| | english | español | français |
  Home|The Cartagena Protocol|Unintentional Transboundary Movements   Printer-friendly version

Unintentional Transboundary Movements and Emergency Measures

Article 17 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety requires each Party to take appropriate measures to notify and consult with affected or potentially affected States and other relevant bodies when it knows of an occurrence under its jurisdiction resulting in a release that leads, or may lead, to an unintentional transboundary movement of a living modified organism that is likely to have significant adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.

In its decision BS-V/16 the COP-MOP adopted a programme of work for the Cartagena Protocol for the period 2012-2016. In its decision the Parties decided to consider, at their sixth meeting, on unintentional transboundary movements of living modified organisms and emergency measures as provided under Article 17 of the Protocol and to consider the development of tools and guidance that facilitate appropriate responses to unintentional transboundary movements.

In that same decision, with the adoption of the Strategic Plan for implementation of the Protocol for the period 2011-2020 by the COP-MOP, unintentional transboundary movements of living modified organisms and emergency measures was addressed under Operational Objective 1.8 with the view to facilitating the development of tools and guidance that facilitate the implementation of the Protocol's provisions on unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures.

Accordingly, at its sixth meeting, the COP-MOP considered considered the item on unintentional transboundary movements. In their decision BS-VI/16, the COP-MOP, inter alia invited Parties and other Governments to cooperate in building capacity, transferring the technology and exchanging information necessary to detect and respond to occurrences resulting in a release that could lead to unintentional transboundary movement of an LMO that is likely to have significant adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.

In moving towards the implementation of the relevant operational objectives of the Strategic Plan and elements of decision BS-VI/16 the Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms included in its objectives activities to make progress towards the outcomes under, inter alia, operational objective 1.8. As a result of their activities the Network successfully launched a compilation of Technical Tools and Guidance for the Detection and Identification of LMOs and put forward a set of recommendations for the consideration of the COP-MOP at its seventh meeting outlining possible future actions relating to the detection and identification of LMOs as it relates to achieving the outcomes relevant to Operational Objective 1.8 on the Protocol's provisions on unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures.

In considering the progress made towards the relevant outcomes under operational objective 1.8 and the information submitted by Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations on any challenges and experiences relating to the implementation of Article 17 of the Protocol and on the scope and elements of possible guidance or tools that may facilitate appropriate responses by Parties to unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs, the COP-MOP, in their decision BS-VII/10:
  1. Invited Parties and other Governments to submit to the Executive Secretary information on actual cases of unintentional transboundary movement and case studies related to their existing mechanisms for emergency measures in case of unintentional transboundary movements of living modified organisms that are likely to have significant adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, including information on existing rapid alert mechanisms and monitoring systems;
  2. Invited Parties and other Governments, in the context of operational objective 1.8 of the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety for the period 2011-2020, to submit views on what constitutes unintentional transboundary movements in contrast with illegal transboundary movements and what type of information should be exchanged through the Biosafety Clearing-House;
  3. Encouraged Parties and other Governments, without prejudice to Article 21 on confidential information, to ensure that, for regulatory purposes, the information provided by a notifier at the time of notification includes all the information necessary to detect and identify the living modified organism, including information that allows for its unique identification and where reference materials may be obtained;
  4. Requested the Online Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms to continue working on issues relevant to the detection and identification of living modified organisms with a view to achieving the operational objectives of the Strategic Plan relevant to the implementation of Article 17.

In line with the decision of the COP-MOP and with the view to implement the relevant operational objectives of the Strategic Plan activities relating to unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures will be carried out by the Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of Living Modified Organisms.

   
   
Laboratory network
 
Technical Tools and Guidance