| | english | español | français |
Program of Work on Art. 23

  Home|The Cartagena Protocol|Awareness|Programme of work 2011-2015   Printer-friendly version

Programme of work on public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (2011-2015)

I. Background

In response to the needs to improve the implementation of Article 23 regarding public awareness and participation, Parties adopted a programme of work. The programme of work includes four elements. The Secretariat will provide resources to assist countries in implementing the programme elements to contribute to greater cooperation and co-ordination, exchange of information and experiences and improvement of the capacities of Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to effectively promote public awareness and education, including access to information, and public participation to ensure the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms.

II. Elements of the programme of work on public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (2011-2015)

Programme elements   Operational Objectives

 
1. Capacity-building for the promotion of public awareness, education and participation   1.1 To put in place enabling legal and/or policy frameworks and mechanisms to facilitate public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms
1.2 To establish institutional mechanisms to promote and facilitate public awareness, education and participation concerning living modified organisms
1.3 To develop the professional capacity of personnel involved in promoting public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms
1.4 To promote collaboration and sharing of experiences and resource materials on public awareness, education and participation concerning living modified organisms
2. Public awareness and education   2.1 To promote public awareness concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms
2.2 To promote education concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms through formal academic institutions
3. Public access to information   3.1 To promote public access to accurate biosafety information in a broad, easy and timely manner, including through the Biosafety Clearing-House, national websites and other mechanisms
4. Public participation   4.1 To establish mechanisms and procedures to consult and involve the public in the decision-making process regarding modified organisms and to make the results of such decisions available to the public

Programme element 1: Capacity-building for the promotion of public awareness, education and participation

Goal: To strengthen the institutional and technical capacity of Parties to promote and facilitate public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

1.1 To put in place enabling legal and / or policy frameworks and mechanisms to facilitate public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- Improved understanding of the country needs and measures to address those needs

- Improved national competence on issues related to public awareness, education and participation

- Awareness built among decision makers on the importance of public participation in decision-making

- Mechanisms / methodologies related to the inclusion of the public in the decision making processes related to LMOs established

- Studies and / or surveys carried out to identify the needs of Parties with respect to public awareness, education and participation

- Parties and other relevant stakeholders are implementing biosafety outreach strategies / communication plans

- National laws related to Article 23 in place
- Number of Parties that have policy and legal frameworks on public awareness, education and participation in place

- Number of Parties with outreach strategies and / or communication plans that are implemented
(a) Take stock of and make use of existing regulatory frameworks, mechanisms and structures relevant to public awareness, education and participation concerning living modified organisms Within year 1 - Parties (NFPs)

- Relevant organizations

(b) Assess the national needs with respect to public awareness, education and participation and identify measures to meet those needs Within year 1 - Parties
(c) Establish or strengthen legal and policy frameworks to facilitate public awareness and access to information Within years 1-2 - Parties
(d) Prepare and implement biosafety outreach strategies and / or communication plans Within years 1-3 - Parties

- Other Governments

- Relevant organizations

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

1.2 To establish institutional mechanisms to promote and facilitate public awareness, education and participation concerning living modified organisms



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- Functional administrative structures and arrangements are in place to facilitate public awareness, education and participation

- Institutional roles and responsibilities for public awareness, education and participation identified

- Institutional procedures and mechanisms for public access to biosafety information in place

- Capacity-building initiatives for developing administrative structures have been identified and established

- Increased understanding and collaboration with relevant international agreements and processes
- Number of Parties with units or departments and other institutional structures designated to promote public awareness, education and participation

- Number of Parties engaged in collaborative activities

- Number of Parties with well-functioning institutional mechanisms and / or with funding to improve institutional mechanisms
(a) Designate contact points within national authorities responsible for promoting and overseeing public awareness, education and participation Within year 1 - Parties
(b) Establish or make use of existing biosafety outreach units, information centres and other outreach services at the national level Within years 2-3 - Parties

- Relevant organizations
(c) Establish or make use of existing advisory committees that include representatives from different sectors of the public, on public awareness, education and participation concerning living modified organisms Within years 1-3 - Parties
(d) Promote collaboration with relevant international agreements and processes involved in public awareness, education and participation (e.g., the Aarhus Convention, the programme of work on communication, education and public awareness under the Convention on Biodiversity) Ongoing - Parties

- Other Governments

- SCBD

- Relevant organizations
(e) Mobilize financial resources to develop institutional capacity Ongoing - Parties

- Other Governments

- SCBD

- Relevant organizations

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

1.3 To develop the professional capacity of personnel involved in promoting public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- Experts in biosafety education and communication identified and added to roster of experts

- Increased number of biosafety educators and / or communicators at various levels

- Support tools (including guidance toolkits, best practice handbooks, etc) widely available

- Biosafety educators and communicators receiving ongoing professional support and guidance
- Number of experts in biosafety education and communication nominated to roster of experts

- Number of educational programmes, including academic courses, with components on biosafety

- Number of training, guidance materials and other supportive activities to build professional capacity
(a) Identify experts on biosafety education and communication and add them to the roster of experts Ongoing - Parties
(b) Develop and deliver training programmes for biosafety educators and communicators at global, regional and national levels Ongoing -Parties

- Educational institutions

- Relevant organizations
(c) Establish and / or use existing systems to facilitate the development and exchange of biosafety training and guidance materials on public awareness, education and participation, including toolkits, training aids and templates (e.g. using the BCH to facilitate the exchange) Within years 2-4 - Parties

- SCBD
(d) Promote professional exchanges, collaboration and fellowship programmes for staff involved in promoting public awareness, education and participation Within years 2-3; Ongoing - Parties

- Other Governments

- Relevant organizations
(e) Promote the effective use of media in promoting public awareness, education and participation, including developing national media strategies / plans, improving media coverage of biosafety issues, hold press-related activities and training Within years 2-3; Ongoing - Parties

- Other Governments

- Relevant organizations

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

1.4 To promote collaboration and sharing of experiences and resource materials on public awareness, education and participation concerning living modified organisms



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- Mechanisms for collaboration and sharing of experiences between countries and regions with regard to public awareness, education and participation in place

- Networks established to facilitate ongoing exchange of experiences and lessons learned

- Best practices and lessons learned of public participation documented and shared (e.g., through the Biosafety Information Resource Centre (BIRC) and national sources)

- Improved skills / knowledge on using tools to raise awareness
- Number of Parties making use of mechanisms and plans for exchange of experiences in public awareness, education and participation

- Number of case studies and other materials on public awareness, education and participation produced and shared through the Biosafety Clearing House

- Number of networks established and / or utilised to exchange information and materials

- Number of Parties and other stakeholders in different sectors that are sharing information

- Number of NGOs per country and region doing outreach work related to the Protocol
(a) Identify, document and exchange through the BCH case studies on best practices and lessons learned in promoting public awareness, education and participation concerning LMOs. Within year 1; Ongoing - Parties

- Other Governments

- Relevant organizations

- SCBD
(b) Use the BCH to exchange information on best practices and lessons learned in promoting public awareness, education and participation. Ongoing -Parties

- Other Governments

- Relevant organizations
(c) Share experiences on the use of different communication tools (e.g., printed material, radio and television programmes, newspapers and cultural performances for community outreach) Ongoing - Parties

- Other Governments

- Relevant organizations
(d) Establish and operationalize networks and organize forums, (e.g., online forums and listservs) to facilitate exchange of information, experiences and lessons learned on national approaches to public awareness, education, and public participation, (e.g., BCH, national nodes, regional or local) Within years 2-5; Ongoing Parties

- Regional bodies
(e) Establish and / or use existing mechanisms to facilitate the development and exchange of biosafety educational and awareness materials adapted to local contexts Within years 2-5 - COP-MOP
(f) Identify and promote possible synergies in the application, as appropriate, of relevant tools and information sharing mechanisms developed under other fora, such as the Almaty Amendment to the Aarhus Convention and the Lucca Guidelines on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice with Respect to Genetically Modified Organisms Within years 1-3; Ongoing - Parties
(g) Establish a register of non-governmental organisations doing outreach work closely related to the Protocol, such as in the BCH and its national nodes Within years 1-2 - Parties

- SCBD

Programme element 2: Public awareness and education

Goal: To promote broad public awareness and education of issues concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

2.1. To promote public awareness concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- A survey report from Parties regarding the level of public awareness - National public-awareness plans and programmes

- Agreements signed between the owners of copyrights and the Secretariat and interested Parties

- System for dissemination of biosafety information established by Parties

- Public awareness seminars and workshops held

- Media is actively involved in public awareness and education on biosafety

- The Protocol and other biosafety materials translated into local languages

- Biosafety communication programmes using art and culture
- Statistically meaningful number of responses from surveys by the end of 2011

- Number of national public awareness plans and programmes in place by the end of 2013

- Number of cooperation and coordination programmes and other activities in place

- Number of publications and other materials produced and disseminated

- Public availability of graphics and materials in the Biosafety Clearing House

- Number of Parties that will have systems for dissemination of information in place by 2015

- Number of seminars and workshops held

- Number of media activities implemented

- Number of Parties that have translated the Protocol and other materials in the official national and local languages
(a) Conduct baseline surveys to ascertain the level of public awareness and evaluate public awareness of the issues regarding LMOs. Parties may expand the survey based on national priorities and needs Within year 1 - Parties

- SCBD to develop the survey forms in different languages

(b) Develop and implement public awareness plans and / or programmes, taking into account the survey results Within year 3; Ongoing - Parties

- Relevant organisations
(c) Carry out events and sessions for national coordination on public awareness with the participation of different national actors Ongoing - Parties

- Civil society, industry, academia, etc.

- SCBD
(d) Foster cooperation and coordination of public awareness and education activities with governments, organizations, UN agencies, civil society, industry, academia and the public Ongoing Parties

- Civil society, industry, academia, etc.

- SCBD
(e) Produce and disseminate biosafety awareness materials (e.g., newsletters and information on laws), and copyright-free graphics tailored to specific target audiences and used in awareness and educational activities Ongoing - Parties, biosafety communication experts

- SCBD
(f) Establish systems to facilitate timely announcement (e.g. in newspapers, town halls / public notice boards, public libraries, national websites and other means) of field trial and commercial releases of LMOs in accordance with national legislation Within years 2-3; Ongoing - Parties, responsible authorities
(g) Organise public awareness seminars and workshops on biosafety for targeted audiences, including dissemination of presentations, materials Ongoing - Parties, responsible authorities

- Relevant organizations

(h) Encourage the use of media to promote awareness of biosafety Ongoing - Parties

- Media
(i) Translate the Protocol and biosafety awareness materials into national and local languages and / or using visual representation of the Protocol Within year 3-5; Ongoing - Parties

- Civil society
(j) Promote use of social communication strategies, e.g. art and culture Ongoing - Parties, relevant authorities

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

2.2 To promote education concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms through formal academic institutions



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- Biosafety issues integrated into school curricula

- Many academic institutions offering programmes / courses on biosafety

- Educational packages, including e-learning modules, on biosafety made available to schools and the public, including for entertainment and networking purposes

- Libraries and educational institutions offer a wide range of educational materials and outreach activities on biosafety

- Civil society involved in promotion of biosafety awareness and education
- Number of school curricula that have included biosafety issues

- Number of academic programmes / courses including biosafety issues

- Number of e-learning modules developed

- Number of educational materials and packages on biosafety available

- Number of educational events in collaboration with educational institutions.
(a) Integrate biosafety into the curricula and educational programmes for different levels of formal education Within year 5; Ongoing - Parties

- Educational institutions
(b) Encourage universities and other educational institutions to offer academic programmes, including continuing education courses, in biosafety and biosafety communication Ongoing - Parties

- Educational institutions
(c) Develop educational packages on biosafety for schools, informal education and research institutes to promote awareness and education on biosafety issues Within years 2-5; Ongoing - Parties

- Educational institutions
(d) Develop e-learning modules on biosafety for all educational levels Within years 2-5; Ongoing - Educational institutions
(e) Ensure that libraries of educational institutions offer a wide range of relevant educational materials and outreach activities on biosafety Within years 3-5; Ongoing - Parties

- Educational institutions
(f) Foster formal and informal collaboration partnership with educational institutions to raise awareness and establish joint educational activities. Within years 3-5; Ongoing - Parties

- Civil society

Programme element 3. Public access to information

Goal: To improve public access to information concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

3.1 To promote public access to accurate biosafety information in a broad, easy and timely manner, including through the Biosafety Clearing-House, national websites and other mechanisms



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- Members of the public easily finding and accessing accurate biosafety information and educational materials through the Biosafety Clearing-House, national websites and other mechanisms

- The public receiving responses to requests for access to information of accurate biosafety information within reasonable time

- Information materials are accessible in various languages and in user-friendly formats

- Members of the public have access to multiple relevant online and offline biosafety information
- Number of Parties with established procedures for public access to biosafety information

- Number of Parties with national Biosafety Clearing-House nodes or biosafety websites

- Number of information materials available in different languages
(a) Inform the public of their right to access information under the Protocol in written, electronic and other formats Ongoing - Parties

- Civil society

- SCBD

(b) Inform the public about the available means of access to information in the Biosafety Clearing-House, the national nodes and other mechanisms Ongoing - Parties

- SCBD
(c) Establish and / or improve infrastructure to facilitate open public access to biosafety information (e.g. national websites, national Biosafety Clearing-House nodes) Within years 2-4; Ongoing - Parties
(d) Put in place information alert systems to advise the public about new available information Within years 2-4 - Parties
(e) Establish procedures to make biosafety information available to the public in accordance with the national laws and the obligations under the Protocol, including paragraph 6 of Article 21 Within year 1; Ongoing - Parties

- SBCD

Programme element 4. Public participation

Goal: To promote public participation in decision-making regarding living modified organisms

Operational objectives Expected outcomes Indicators Suggested activities Time frame Actors

4.1 To establish mechanisms and procedures to consult and involve the public in the decision-making process regarding modified organisms and to make the results of such decisions available to the public



Relevant resources
Go to the top

- Mechanisms and entry points for public participation are identified and put in place

- The role of the public in the decision-making process is defined / clarified

- The right of public participation in decision-making regarding LMOs guaranteed in national laws and the public is well informed about that right

- Timely and informed participation of the public in decision-making processes.

- Safeguards established to ensure regular, transparent and objective public consultation / participation

- National biosafety laws guarantee the right public participation in decision-making regarding LMOs

- National biosafety laws require public notice and comment on applications regarding LMO imports and releases

- Funds allocated for public involvement in the decision making regarding LMOs

- The public support for the Protocol is broadened

- Parties and other stakeholders are proactively engaging the public

- Comments and opinions from the public are adequately reflected / considered in the decisions on LMOs

- The public’s input is made available in a timely matter

- Public consultation is transparent, reliable, balanced and legally supported
- Number of regulatory regimes containing clear reference to public participation

- Number of Parties with mechanisms for public participation

- Number of Parties with a review mechanism for public participation, including outcomes of public consultations

- Number of individuals participating in discussion forums, platforms and other mechanisms set up

- Number of Parties that have involved the public in the development and review of their legal biosafety frameworks

- Number of Parties with dedicated budgets for public participation

- Number of Parties taking outcomes of public participation into consideration in decision-making regarding LMOs

- Number of Parties conducting public consultations
(a) Establish or strengthen legal frameworks to facilitate public participation in decision-making regarding living modified organisms, taking into consideration confidential information Within years 1–4 - Parties

- Civil society

(b) Establish institutional and administrative mechanisms to facilitate public participation in decision-making regarding living modified organisms Within years 1-3 - Parties

- Civil society
(c) Put in place mechanisms to notify the public, in a timely and effective manner, about planned public consultations and opportunities to participate in decision-making regarding new LMO applications (e.g., announcements on national websites, local newspapers, forums and mailing lists) Within years 2-3 - Parties
(d) Develop operating procedures to guide the public participation process Within years 2-3 - Parties

- Civil society
(e) Establish platforms (e.g. public hearings, e-forums, mailing lists) to facilitate public comments, feedback and appeals regarding applications for field trials and commercial releases Within years 2-3; Ongoing - Parties
(f) Establish or strengthen mechanisms / bodies to monitor and foster regular, transparent and objective public consultation and participation Within years 3-5; Ongoing Parties
(g) Promote collaborative initiatives to train decision-makers on utilizing outcomes of public participation, including outlining the public inputs in decisions Ongoing Parties
(h) Make resources available for public involvement in the decision making process regarding LMOs Ongoing - Parties
(i) Inform the public of their right to participate in the decision-making processes regarding LMOs Ongoing - Parties

Go to the top of the page



III. Resources

Programme element 1: Capacity-building for the promotion of public awareness, education and participation

Compass   Goal: To strengthen the institutional and technical capacity of Parties to promote and facilitate public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs

Go back to the programme element in the programme of work

    Resources:
   
 

Programme element 2: Public awareness and education

Publications   Goal: To promote broad public awareness and education of issues concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs

Go back to the programme element in the programme of work

    Resources:
   
 

Programme element 3: Public access to information

Arrows   Goal: To improve public access to information concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs

Go back to the programme element in the programme of work

    Resources:
   
 

Programme element 4: Public participation

Bubbles   Goal: To promote public participation in decision-making regarding LMOs

Go back to the programme element in the programme of work

    Resources:
   

   
   
Update on 2014-04-03
United Nations Environment Programme United Nations