Global landmark treaty on biosafety liability, redress comes into force

Scavengers being trained by Hinckley Recycling in Lagos

Determined to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, a groundbreaking international treaty that ensures conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity has entered into force last week.
Adopted on October 15, 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, as a supplementary agreement to the Cartagena Protocol, the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety aims to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by providing international rules and procedures in the field of liability and redress relating to Living Modified Organisms (LMOs).

The Supplementary Protocol requires that response measures are taken in the event of damage resulting from LMOs or where there is sufficient likelihood that damage will result if timely response measures are not taken. The Supplementary Protocol also includes provisions in relation to civil liability.
“The entry into force of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on March 5, represents a milestone in the history of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The entry into force of this important instrument provides a key piece of the international regulatory regime applying to living modified organisms.

“It provides practical rules to respond to damage resulting from living modified organisms that find their origin in a transboundary movement and gives effect to the polluter pays principle,” said Mr. Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico, and President of the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
CBD Executive Secretary, Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer said: “The entry into force of the Supplementary Protocol is a major milestone in the 25 years of the Biodiversity Convention, 15 years of the Biosafety Protocol and represents a major step towards achieving the objectives of the Strategic Plan for the Biosafety Protocol.
“I urge all parties to the Biosafety Protocol yet to do so to ratify the protocol as soon as possible. I also urge parties to the Biodiversity Convention that have not yet done so to ratify the Biosafety Protocol so that they can also become Parties to the Supplementary Protocol.”
Currently, there are 41 parties to the Supplementary Protocol. The protocol entered into force on the 19th day after the deposit of the 40th instrument of ratification, accession, acceptance or approval.

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