The sampling, detection and identification of living modified organisms (LMOs) is a cross-cutting and broad reaching activity, whose successful implementation can facilitate the application of several articles of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
With the adoption of the Strategic Plan
for implementation of the Protocol for the period 2011-2020 by the COP-MOP as per decision BS-V/16
, several outcomes were set out that are relevant to LMO sampling, detection and identification, specifically:
- Easy to use and reliable technical tools for the detection of unauthorized LMOs are developed and made available (under Focal Area 1, Operational Objective 1.6);
- Guidance developed to assist Parties to detect and take measures to respond to unintentional releases of living modified organisms (under Focal Area 1, Operational Objective 1.8); and
- Personnel are trained and equipped for sampling, detection and identification of LMOs (under Focal Area 2, Operational Objective 2.3).
The successful implementation of these operational objectives will have a direct impact on the application of several articles of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, as represented below.
In working towards establishing activities relating to the sampling, detection and identification of LMOs, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP) at its fifth meeting, in decision BS-V/9
, requested the establishment, through the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), of an electronic network of laboratories
involved in the detection and identification of LMOs and the organization of workshops for representatives of detection laboratories with the view to making progress toward the outcomes of the Strategic Plan.