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23 February 

24 February 

25 February 

26 February 



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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 23-27 February 2004

Daily Web Coverage |Mon 23| |Tue 24| |Wed 25| |Thu 26| |Fri 27|

Highlights for Tuesday 24 February 2004

Delegates to the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP-1) convened in working groups throughout the day. Working Group I (WG-I) discussed handling, transport, packaging and identification of living modified organisms (LMOs) (Article 18), and other issues for implementation. Working Group II (WG-II) considered compliance, and liability and redress. A brief Plenary was held in the afternoon to review progress and hear statements. Contact groups on documentation of LMOs for food, feed and processing (LMO-FFPs), compliance and the budget also met. 

Above photo: WG II Chair Philémon Yang (far right) in discussion with the Secretariat and René Lefeber (the Netherlands) (second from left).

Working Group I : Handling, Transport, Packaging and Identification  (HTPI)

BRAZIL supported the use of existing commercial documentation for LMOs-FFPs

Above photo: Benedicto Fonseca (Brazil)

Tanzania said documentation should clearly identify if shipments "may contain" LMOs-FFPs

Above photo: Erik Mugurusi (Tanzania)

Uganda, for the African Group, called for allowing use of unique identification systems other than the OECD Unique Identifiers system, noting that it may not be suitable for all countries. 

Above photo: David Hafashimana (Uganda)

PHILIPPINES said it has a framework to regulate the release into the environment of genetically modified plants based on scientific risk assessment.  

Above photo L-R: The Philippines is represented by Mundita Lim, Margarita Ibayan, and Charo Ampil.

The EUROPEAN COMMUNITY stressed the need to use unique identifiers in accordance with internationally agreed standards. 

Above photo: Nicola Notaro (EC)


Above photo: Marc Auer (Germany) and Kimo Goree (ENB/IISD)

Working Group II: Compliance 

Venezuela supported Brazil's proposal that the compliance committee consist of four members from each regional group. 

Above photo: Aleidi Sangronis Delgado (Venezuela)

China opposed punitive measures to address non-compliance because many countries currently lack the capacity to comply.  

Above photo: Cheng Weixue (China) (center) leads in a coordination meeting with members of his delegation.


JAPAN opposed a balance between importing and exporting countries in the compliance committee and supported text stating that its members shall serve in their individual capacity. 

Above photo: Hiroshi Kudoh (Japan)

Cameroon, for the African Group, said effective procedures for compliance would assist Parties in identifying their rights and obligations under the Protocol and clarify the measures they face in case of non-compliance. 

Above photo L-R: Mary Fosi Mbantenkhu (Cameroon) conferring with Tewolde Berhan Egzhiaber (Ethiopia)

Liability and Redress:

The US said that the expert group of legal and technical experts on liability and redress should include scientists to consider the scientific nature of compliance issues in biosafety. 

Above photo: Kathryn Youel-Page (US)

Peru said that it is essential to develop a regime on liability and redress, as without such a regime, the Biosafety Protocol is not meaningful.

Above photo L-R: Miguel Palomino de Gala and Antonietta Gutierrez-Rosati (Peru)

Norway supported analyzing existing liability and redress regimes and suggested the expert group prepare its report on rules and procedures for liability and redress within four years, with regular reporting to the COP/MOP. 

Above photo: Birthe Ivars (Norway)


The FAO he asked for clarification of the phytosanitary context of elements regarding the definition, valuation and threshold of damage to biodiversity. 

Above photo: Clive Stannard (FAO)

Contact Group: 

Delegates retained reference regarding issuing a caution to the non-compliant Party, and deleted reference to balance between importing and exporting countries in the compliance committee. An informal group will elaborate text on suspension of rights and privileges, and the co-Chairs will table language on submissions relating to compliance from the COP/MOP. Regarding submissions from Parties with respect to other Parties, a co-Chairs' text will be drafted, calling for corroborating information and rejection of ill-founded submissions. 

Rigth photo L-R: co-Chairs Jürg Bally (Switzerland) and Rawson Yonazi (Tanzania)


Above photo L-R: Dais of the Contact Group on HTPI, Ryan Hill (CBD), co-Chair Eric Schoonejans (France), co-Chair Veena Chhotray (India) and Worku Damena-Yifru (CBD) 

Delegates agreed to establish an open-ended expert working group on identification requirements for LMO-FFPs, with one region noting the need to consider budgetary constraints. Delegates also discussed text on identifying a contact point for providing information on LMO-FFPs, and on the type of documentation accompanying LMO-FFPs. 


Working Group I Chair François Pythoud (above) reported on progress made on: information sharing and the Biosafety Clearing-house (BCH); handling, transport, packaging and identification; and other issues for implementation.

Working Group II Chair Amb. Philémon Yang (above) reported on progress made on: capacity building and the roster of experts; compliance; and liability and redress.

Above photo L-R: UNU-IAS participants, Joy Aeree Kim, Alphonse Kambu, and Haruko Okusu 

The United Nations University reported on its high-level dialog on trade, biotechnology and sustainable development. 

John Ashe
(Antigua and Barbuda), Chair of the Budget Contact Group, reported on the contact group's progress. 

Side Event: 

High Level Dialogue on Trade, Biotechnology and Sustainable Development 

Dato's Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, officiated at the High Level Dialogue on Trade, Biotechnology and Sustainable Development, which is jointly organised by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) and the Asia-Europe Foundation on February 21, Saturday. The one day meeting aimed at engaging with negotiators and experts in the relevant area to discuss about integrated policy on trade, biotechnology and sustainable development.

Right photo L-R: A.H. Zakri Director, UNU-IAS, Dato' Seri Law, Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, Dato' Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Hans Van Ginkel, Rector, UNU and Amb. Delfin Colomé, Executive Director, Asia-Europe Foundation

International Seminar on Biosafety:

The seminar organised by the Third World Network (TWN) on 22 February 2004, in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Gene Ecology and the New Zealand Institute of Gene Ecology highlighted the latest independent scientific and biosafety research. The topics presented include socio-economic research, emerging trends in genetic engineering and biological weapons, implications for biosafety regulation and the new genetics of gene ecology and fluid genome. The event provided delegates to the MOP-1 to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety with valuable information for their discussions and negotiations.


ENB Coverage and Summary (HTML, PDF, TEXT) of CBD COP-6
ENB Coverage and Summary (HTML, PDF, TEXT) of ICCP-3
ENB archives of CBD meetings
CBD web site
CBD BS-COP-MOP1 official meeting documents 
ENB Coverage and Summary (HTML, PDF, TEXT) of SBSTTA-9
ENB Coverage and Summary (HTML, PDF, TEXT) of ABS-WG2  
ENB Coverage and Summary (HTML, PDF, TEXT) of Article 8(j)-WG3
Global Biodiversity Forum web site