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. Operation and activities of the Biosafety Clearing-House

BS-V/2.Operation and activities of the Biosafety Clearing-House

The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety,
Welcoming the improvements made to the Management Centre of the Biosafety Clearing-House and to the structure of the common formats for the submission of information,
Recalling preambular paragraph 3 of decision BS-II/13 on the importance of making information concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms available to different stakeholders in comprehensible formats and adapting awareness materials to local languages and situations,
Welcoming the results of the “Study of users and potential users of the Biosafety Clearing-House”,
Welcoming also the endorsement of the “Project for Continued Enhancement of Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House” by the Global Environment Facility,
1.Reminds Parties of their obligations, and invites other Governments, to:
(a)Provide to the Biosafety Clearing-House, in a timely manner, complete and accurate information on final decisions pertaining to living modified organisms and the risk assessment summaries regarding such decisions, as well as risk assessment summaries for all instances when requested by the Protocol including, inter alia, intentional introductions of living modified organisms into the environment for field trials regardless on whether or not the living modified organism will be subjected to future transboundary movements or commercialization;
(b)Cooperate fully with the Secretariat in its efforts to maintain complete information in the Biosafety Clearing-House;
(c)Indicate and document specific obstacles preventing or hindering the effective use of the Biosafety Clearing-House;
2.Invites Parties, other Governments and users of the Biosafety Clearing-House to continue making relevant biosafety information available through the Biosafety Information Resource Centre;
3.Also invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to consider the implementation of the “LMO quick-link” tool by their relevant national agencies when reference is made to a living modified organism;
4.Requests Parties and invites other Governments and relevant organizations to submit to the Executive Secretary views on the changes made during the last intersessional period to the (i) common formats; (ii) registration procedure; (iii) tools for the analysis of search results; and (iv) graphical representations of data, and requests the Executive Secretary to take these views into account for future improvements of the Biosafety Clearing-House;
5.Requests the Executive Secretary to continue providing assistance and information to Parties on how to submit and retrieve information from the central portal of the Biosafety Clearing-House and to explore innovative ways for assisting Parties in making information in the Biosafety Clearing-House available also in languages other than the official United Nations languages;
6.Also requests the Executive Secretary to facilitate, through the Biosafety Clearing-House, online forums and conferences on topics relevant to biosafety and the implementation of the Protocol, in particular to facilitate the common understanding of the use of certain terms of Article 20 of the Protocol and of the type of information that should be made available in risk assessments submitted to the Biosafety Clearing-House;
7.Requests Parties and invites other Governments and relevant organizations to participate actively in the activities mentioned in paragraph 6 above with the view to reaching an adequate level of regional participation and ensuring that the results of the discussion may be taken into account;
8.Requests the Executive Secretary to increase the involvement of Biosafety Clearing-House national focal points by promoting, inter alia , regular exchange of information and online discussions and to explore innovative ways for gathering views from Parties where internet connectivity is limited;
9.Invites relevant United Nations bodies and international organizations to enhance cooperation and avoid duplication regarding the provision of information on living modified organisms and requests the Executive Secretary to explore ways to develop a mechanism for harmonizing similar data from various other sources (e.g. the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) with the view to avoiding duplication of efforts and improving the utility of the Biosafety Clearing-House as a global mechanism for information-sharing on biosafety;
10.Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant international organizations to provide funding and to strengthen and expand initiatives aimed at overcoming obstacles encountered by developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them, and Parties with economies in transition, in meeting their obligations under Article 20 of the Protocol, including capacity-building and the development of infrastructure necessary for facilitating the retrieval and submission of information to the Biosafety Clearing-House;
11.Requests Parties and invites other Governments to identify their needs regarding national Biosafety Clearing-House nodes in a detailed manner through the Biosafety Clearing-House, and requests the United Nations Environment Programme, through the ongoing “Project for Continued Enhancement of Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House” (hereinafter referred to as “the BCH-II project”), and the Executive Secretary to provide the necessary support for the needs identified;
12.Encourages Parties, relevant United Nations bodies and relevant international organizations to continue training activities at the national and regional levels and welcomes the offers by the Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran to host sub-regional workshops in 2011 in cooperation with relevant international organizations;
13.Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to make funds available for the operationalization of paragraph 5 above for the benefit of developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them, and Parties with economies in transition;
14.Requests the United Nations Environment Programme, through the BCH-II project, to promote capacity-building activities at the global, regional and, in particular, sub-regional levels in order to increase exchange of experiences among different countries;
15.Further requests the United Nations Environment Programme, through the BCH II project, to produce in collaboration with the Executive Secretary, further guidance on the Biosafety Clearing-House with special attention to the various target stakeholders (e.g. government officials, media, the general public, members of civil-society organizations, etc.) and to categories of potential users that have been identified as being least aware of the Biosafety Clearing-House.