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MOP 2 Decision BS-II/3

Status of capacity-building activities

The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety,

Recalling its decision BS-I/5 on capacity-building,

Welcoming the note prepared by the Executive Secretary on the status of capacity-building for the effective implementation of the Protocol (UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/2/4),

Reaffirming the critical importance of capacity-building for the effective implementation and compliance with the provisions of the Protocol by developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them, as well as Parties with economies in transition,

Noting that the lack of adequate financial and technological resources is a significant constraint to effective capacity-building,

Reiterating the importance of adopting needs-based, country-driven and target-oriented approaches to capacity-building,

Noting the urgent need to enhance human resources development and recognizing the role of academic and other training institutions in addressing the needs of different countries in this regard,

Emphasizing the need to ensure the sustainability of capacity-building activities,

Acknowledging that a lack of information in the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) is an impediment to implementation of the Coordination Mechanism,

A. Coordination Mechanism

1. Welcomes the progress report on the implementation of the Coordination Mechanism prepared by the Executive Secretary (UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/2/4, section II);

2. Urges Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to share their information through the Coordination Mechanism and the Biosafety Clearing-House and to ensure reliable quality of that information;

3. Invites regional and subregional institutions to contribute to capacity-building in biosafety and to actively participate in the Coordination Mechanism;

4. Welcomes the generous offer by the Government of Norway to sponsor and host a coordination meeting in early 2006 for representatives of Governments and organizations implementing or funding biosafety capacity-building activities;

5. Takes note of the report of the coordination meeting for academic and other institutions offering biosafety-related training and education programmes, which was organized and hosted by the Government of Switzerland in Geneva from 4 to 6 October 2004 (UNEP/CBD/COP-MOP/2/INF/9) and the report of the coordination meeting for Governments and organizations implementing or funding biosafety capacity-building activities, held in Montreal on 26-27 January 2005 (UNEP/CBD/COP-MOP/2/INF/10);

6. Welcomes the compendium of biosafety training and education courses developed by the above-mentioned coordination meeting for institutions offering biosafety-related training and education programmes made available through the Biosafety Clearing-House;

7. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to submit for the compendium information on existing biosafety training courses and to use the compendium to identify and take advantage of available training and education opportunities in biosafety;

8. Urges countries to identify their biosafety training and education needs and communicate the information to the Biosafety Clearing-House to enable relevant institutions to design appropriate training programmes and packages;

9. Invites developed country Parties, other developed States, the Global Environment Facility and relevant organizations to:

(a) Provide financial resources and other support for training and education in biosafety, including the provision of scholarships and fellowships for students from developing countries, in particular the least developed and the small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition as well as support for "training-of-trainers" programmes and "re-training" courses;

(b) Assist countries to incorporate specific components on training and education in their capacity-building project proposals, for example for the implementation of the national biosafety frameworks;

10. Encourages Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to:

(a) Endeavour to create opportunities and career paths for local professionals trained in biosafety, especially young graduates, in order for them to utilize their skills;

(b) Actively involve academic and training institutions in relevant national and international biosafety processes, including the development and implementation of national biosafety frameworks;

11. Invites institutions offering biosafety training and education courses to:

(a) Regularly update information in the compendium regarding their courses;

(b) Take into account the training needs of countries in order to develop appropriate (demand-driven) training programmes, including those targeted for specific audiences or addressing specific needs;

(c) Participate proactively in relevant biosafety processes at the national, regional and international levels in order to be acquainted with the emerging issues, needs and challenges in biosafety;

(d) Establish collaborative partnerships with other institutions, especially those in developing countries, with a view to transferring skills, sharing experience and course materials as well as fostering harmonization and mutual recognition of the course offerings;

(e) Develop and facilitate distance-learning tools, such as online courses;

12. Requests the Executive Secretary to further develop the Coordination Mechanism, including needs assessment and coordination, taking into account the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building adopted by the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme in February 2005 with a view to creating synergies and avoiding unnecessary duplication of work;

B. Capacity-building needs and priorities and possible measures for addressing them

13. Takes note of the report on the needs and priorities for building capacities for the effective implementation of the Protocol (UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/2/INF/7) and requests the Executive Secretary to make it available to donor Governments and relevant organizations;

14. Invites developed country Parties, Governments and relevant organizations to consider the information contained in the report in the development of their assistance programmes;

15. Reminds Parties and other Governments that have not yet done so to submit to the Biosafety Clearing-House information on their capacity-building needs and priorities and all those that have done so to update their records on a regular basis;

16. Invites developed countries and relevant international organizations to provide support to developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing states among them, including countries among those that are centres of origin and centres of genetic diversity, as well as Parties with economies in transition, in the field of capacity-building, in particular for the development and implementation of national biosafety frameworks;

17. Further invites organizations and initiatives involved in biosafety capacity-building which have in-country infrastructure, such as biosafety projects funded by the Global Environment Facility, to assist countries in assessing and submitting their capacity-building needs and priorities to the Biosafety Clearing-House;

18. Urges Parties and other Governments to prioritize among the different possible measures for addressing their needs and gaps in building capacities for the effective implementation of the Protocol;

19. Encourages Parties and other Governments that have not yet done so to develop national strategies for capacity-building in biosafety, prioritizing the needs for capacity-building activities in the different components of the national biosafety frameworks, in order to facilitate a proactive, systematic and coordinated approach addressing the country capacity-building needs and gaps;

20. Further encourages Parties and other Governments to address the issue of sustainability of capacity-building by designing in their national capacity-building plans and programmes elements that may help them to incorporate follow-up actions as part of their regular national programmes;

21. Urges Parties and other Governments and relevant organizations to promote regional and subregional initiatives and approaches to address common needs and priorities and encourages them to make effective use of locally existing facilities and expertise, including through exchange of experts;

22. Invites donor countries and relevant organizations to assist developing countries, in particular the least developed and the small island developing States among them, and countries with economies in transition, including countries amongst these that are centres of origin and centres of genetic diversity, to build capacity for conducting independent biosafety-related research;

23. Further invites donor countries and organizations supporting capacity-building activities to:

(a) Consider simplifying the procedures for making resources available, and harmonize them to the extent possible, in order to improve access to resources for capacity-building by recipient countries;

(b) Provide training in project-proposal development to interested recipient countries;

(c) Consider requiring that countries seeking support for capacity-building initiatives provide information on other related ongoing initiatives in order to minimize duplication of capacity-building assistance;

C. Comprehensive of the review of the Action Plan

24. Adopts the terms of reference for the comprehensive review of the Action Plan for the Effective Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety contained in the annex to the present note;

25. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to submit to the Secretariat, no later than three months prior to its third meeting, progress reports on their initiatives contributing to the implementation of the Action Plan, including their effectiveness, as well as views and suggestions on desired revisions to the Action Plan, taking into account the terms of reference for the review mentioned above;

26. Requests the Executive Secretary to prepare a questionnaire to assist Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations in submitting information requested in paragraph 25 above;

27. Invites relevant organizations and initiatives that have in-country contacts and infrastructure, such as the biosafety-related projects under the Global Environment Facility, to assist, in collaboration with the Executive Secretary, countries in responding to the questionnaire;

28. Requests also Executive Secretary to include in the questionnaire referred to in paragraph 26 above elements to assess the constraints encountered with the implementation of the Coordination Mechanism and the possible reasons behind the limited use of the roster of biosafety experts;

29. Urges Executive Secretary to complement the questionnaire referred to in paragraph 26 above with results available from other relevant assessments and evaluation studies of capacity-building programmes including, inter alia, the evaluation by the Global Environment Facility of the activities financed under its Initial Strategy for Assisting Countries to Prepare for the Entry into Force of the Cartagena Protocol and the ongoing assessment study by the United Nations University;

30. Further requests the Executive Secretary to prepare, on the basis of the submissions received, a background paper describing, inter alia, the progress in, and effectiveness of, the implementation of the Action Plan, the unmet needs/gaps and strategic recommendations to be taken into account in the possible revision of the Action Plan at the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol;

31. Further requests the Executive Secretary to prepare, depending on the outcome of the review, a draft revised Action Plan for consideration at the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.

Annex

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW AND POSSIBLE REVISION OF THE ACTION PLAN FOR BUILDING CAPACITIES FOR THE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROTOCOL

A. Introduction

1. The Action Plan for Building Capacities for the Effective Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol was developed in 2002 by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and was endorsed in February 2004 by the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties. At the time it was developed, a number of things were unclear. For example, the capacity needs of countries were not well understood and the coverage of the few then existing biosafety capacity-building projects was unknown. Since then, a number of developments have taken place. Many countries have assessed and submitted their needs and priorities to the Biosafety Clearing-House. As well, a number of capacity-building projects have been initiated and some operational experience gained.

2. In light of the new developments, it is important to review and, if necessary, revise the Action Plan so that it is relevant to the prevailing circumstances and response to the needs and priorities of countries, taking into account experience gained and the lessons learned.

B. Objectives of the review

3. The purpose of the review is to examine the way and the extent to which the Action Plan has been implemented, analyse the unmet needs and gaps, review the lessons learned and identify areas that need to be updated or streamlined. The ultimate objective is to ensure that the Action Plan is current, relevant and effective in providing a coherent framework for capacity-building efforts consistent with the needs and priorities of Parties and other Governments.

C. Process of collecting information to facilitate the review

4. The review will be based primarily on information provided by Parties and other Governments. Information submitted by relevant organizations will also be taken into account. A questionnaire will be used as the main tool for gathering the information. The Executive Secretary will design the questionnaire and send it to all Parties, Governments and relevant organizations. The questionnaire will be simple to complete and also easily accessible through the Biosafety Clearing-House. For example check-boxes and yes/no questions will be used. The preliminary set indicators for monitoring implementation of the Action Plan, which were adopted in decision BS-I/5 of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, will be used, as appropriate, in the design of the questionnaire.

5. Respondents will be invited to submit the completed questionnaire and any additional information to the Secretariat no later than three months prior to third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol. In the preparation of their submissions, they will also be encouraged to use preliminary set indicators for monitoring implementation of the Action Plan

6. The Executive Secretary will collaborate with organizations and initiatives that have in-country contacts and infrastructure, such as the GEF biosafety-related projects, in order to assist countries in responding to the questionnaire so as to maximize the number and quality of responses. The Executive Secretary will make use of other relevant information, including reports and other information submitted by countries under the biosafety projects funded by the Global Environment Facility.

D. Type of information needed to facilitate the review

7. Respondents will be invited to submit information particularly related to the following aspects:

(a) Overview of the progress made in, and the effectiveness of, the implementation of the Action Plan, including the extent of coverage of its different elements, the specific achievements made, the experience gained and the lessons learned;

(b) Elements of the Action Plan successfully implemented and consequently considered to be secondary priorities;

(c) The gaps/weaknesses in the implementation of the Action Plan elements;

(d) The unmet and emerging needs and priorities requiring urgent attention;

(e) The main limitations and constraints encountered, including lack of institutional capacity;

(f) Constraints encountered with the implementation of the Coordination Mechanism and the possible reasons behind the limited use of the roster of biosafety experts;

(g) Existing opportunities that could be taken into account while reviewing the Action Plan;

(h) Views on the relevance of the different components of the current Action Plan in relation to the needs and priorities of countries;

(i) Suggestions on the desired revisions and improvements to the Action Plan, including elements, processes and activities of the current Action Plan should be removed or modified, and why, and new ones that should be added;

(j) Suggestions of measures to improve the delivery of capacity-building initiatives and to enhance their effectiveness in responding to the needs and priorities of countries.

E. Expected outcomes of the review

8. The main outcome of the review process prior to the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol will be a background paper prepared by the Executive Secretary, on the basis of the above-mentioned submissions, outlining strategic recommendations to be taken into account in the possible revision of the Action Plan in order to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness and sustainability of capacity-building measures.

9. Depending on the submissions received, the Executive Secretary may prepare a draft revised Action Plan for consideration by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol at its third meeting.


  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme