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Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

13-17 March 2006| Curitiba, Brazil

Highlights for  Friday, 17 March 2006


Plenary resumed at 8.50 pm, with Chair Ivars announcing a package agreement. She said that, following Paraguay’s request, reference to “other measures” with regard to identity preservation systems and related documentation requirements has been deleted. Other amendments, as announced by Mexico, included: recalling Article 24 of the Protocol in the preamble; noting that, in accordance with the Protocol, transboundary movements of LMOs between parties and non-parties shall be consistent with the objective of the Protocol and that the specific documentation requirements set out in the decision do not apply to such movements; and retaining the provision on submission of information to the BCH. Plenary accepted the agreement as a package. 

ENB Summary
Síntesis del BNT
Compte Rendu du BNT

Brazil said the Mexican amendments are accepted, although considered unnecessary. Malaysia, on behalf of Asia and the Pacific, Paraguay, Japan and China welcomed the agreement and expressed their appreciation to the Brazilian delegation for its efforts. 

Regional groups thanked Brazil, the city of Curitiba, and Minister Marina da Silva for their hospitality and leadership in arriving at a positive outcome.

Ahmed Djoghlaf presented flowers to Minister da Silva and COP-MOP President ; and thanked Syrie Sendashonga for her long-standing support to biosafety in the CBD Secretariat, wishing her well in her new endeavors.

The meeting was gaveled to a close at 9:45 pm.

Breaking News at 8:30 p.m (Curitiba GMT-3)

During the closing plenary, New Zealand expressed support for the decision submitted by WG-I Chair Ivars, noting they wanted to ensure the highest possible environmental standards while avoiding documentation requirements that would affect non-LMO shipments. Mexico suggested a number of changes, including: urging, rather than requesting, parties to take measures on documentation; retaining the provision on submission of information to the BCH; acknowledging that the expression “may contain” does not require a listing of LMOs; and a preambular reference recalling Article 24 (Non-parties). Paraguay requested clarifying that “other measures” with regard to identity preservation refer to measures of the exporting country. Noting the time is not appropriate for a drafting exercise, the EC said the changes introduced by Mexico would result in lowering the standards established by Decision BS-I/6. Brazil also expressed procedural concerns. Plenary was suspended to allow for informal consultations, which were still ongoing at 9:00 p.m.

Above photos L-R: Mexico in informal consultation with the EU; Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil); Kenneth Smith Ramos (Mexico)


Breaking News at 1:30 p.m (Curitiba GMT-3)

At noon, Working Group I (WG-I) began deliberations on documentation requirements for living modified organisms for food, feed or for processing (LMO-FFPs). On the basis of consultations, Chair Ivars introduced a compromise proposal to: delete a paragraph inviting parties and other governments to make available to the Biosafety Clearing-House information on the transformation events and the geographical areas they are commercially produced for each planting cycle in the exporting country, and the common, scientific and commercial names of the LMOs in question; and review and assess experience gained with the implementation of measures ensuring that documentation for LMO-FFPs complies with the requirements of the country of import, with a view to considering a decision at COP/MOP-6 to ensure that documentation clearly states that the shipment “contains” LMO-FFPs. 

Above photo: WG-I Chair Ivars in consultation with Mexico; the EU consulting with its member states.

MEXICO, supported by PARAGUAY, said it was not able to accept the proposal and requested bracketing provisions to include in documentation accompanying the shipment the common, scientific and commercial names, and the transformation event codes of the LMOs, preferring to retain the paragraph inviting parties and other governments to make available such information to the Biosafety Clearing-House. 

Above photos L-R: The WG-I dais with Dan Ogolla (CBD), WG-I Chair Ivars, Kirsty Galloway (CBD), Ryan Hill (CBD) and Worku Damena (CBD); Marco Antonio Meraz (Mexico); Crisanta Rodas Cardoso and Maria Cristina Torres (Paraguay)

BRAZIL, PERU, JAPAN, the EC and ETHIOPIA supported the consensus text presented by Chair Ivars and urged for its adoption.

Above photos L-R: Contact Group on Article 18.2(a) Co-Chair Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado (Brazil); Maria Luisa del Rio Mispireta  (Peru); and Michiko Miyano (Japan)

Reminding delegates the text represents a compromise for all involved, Chair Ivars said she will present the clean text in plenary as a Chair’s text. She warned delegates that they have been dealing with this issue for a long time, and that lack of time could not be used as an excuse for not reaching agreement.

Plenary will convene at 3 p.m., while consultations will continue over lunch. 

Above photos L-R: Chair Ivars; COP/MOP-3 NGO and civil society participants in protest before the start of the WG-I session. 

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13 March

Related Links
CBD Secretariat
COP8 / MOP3 CBD Secretariat website
COP8 / MOP3 Brazilian Secretariat website
Global Message of Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf on achieving the 2010 Biodiversity Target
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Web page
COP/MOP3 Documents
COP-8 Documents
FAO CGRFA Website 
UNIDO Biosafety Information Network Advisory Network (BINAS)

Links to ENB/YMB coverage
ENB coverage of COP/MOP2
ENB coverage of  Ad Hoc Working Group on Liability and Redress-2 under the Biosafety Protocol

ENB coverage of COP-7
ENB coverage of ABS-4
ENB coverage of WG-4 on Article 8(j) and related provisions of the CBD
ENB coverage of the Second Meeting of the CGRFA acting as the Interim Commitee for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
IISD Linkages Biodiversity and Wildlife Recent Meetings


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