Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty that governs the movement of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another. It was adopted on January 29, 2000 as a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity and entered into force on September 11, 2003, ninety days after the delivery of the 50th instrument of ratification. By June 2023, 173 instruments of ratification had already been deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
 
On January 29, 2000, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a supplementary agreement to the Convention, known as Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Protocol aims to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms (all organisms produced using recombinant DNA technology, with a wider range of modification technologies relevant when considering prokaryotes and modified live yeasts. [Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) whose genetic material does not occur naturally by natural crossing or recombination. [BSWG/2/5: UNEP IV Panel of Experts Report].) resulting from modern biotechnology. It establishes an informed prior agreement procedure to ensure that countries receive the information necessary to make informed decisions before agreeing to import such organisms into their territory. The Protocol makes reference to a precautionary approach and reaffirms the precautionary language of Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. The Protocol also establishes a Biosafety Information Exchange Center (BCH) to facilitate the exchange of information on living modified organisms and to assist countries in implementing the Protocol.

About BCH
The Biosafety Information Exchange Center (CIB) is a mechanism established in Article 20 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to facilitate the exchange of information on Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) and assist Parties in fulfilling their obligations under the Protocol. . The BCH functions as a central information marketplace where providers and users interact and exchange information on biosafety. All interested users can search and obtain information freely through the BCH website.
The term "Clearing House" refers to a mechanism or institution that brings together those who seek and those who provide goods, services or information, thus matching demand with supply.
Thus, with regard to information on biological safety, Article 20(1) of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety established an Exchange Mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in order to:
  1. Facilitate the exchange of scientific, technical, environmental and legal information on living modified organisms and experience with them; It is
  2. Help Parties to implement the Protocol, taking into account the special needs of Parties that are developing countries, in particular least developed and small island developing States, and countries with economies in transition, as well as countries that are hubs of origin and centers of genetic diversity
Facts about BCH
  • It is a website and global repository of information on LMO;
  • It was designed to be user-friendly and interoperable with other websites;
  • It shares information, published by the Parties and others, to facilitate the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol.
In practical terms, the BCH is a free, user-friendly website that provides global access to a range of scientific, technical, environmental, legal and capacity-building information in the six official UN languages. BCH fulfills its mandate by providing a dynamic platform where information is recorded by users and where it can be easily searched and retrieved.

Historial
In practical terms, the BCH is a free, user-friendly website that provides global access to a range of scientific, technical, environmental, legal and capacity-building information in the six official UN languages. BCH fulfills its mandate by providing a dynamic platform where information is recorded by users and where it can be easily searched and retrieved.

The Open Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety held six meetings between July 1996 and February 1999. At its conclusion, the Working Group presented a draft text of the Protocol, as well as the outstanding concerns of the Parties, for consideration by the Conference of Parties at their first extraordinary meeting, convened with a view to adopting a protocol on biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Pursuant to decision IV/3, the first extraordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties opened on 22 February 1999 in Cartagena, Colombia. The Conference of the Parties was unable to complete its work in the time available. Consequently, by decision EM-I/1, the Conference of the Parties adjourned its first extraordinary meeting and agreed that it should be convened as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
The new session took place in Montreal from 24 to 29 January 2000 and was preceded by informal regional and interregional consultations from 20 to 23 January 2000 at the same venue. On 29 January 2000, the Conference of the Parties, by its Decision EM-I/3, adopted the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity and adopted provisional provisions pending its entry into force. It created an open ad hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP), with the mandate to carry out the necessary preparations for the first meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.
The adoption of the Protocol by the countries that are parties to the Convention constitutes an important step towards the creation of an international normative framework that takes into account the needs of protecting the environment and human health and promoting international trade. Creates an international body to discuss the procedures that should guide the introduction of living modified organisms in their territories and establishes a procedure for a prior notice agreement to ensure that countries have the necessary information to make informed decisions before accepting the importation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for its territory. In this context, it should be noted that the Protocol incorporates the Precautionary Principle into its operative articles, one of the most important pillars of this instrument and which should guide the political and administrative actions of governments.
São Tomé, 26 de Julho de 2023
More information about biosafety on the website oficial CDB