Unintentional Transboundary Movements

Article 17 on unintentional transboundary movements of living modified organisms (LMOs) and emergency measures states that, “[e]ach Party shall take appropriate measures to notify affected or potentially affected States, the Biosafety Clearing-House and, where appropriate, relevant international organizations, when it knows of an occurrence under its jurisdiction resulting in a release that leads, or may lead, to an unintentional transboundary movement of a living modified organism that is likely have significant adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity…”.

At their seventh meeting (COP/MOP-7), Parties agreed to a decision that included the following requests:

  • Parties and other governments to submit information on actual cases of unintentional transboundary movement of LMOs and case studies related to existing mechanisms for emergency measures in case of unintentional transboundary movements that are likely to have significant adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, as well as views on what constitutes unintentional transboundary movements in contrast with illegal transboundary movements, and what type of information should be exchanged through the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH);
  • Executive Secretary to compile and synthesize information submitted for consideration by the Compliance Committee at its thirteenth meeting and submit suggested clarifications on what constitutes an unintentional transboundary movement in contrast with an illegal transboundary movement; and
  • The Online Network of Laboratories for the Detection and Identification of LMOs (Laboratory Network) to continue working on issues relevant to the detection and identification of LMOs.

Parties will consider the outcomes from these activities at their eighth meeting (COP/MOP-8). The GIC’s views on the proposed elements of the draft decision on Article 17 are outlined here.

Capacity building on sampling and detection methods for LMOs are supported by organizations such as the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI).  Please see here for a summary on how AACCI’s capacity building efforts on sampling and detection methods for LMOs have been a key resource for implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. This summary by Raymond Shillito, of BASF, was published in Cereal Foods World (edition September-October 2018, Vol 63, No.5) and looks at the structure of a workshop, the participants and the outcomes.