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Third National Reports FAQ

This page provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the preparation and submission of Third National Reports.

If you do not find your question among the FAQs below, you may use the forum at the end of this page to post a question.

Question 1: What is the deadline for submission of the Third National Report?

31 October 2015 – i.e. 12 months prior to the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP). Parties are urged to submit their reports in a timely manner. The Third National Reports are the primary source of information for the combined third assessment and review of the Protocol and mid-term evaluation of the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety for the period 2011-2020. Late submissions will not be included in the compilation and analysis of the reports to be reviewed by the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) in May 2016. The SBI is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the COP-MOP for consideration at its eighth meeting.

Questions 2: How is the Third National Report submitted?

The report is submitted online through the Management Centre of the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) at the following address: Third National Report online form. You are encouraged to use the offline template/format for the Third National Report (available in Microsoft Word format at: Offline template of the Third National Report) to gather and organize information prior to online submission.

Question 3: Who is authorized to complete the Third National Report online through the BCH?

National Focal Points for the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH-NFPs) and National Authorized Users (NAUs). For more information on NAUs, please see NAU FAQ. If you are a BCH-NFP and are not sure how to register an NAU to complete the report, please contact us at bch@cbd.int. Note that BCH-NFPs must validate reports completed by NAUs prior to publication in the BCH.

Question 4: How do I submit the report if I have limited Internet connectivity?

In this case, you may submit the completed offline template/format for the Third National Report in Microsoft Word format directly to the Secretariat (at secretariat@cbd.int), as an attachment to an e-mail, including a scanned copy of the first signed page.

Question 5: What is the format of the Third National Report?

Most questions are in a multiple-choice format requiring only a tick in one or more boxes. Text fields are available so that Parties may provide further details.

Question 6: In what language can I submit the Third National Report?

The report may be submitted in any of the 6 official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Note that there is a ‘Specify languages’ button on the first page of the online reporting format to select the language.

Question 7: I have already submitted the Second National Report. Am I required to complete the Third National Report as well?

Yes. Decision BS-I/9 requires Parties to submit a National Report every four years. The Third National Report is intended to gather important information regarding the effectiveness of the Protocol and progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the Protocol for the period 2011-2020. The Third National Report format consists of a series of questions based on the provisions of the Protocol as well as questions that relate to indicators in the Strategic Plan. All questions listed in the report format contribute to measuring progress against the baseline adopted by decision BS-VI/15, paragraph 2.

The general principles that have been applied in the development of the Third National Report are as follows:

a) the retention of all questions from the Second National Report format that require regular updating (i.e. refer to information and/or measurable indicators that may change between reporting times) as requested in decision BS-V/14, paragraph 8(a), point (i);

b) the introduction of all questions from the survey on the indicators of the Strategic Plan (Indicator Survey);

c) the deletion of all questions from the Second National Report format whose answers are already available to the Secretariat through the Biosafety Clearing-House; and

d) the merging of all questions that were similar, or addressed the same issues, in both the Second National Report format and in the dedicated survey on the indicators.

Question 8: What time period is the report intended to cover?

It is intended to cover the period between the submission of the Second National Report and the date of submission of the Third National Report. In the case of countries that became a Party to the Protocol after 30 September 2011 (deadline for submission of the Second National Report) the time period to be covered in the Third National Report is the period between the entry into force of the Protocol for that Party and the date of completion/submission of the Third National Report.

Question 9: Why are some of the questions in the reporting format highlighted with a grey background?

These questions are not strictly based on either the provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, or the indicators of the Strategic Plan, or the decisions of the COP-MOP, but are however included in the reporting format to help in the assessment and review of the Protocol in the context of Article 35.

Question 10: Why am I blocked from answering some of the questions?

Your answer in the preceding question may not require you to complete the succeeding related question(s). Simply proceed to where you are able to continue filling in the questions.

Question 11: What does the red star beside a question mean?

This indicates that the question is mandatory and that you will not be able to publish/submit your report until it is completed.

Question 12: Is my country eligible for UNEP-GEF funding to complete the Third National Report?

Please refer to the following notification for further details: Notification.

Eligible Parties may contact:

Alex Owusu-Biney
Portfolio Manager (Biosafety), GEF Coordination
Division of Environmental Policy Implementation
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
P. O. Box 30552 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 7624066
Fax: +254 20 7624041/42
Email: Alex.Owusu-Biney@unep.org
Web: http://www.unep.org/biosafety

Questions and Answers

You may use the forum below to post any questions related to the Third National Report which were not included among the FAQs above. Kindly note that you must be signed in to the BCH to post questions in this forum. Please create a new thread for each question being asked.

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