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SBSTTA Recommendation

. Agenda item 3.7: Capacity-building for biosafety

Agenda Item 3.7: Capacity-building for biosafety


Recalling decision II/5 of the Conference of Parties that capacity- building related to biosafety was recognized as an area of priority requiring global attention as an element that will facilitate the effective implementation of any biosafety regulations, guidelines or future agreements on biosafety;

Recalling also decision II/5 of the Conference of Parties that established an Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on a Protocol for Biosafety, which held its first meeting from 22 to 26 July 1996 in Aarhus, Denmark, and its report contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/3/24;

Having examined the Note by the Secretariat (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/2/8) and the report of the first meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group;

Recommends the following for the consideration of the Conference of Parties:

1. It is necessary to avoid duplication between the work of the SBSTTA and the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group. The SBSTTA offers full support and will only provide input into the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group upon request;

2. The UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Biosafety in Biotechnology represent a useful tool with respect to capacity-building and should not preempt the work of the protocol on biosafety. The guidelines can be used as an interim measure in view of the development of a biosafety protocol and to complement it after its completion and in the course of its implementation for the purpose of facilitating national capacities for risk assessment and risk management, adequate information systems, and to develop, through training, expert resources in the area of biotechnology.

3. Recognizing the importance of funding for capacity-building in biosafety (including scientific capacity and impact assessment) and considering its cross-sectoral nature, the Conference of Parties should consider the development of guidance to the Global Environment Facility for the provision of financial resources to developing countries in biosafety, including the implementation by them of the UNEP Guidelines. Furthermore, the Conference of Parties should encourage funding within programmes from organizations such as UNEP, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Programme, World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other multilateral and bilateral sources, in the priority areas identified by the Conference of Parties;

4. Capacity-building for biosafety should also be discussed in conjunction with the issues of technology transfer, risk assessment and risk management in order to ensure the safe use of the products of biotechnology; and

5. Specific information related to biosafety capacity-building should be included within the clearing-house mechanism as described in decision II/3.