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Online discussion 2015 - Discussion Groups

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Question 3: What are possible environment-related aspects of socio economic considerations that could arise from the use of LMOs, and which would be relevant in the context Article 26 of the Protocol? How can they be distinguished from those covered in other processes under the Protocol, e.g. risk assessment and risk management?

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An structural approach [#6665]
Dear All

An input as the South African representative (i.e. not the moderator):

Perhaps it would be useful to divide environmental aspects into:

1) Intended ‘environment’ impacts (if any, e.g. impacts to targeted pests and localized weeds), and the links to socio-economics.   This can be further divided:
a. Does the impact to the pest/weed biodiversity directly affect socio-economics?
b. Does the impact to the pest/weed affect broader ecosystem services?

2) Un-intended ‘environment’ impacts (e.g. impacts to non-target insects and plants, and ecosystem services, if any), and the links to socio economics. 

In category (1) above, there are more clearly defined parameters (i.e. the LMO is meant to have an impact) on which to base SE considerations. In general, a negative impact to a pest population would be considered a positive SE impact, but there could be isolated exceptions(?).  This could be considered by regulators at the time of the risk assessment/decision-making.

In category (2), there would have to be a monitoring process/phase that seeks to determine possible biodiversity impacts, before their SE effects can be considered.  The latter, then, would not be concurrent with risk assessment, but rather a process under risk management.

In both cases, however, SA would want to consider these in the light of national policy / strategy (eg balance between development and environmental impacts), and in comparison with conventional agriculture.

posted on 2015-04-13 13:41 UTC by Mr. Ben David Durham, South Africa