04-12 22:33 UTC by Marja Ruohonen-Lehto