Subsidiary Bodies

Article 29(4)(b) of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety provides that the Parties to the Protocol may, “establish such subsidiary bodies as are deemed necessary for the implementation of this Protocol.” Article 30 of the Protocol provides rules regarding the establishment and composition of subsidiary bodies. Parties have considered the need for designating or establishing a permanent subsidiary body that would provide advice on scientific and technical issues arising in relation to the implementation of the Protocol on three previous occasions. During the last discussion on this issue, Parties decided that there was no need to establish such a body. In the same decision, the Parties agreed to reconsider the need to establish such a subsidiary body at COP/MOP-8. The Global Industry Coalition’s (GIC) views on the suggested elements of a draft decision on the need to establish an open-ended subsidiary body for scientific advice under the Protocol follow below and can be downloaded here.

GIC Views on the Elements for a Draft Decision on Subsidiary Bodies at COP/MOP-8

  • The background document for COP/MOP-8 indicates that experience gained and lessons learned in handling scientific and technical issues through the establishment of ad hoc technical expert groups and, in particular, online discussion forums, clearly demonstrates that existing systems are working to address such issues.
  • As such, the GIC supports the draft decision for Parties noting that “there is no need to establish an open-ended subsidiary body for scientific and technical advice under the Protocol.”
  • The GIC also supports the draft decision indicating it is more cost-effective and practical for Parties “[t]o continue establishing, as needed and subject to the availability of funds, ad hoc technical expert groups with specific mandates to provide advice on one or more scientific and technical issues;” and “[t]o take into account the experience gained and lessons learned from ad hoc technical expert groups, when establishing similar expert groups in the future, including the convening, as appropriate, of open-ended online expert forums prior to any face-to-face meetings of future ad hoc technical expert group meetings.”