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The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: interaction between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Organisation for Animal Health

Author(s) : C. Sendashonga, R. Hill & A. Petrini

Summary :

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international agreement (adopted on 29 January 2000 as a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity) that addresses the potential adverse effects of living modified organisms. It focuses primarily on transboundary movements and is therefore relevant to international trade. It includes provisions on import decision-making, risk assessment and management, information-sharing, documentation, capacity-building, compliance, liability and redress, public awareness and participation, and socio-economic considerations. Given the scope of the Protocol, there may be cases where trade in living modified organisms also falls under the mandate of existing international bodies such as the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) and other standard-setting bodies. There could therefore be benefits from collaboration between the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Organisation for Animal Health on issues such as risk assessment and management, information-sharing, documentation requirements, and procedures related to unintentional transboundary movements. This paper reviews the key provisions of the Protocol and attempts to highlight areas of the agreement which are also of interest to various international bodies, particularly the OIE.

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