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Online discussions on socio-economic considerations

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Forum 1: Focused discussion on experiences in considering socio-economic aspects in decision taking on LMOs (discussion to take place during week 1 of the forum)

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New Zealand [#9863]
Participants are invited to comment on and add views to the submission by New Zealand in this thread.
posted on 2019-09-08 23:45 UTC by Ms. Paola Scarone, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
RE: New Zealand [#9877]
Dear all,
I appreciate this opportunity to learn from others' experiences and to discuss this very relevant topic. I have read the submission by New Zealand and am somewhat overwhelmed by the massive amount of material to plough through in order to gain a picture of how socioeconomic considerations are considered in the New Zealand decision-making process. A synthesis of the material provided would have been very helpful.

In my consideration, only one of the submitted applications had relevance to the Cartagena Protocol's work on Socioeconomic considerations; the application by Scion for field trials of genetically modified Pinus radiata. This application was made in 2010 and predates the development of the Cartagena Protocol's work on guidelines for socio-economic considerations, so cannot reflect the use of the guidance.

In Scion’s application and decision for field trials of GM Pinus radiata, it is apparent that consultations with the Maori were made and that other people were invited to contribute with their views to the proceedings of the decision, but how these consultations were made and what was discussed is not explained, other than who should decide in the question of granting rights to use the land for field trials and return of the land after 25 years. Other socioeconomic considerations are not considered, other than that the product could lead to economic gain by the Maori.

In the application form itself, it is interesting to note that the applicant is required to answer a question on how the organism to be developed/used in a field trial may affect " the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu, valued flora and fauna and other taonga and the principle of the Treaty of Waitangi". Here follows a description of the consultation process with the Maori – with a long discussion of the politics of who should decide and invitation to the general Maori population to submit written views.

Other socioeconomic considerations were raised in the hearing leading to the decision, but focused primarily on economic considerations; such as how this field trial could affect the Forest Stewardship Certification for New Zealand’s forest products.

My questions remain unanswered – What does New Zealand consider as socioeconomic considerations, other than the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions to the land, in decisions on genetically modified organisms? How are socioeconomic considerations assessed and considered in decisions pertaining to living modified organisms under the Cartagena Protocol?

Best regards,
Melanie Josefsson

And as a postscript on another note – having been involved in eradication of invasive alien Pinus radiata in national parks and coasts in Sweden - is it really so wise to develop a herbicide resistant Pinus radiata?
posted on 2019-09-09 16:42 UTC by Ms. Melanie Josefsson, Sweden
RE: New Zealand [#9885]
I went through New Zealand submission and the links associated with the four cases presented in the submission. Yet it is not quite clear what are the elements/ criteria to be looked at in socioeconomic considerations, how they are assessed and considered in relation to decision making. I believe we could benefit from a little bit of clarification in this regard.

posted on 2019-09-10 19:39 UTC by Prof Ossama AbdelKawy, Seychelles