Successes achieved under the Biosafety Protocol
At its 15th anniversary, a number of key successes achieved under the Biosafety Protocol are to be noted such as the a fully operational Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) as well as regional and numerous national BCH websites through which Parties and other stakeholders exchange a wealth of information on biosafety. The recent entry into force of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress is another noteworthy milestone to be celebrated at the Biosafety Protocol’s 15th anniversary.
Other important developments towards more effective biosafety systems are also to be noted. For example the growing experience by Parties in carrying out risk assessments and managing risks associated with the use, handling and transboundary movement of living modified organisms (LMOs). Parties have also made important progress in the context of public awareness, education and public participation at the national level. At the Protocol’s 15th anniversary, the instrumental role of the Compliance Committee in supporting Parties to implement the Biosafety Protocol and comply with their obligations should also be marked.
Unfortunately, the 15th anniversary also reminds us that many Parties are still struggling with the implementation of the Biosafety Protocol, in particular the establishment of effective biosafety systems which shows the need for continuing capacity building support. The development of the post-2020 strategic frameworks will be a crucial moment to step up efforts and the 15th anniversary thus marks the beginning of an ever stronger Biosafety Protocol.