First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Liability and Redress under the Biosafety Protocol

25-27 May 2005, Montreal, Canada

 



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Highlights for Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Delegates to the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts on Liability and Redress in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in Plenary throughout the day. In the morning, delegates heard opening remarks, addressed organizational issues and discussed a presentation on scientific analysis and risk assessment. In the afternoon, they discussed a presentation on State responsibility and international liability, and addressed scenarios, options, approaches and issues for further consideration on liability and redress. 

Above photo L-R: The morning dais with the Secretariat's Cyrie Shendashonga, CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan and Xueman Wang.

OPENING REMARKS AND ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES:



CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan opened the meeting, noting that the preparatory meeting of the Technical Expert Group on liability and redress provided a solid base for discussions.

Delegates elected René Lefeber (the Netherlands) and Jimena Nieto  (Colombia) as Co-Chairs of the meeting.



Xueman Wang
, Secretariat introduced: a compilation of views on the scenarios identified by the Technical Expert Group.


Co-Chair Nieto presented the report of the meeting of the Technical Expert Group (UNEP/CBD/BS/WG-L&R/1/2), highlighting the lack of regional or international instruments specifically addressing liability and redress for damage resulting from transboundary movements of LMOs.



EGYPT regretted the absence of negotiator Tewolde Egziabher (Ethiopia) due to Canada's denial of a visa and stressed that host countries are required to facilitate, not hinder participation. Above photo: Osama El-Tayeb (Egypt)

Above photo: NGO participants protested Canada's denial of visa to a few participants particularly that of Ethiopian negotiator, Tewolde Egziabher.


PRESENTATIONS RELATING TO LIABILITY AND REDRESS: 
SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS AND RISK ASSESSMENT:


CAMEROON drew attention to the conditions of the receiving environment and asked about the relation between a field trial and risk assessment. Above photo: Lilian Nfor (Cameroon)


Muffy Koch
(AgBios, Canada) and Piet van der Meer (Horizons, Belgium) presented an overview of the scientific analysis and assessment of risks resulting from transboundary movements of LMOs.



The PHILIPPINES drew attention to the role of the public sector in developing biotechnology. Above photo: Jose Maria Ochave ( The Philippines)


INDIA noted the limited experience in assessing impacts on biodiversity, and stressed the importance of socioeconomic considerations in developing countries. Above photo: Desh Deepak Verma (India)


STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND INTERNATIONAL LIABILITY:


Dan Ogolla (Secretariat) described recent developments in State responsibility and international liability.


The UK noted that primary State responsibility in the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects confirms the international trend to channel liability to the operator, because States are the only entities operating space objects. 
Above photo: Jane Bulmer (UK)


SCENARIOS, OPTIONS,  APPROACHES AND ISSUES  FOR  CONSIDERATIONS:


The WASHINGTON BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION COUNCIL questioned a reference to illegal transboundary movements. Above photo L-R: Philip Bereano (Washington Biotechnology Action Council) speaking with Beth Burrows (Edmonds Institute)


SWITZERLAND suggested the list of scenarios be left open and revisited. Above photo: Jürg Bally (Switzerland)



Highlighting the need to assess the best reading of Article 27 (Liability and Redress) from a legal point of view, CANADA supported the first option. Above photo: Anne Daniel (Canada)


CHINA noted that damages caused directly by shipment of LMOs seem very rare. Above photo: Han Yingda (China)


This service was prepared in cooperation with the CBD Secretariat



Links

CBD Secretariat
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Homepage
WG-LR 1 Official Meeting Documents
Technical Group of Experts  on Liability and Redress
E2002 Workshop on Liability and Redress in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
ENB coverage of COP-MOP1
ENB coverage of COP-7

ENB archives of biodiversity meetings

 
 

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