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What has been done in capacity building

The ICCP process

Prior to the entry into force of the Protocol, an interim governing body, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP), was established by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (decision EM-I/3).

At its first meeting, the ICCP invited the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat to organize an expert meeting to develop proposals on the implementation of the capacity-building provisions of the Protocol and requested the Secretariat to maintain the Roster of Experts and to make it available through the BCH. The ICCP-1 considered an initial framework for capacity-building under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety prepared by the Secretariat (UNEP/CBD/ICCP/1/4), projects/programmes being undertaken or planned at all levels (UNEP/CBD/ICCP/1/INF/1) and an initial strategy for assisting countries to prepare for the entry into force of the Protocol (UNEP/CBD/ICCP/1/INF/2). ICCP-1 also invited Parties and Governments to submit their nominations of experts to the Secretariat.

At its second meeting, in its Recommendation 2/9, the ICCP developed recommendations to be forwarded to the first meeting of the governing body of the Protocol (COP-MOP 1). As requested by the expert group, ICCP-2 also considered a review on the role of different bodies in supporting capacity-building (UNEP/CBD/ICCP/2/10) and agreed upon the action plan.

At its third meeting, in its Recommendation 3/5, ICCP recommended COP-MOP 1 information on draft procedures and mechanisms on a coordination mechanism for capacity-building initiatives and interim guidelines for the roster of experts. ICCP-3 reviewed identification of the coverage and gaps in capacity-building initiatives and resources for the Protocol. It also considered a preliminary set of indicators of the action plan (UNEP/CBD/ICCP/3/6) and, among other things, information on the UNEP/GEF project

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COP-MOP deliberations

At its first meeting, the COP-MOP in its decision BS-I/5 endorsed an Action Plan for Building Capacities for the Effective Implementation of the Protocol as well as the Coordination Mechanism developed by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP). The COP-MOP also considered a preliminary set of criteria and indicators for monitoring implementation of the Action Plan. Finally the COP-MOP decided to include capacity-building as one of the standing items on its medium-term programme of work up to its fifth meeting.

At its second meeting, the COP-MOP in decision BS-II/3 , welcomed the progress report on the implementation of the Coordination Mechanism which was prepared by the Executive Secretary ( UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/2/4 ). It also welcomed the compendium of biosafety training and education courses developed by the coordination meeting for institutions offering biosafety-related training and education programmes accessible through the Biosafety Clearing-House.

At its third meeting, the COP-MOP in its decision BS-III/3 adopted a revised Action Plan for Building Capacities for the Effective Implementation of the Protocol as well as measures to facilitate its implementation and effectiveness and to foster coordination and synergies between different capacity-building initiatives.

In decision BS-III/4, COP-MOP outlined a process aimed at strengthening the quality, effectiveness and level of use of the Roster of Biosafety Experts.

At its fourth meeting, the COP-MOP, in decision BS-IV/3, considered the status of implementing the updated Action Plan and its Coordination Mechanism and adopted measures for enhancing the sharing of information and reports regarding their implementation. The COP-MOP also approved a revised set of indicators for monitoring the Action Plan and agreed to review them at its sixth meeting. Furthermore, the COP-MOP adopted measures to promote long-term biosafety education and training. Among other things, developed country Parties, other Governments, GEF, bilateral and multi-lateral agencies were invited to provide financial and other support to enable universities and relevant institutions to develop and/or expand existing biosafety academic programmes and provide scholarships to students from developing country Parties.

At its fifth meeting, the COP-MOP considered the status report on the implementation of the capacity-building Action Plan and the report on the capacity-building needs based on the submissions made by Parties and other Governments. In decision BS-V/3, it urged Parties and other Governments that had not contributed information to the above reports to do so within six months in order to facilitate the comprehensive review of the Action Plan by COP-MOP 6. It also approved the terms of reference for the comprehensive review and invited views and suggestions on possible revisions to the Action Plan. In addition, COP-MOP 5 requested the Secretariat to publish a toolkit on regional and subregional approaches to capacity-building, to develop other toolkits to assist Parties and relevant organizations to improve the effectiveness of their capacity-building initiatives, and to organize an online forum to identify strategic approaches to capacity-building.

At its sixth meeting, the COP-MOP considered the status report on the implementation of the capacity-building activities and the comprehensive review of the Action Plan and its revision. In decision BS-VI/3, Parties adopted a new Framework and Action Plan to replace the updated Action Plan. It also invited Parties, other Governments, and relevant organizations to implement the framework and Action Plan for capacity-building and to share their experiences through the BCH. In addition, COP-MOP 6 requested the Secretariat to continue supporting Parties through strategic capacity-building activities, including regional and subregional training workshops and the development of online training modules.

Some facts

  • To date, more than 136 capacity-building projects have been initiated in different countries/regions, according to the information registered in the BCH.
  • The total international financial assistance for biosafety capacity development in developing countries over the last 10 years stands at over US$ 135 million, according to a study carried out by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies. The largest proportion of this is provided by the Global Environment Facility.

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Capacity Building Needs, Gaps and Priorities

Identifying the capacity-building needs and priorities of countries, as well as the gaps in ongoing initiatives is an important step in developing successful capacity-building activities.

The Protocol, in Article 22, requires Parties when cooperating to build capacity in biosafety, to take into account the needs of developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition for financial resources and access to technology and know-how. In Article 28, Parties are also required, in providing guidance with respect to the financial mechanism, to take into account the needs of those countries in their efforts to identify and implement their capacity-building requirements.

At its first meeting, the COP-MOP considered the first synthesis report of the capacity-building needs and priorities of Parties and other Governments prepared by the Executive Secretary on the basis of the submissions made to the Secretariat. In its decision BS-I/5, the COP-MOP requested Parties and other Governments to submit their capacity-building needs and priorities to the Biosafety Clearing-House and to periodically update their records. The submissions by countries are registered in the BCH capacity needs database.

In the same decision, the COP-MOP requested the Executive Secretary to compile summary reports on the capacity needs and priorities for consideration by the COP-MOP at its regular meetings, and make them available to donor Governments and relevant organizations, as appropriate. The summary reports will be made available here as they are compiled.

In decision BS-II/5, COP-MOP took note of the report on the needs and priorities of countries prepared by the Secretariat (UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/2/INF/7) and requested the Executive Secretary to make it available to donor Governments and relevant organizations. These were invited to provide support to developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to address their needs. COP-MOP encouraged countries to develop prioritized national strategies for capacity-building in biosafety and to promote regional and subregional initiatives and approaches to address common needs.

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