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What has been done on the financial mechanism

COP Guidance to the Financial Mechanism related to Biosafety

Following the recommendation from the first meeting of the COP-MOP, the Conference of the Parties in its decision VII/20, paragraphs 20-26, provided detailed guidance to the GEF with regard to the Cartagena Protocol, including the eligibility criteria, strategy and programme priorities. Links to other relevant decisions of COP regarding guidance to the financial mechanism related to biosafety are provided below.

In its decision BS-II/5, COP-MOP encouraged the Global Environment Facility and the Executive Secretary of the Convention to continue their strong collaboration in advancing support to the implementation of the Protocol.

At its third meeting, the COP-MOP in decision BS-III/5, urged the GEF to expeditiously finalize, approve and implement the biosafety strategy. It also made a number of recommendations to the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention regarding further guidance to the GEF with respect to biosafety, which were subsequently communicated to the GEF in Decision IX/31, section C, paragraph 5.

At its fourth meeting, the COP-MOP in its decision BS-IV/5, made a recommendation to the COP (which was subsequently adopted in Decision IX/30 ) requesting the GEF, among other things, to extend the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Clearing-House project and to make financial resources available to eligible parties to prepare their national reports, build capacities in the area of sampling and detection of LMOs and to enable their universities to develop and/or expand biosafety academic programmes. The GEF was also requested to consider, during its fifth replenishment period (2010-2014), the biosafety priority needs specified in the decision.

At its fifth meeting, the COP-MOP welcomed the fifth replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund and noted the measures undertaken by the GEF to further streamline the project cycle. In its decision BS-V/5 the COP-MOP urged Parties to give priority to biosafety when applying for GEF funding under the biodiversity focal area. It also made a recommendation to the COP requesting its in its further guidance to urge the GEF, inter alia, to: consider defining specific quotas for biosafety for each country within its System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR), fund preparation of the second national reports, support to all eligible Parties to participate in the BCH project and to ensure that identification requirements of paragraph 2 (a) of Article 18 and the programme of work on public awareness, education and participation are taken into account in GEF funded activities. The Secretariat was also requested to further explore means for mobilizing additional financial resources for implementation of the Protocol and report back to COP-MOP 6. The recommendation was subsequently communicated to the GEF in Decision X/25, paragraph 20.

At its sixth meeting, the COP-MOP, urged Parties to give priority to national biosafety plans and projects to ensure support for the Protocol under the GEF’s System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR). In its decision BS-VI/5, it also made a number of recommendations to the COP, requesting it to, among other things, support regional and multi-country thematic capacity-building projects for biosafety using Focal Area Set-aside resources under the biodiversity focal area, outside national STAR allocations and fund preparation of the third national reports. The COP-MOP also urged Parties and invited other Governments to mobilize additional financial resources as part of the framework of the Strategy for Resource Mobilization to support the Convention on Biological Diversity. These measures include, among other things, to mobilize funds from Parties and other Governments, regional and international donor agencies, foundations, the private-sector and with various organizations, regional bodies or centres of excellence.

At its seventh meeting, the COP-MOP, in decision BS-VII/5, urged eligible Parties to prioritize biosafety projects during the programming of their GEF-6 national allocations under the STAR, taking into account their obligations under the Cartagena Protocol and the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol. It also encouraged Parties to explore the possibility of incorporating biosafety activities into multi-focal-area projects, including the proposed "integrated approach pilots", as well as projects to be developed under the other biodiversity focal area programmes. The COP-MOP also urged Parties and invited other Governments to integrate and prioritize biosafety within their national biodiversity strategies and action plans and national development plans and programmes. The Secretariat was also requested to mobilizing additional financial resources, among other things, to mainstream biosafety into the national development plans, establish strong outreach programmes and identify "biosafety champions" to promote awareness and greater understanding of biotechnology and its regulation among the public and parliamentarians. It also made a recommendation to the COP and invited the GEF to fund in particular those that have reported to the Compliance Committee difficulties in complying with the Protocol, among other things, preparation of the third national reports under the Cartagena Protocol, in accordance with paragraph 2 (g) of decision BS-VI/5.

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GEF Supported Projects on Biosafety

Following the adoption of the Protocol in 2000, the GEF Council approved in November 2000 an Initial strategy for assisting countries to prepare for the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety together with a global UNEP-GEF project to assist all eligible countries to develop national biosafety frameworks (NBFs). The project was launched in June 2001, and has assisted 123 countries. Under the initial strategy, the GEF also provided support to 12 Demonstration projects for capacity-building in implementation of national biosafety frameworks (NBFs).

In November 2003, the GEF approved an add-on project to the UNEP-GEF project on the Development of NBFs entitled Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) of the Cartagena Protocol.

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New and Additional Financial Resources

The Protocol, in Article 28, paragraphs 1 and 6, encourages developed country Parties to provide additional financial and technological resources, over and above the financial mechanism, to enable developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to implement the Protocol. These resources can be provided through bilateral, regional and multilateral channels, taking into account Article 20 of the Convention.

In its decision BS-II/5, COP-MOP encouraged all donors and their agencies as well as the Global Environment Facility to simplify, to the extent possible, their project cycle requirements in order to expedite access, by developing country Parties and the Parties with economies in transition, to the financial resources needed to assist the implementation of the Protocol.

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