strategy

Developing guidelines on safety procedures for biotechnology

Synonyms:
Developing safety procedures for the transfer and use of biotechnology
Developing international guidelines on bio-safety
Preparing international guidelines for national legislation on biotechnology liability
Promoting biosafety
Context:
Since the [Convention on Biological Diversity] (CBD) was initiated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 the signatories to the Convention have been developing policies on biosafety in accordance with the requirements of Article 19.3 of the Convention. Article 19.3 of the Convention on Biological CBD reads as follows "The Parties shall consider the need for and modalities of a Protocol setting out appropriate procedures, including, in particular, advance informed agreement, in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of any living modified organism resulting from biotechnology that may have adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity".

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends considering the need for and feasibility of internationally agreed guidelines on safety in biotechnology release, including risk assessment and risk management, and for studying the feasibility of guidelines which could facilitate national legislation on liability and compensation. Agenda 21 also recommends: compiling, updating and developing compatible safety procedures into a framework of internationally agreed principles as a basis for guidelines to be applied on safety in biotechnology, including considering the need for and feasibility of an international agreement; and promoting information exchange as a basis for further development, drawing on the work already undertaken by international or other expert bodies.

The Governing Council of UNEP set up an Intergovernmental Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity (ICCBD) which held two sessions to consider various issues under the Convention among which was the need for a biosafety Protocol. It was agreed that there was a need for "adequate and transparent safety and border-control procedures aimed at controlling and managing risks associated with the use of living modified organisms (LMOs) and their release into the environment in addition to maximizing the benefit of biotechnology."

At the first Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the [Convention on Biological Diversity] (CBD) in November 1994 in Nassau, Bahamas, an Open-ended Ad-hoc Group of Experts nominated by governments was set up to examine "the need for and modalities of a Protocol setting out appropriate procedures, including in particular advance informed agreement, in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of any living modified organism resulting from biotechnology that may have adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity".
Values:
Safety
Liability
Subjects:
Biology
Biotechnology
Communications
Promotion
Safety
Law
Cybernetics
Development
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies