Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP 4)

FARA participated at the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP 4) which was held in Bonn, Germany, from 12 to 16 May 2008.

After four years of intensive negotiation, the 2000 participants attending the Bonn Biosafety Meeting, the largest ever gathering on biosafety, agreed to work towards legally binding rules and procedures for liability and redress for potential damage caused from the transboundary movements of living modified organisms (LMOs), commonly referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety has agreed to a time table and a framework for the negotiation of the rules and procedures. The legally binding instrument for liability and redress will be discussed in October 2010 at the next meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, in Nagoya, Japan.

Delegates listened the COP 9 theme song “I’m a part of it” during the opening plenary of COP 9.

The ninth Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) started immediately following the fourth Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP 4) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. During the two-week meeting 19-30 MAY 2008, the COP will consider: agricultural biodiversity, including biofuels; the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; invasive alien species (IAS); forest biodiversity; incentive measures; the ecosystem approach; progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan and towards the 2010 target and relevant Millennium Development Goals; and financial resources and the financial mechanism.

Ben Turtur Donnie of Liberia for the AFRICAN GROUP called for the precautionary approach to be applied to large scale production of biofuels, and for suspending introduction of new measures for biofuel consumption until policy frameworks are adopted and a risk and benefit assessment is concluded.

Alfred Oteng Yeboah of GHANA said genetically modified (GM) biofuel crops could contaminate natural habitats.

Victor Ogbuneke (CBD)

Emmanuel Bayani Ngoyi of GABON proposed a donors’ meeting on biodiversity funding.

James Seyani (Malawi) for the AFRICAN GROUP, with others, emphasized the need for capacity building, enhanced public awareness, and financial resources.

Boukar Attari (Niger)

Matilde Da Conceicao Gomes Lopes (Guinea Bissau)

Maria Mbengashe (South Africa)

David Hafashimana (Uganda) in behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP pointed to ongoing work on rules and procedures on liability and redress under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, as a reference point for future work under the CBD.

Ivone Lopes (Cape Verde), for the WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES, called for the integration of the three CBD objectives into climate change adaptation and projects for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) through a joint programme of work with the UNFCCC.

Maadjou Bah (Guinea)

Gemedo Dalle Tussie(Ethiopia)

Karma Nyedrup (Bhutan) with Mary Fosi Mbantenkhu (Cameroon)

Robert Höft (CBD) consulting with Alfred Oteng Yeboah (Ghana)

Budget group Chair Ositadinma Anaedu (Nigeria) reported on progress made in the budget group. He asked delegates to be mindful of financial implications during their negotiations. He noted that, on the basis of the already reviewed CRPs, a three-fold increase in voluntary contributions may be required.

The COP 9 high-level ministerial segment will be held from 28-30 May 2008. Other parallel events include: a mayors conference on local action for biodiversity, to be held from 26-28 May 2008; a fair on experiences and best practices in CEPA; and numerous side events, including many focusing on business and biodiversity, and biodiversity for development.

Some 5,000 delegates from 190 countries are taking part in the ninth conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that runs until May 30. Scientists and environmental groups have called for urgent action to stem the loss of the plant and wildlife which underpins the health of our planet and has a direct impact on people's lives.

Additional information about the Protocol is available at the following websites:
CBD Web site ; the Biosafety Clearing-House ; Frequently asked questions ; Media and Outreach

View of the plenary during the International Day for Biological Diversity celebration 22/05.