The Chair introduced an aide-memoire on unintentional transboundary movement of LMOs/handling, transport, packaging, and transit requirements for transboundary movement of LMOs (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/2/CRP.6). The aide-memoire asked: should unintentional transboundary movement be covered by the protocol and, if so, which procedure should apply, who should trigger it and should information on the movement be shared with Parties.
UNINTENTIAL TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENT: Most speakers felt that unintentional transboundary movement (UTM) should be covered by the protocol. CHINA asked whether the concept includes natural disasters or actions. He noted that if it covers accidents due to UTMs it is related to Article 14.1(c) of the CBD. AUSTRALIA and NORWAY specified that it should cover unintended releases or accidents, which would be covered by AIA procedures, as well as unintended movement. ZAMBIA preferred a separate provision for purely accidental or natural releases such as pollen. The EU specified LMOs that are likely to have adverse effects. INDONESIA asked how to define UTM of LMOs and the extent to which it has occurred, and whether there would be a time limit on identifying it. SWITZERLAND, supported by JAPAN, felt that UTMs are already covered adequately in Article 14.1(c) and (d) of the CBD, but reference might be made to them in the provisions on information-sharing.
Most speakers felt that full information should be given by the party from which the UTM originates to the affected party, and that information should also be shared with third parties. BRAZIL noted that all experience with LMOs is to be eventually deposited in the information-sharing mechanism. At the time of movement, information should be given to any third party that might be affected. He called for linkage to a liability and compensation clause for the protocol. AUSTRALIA emphasized information-sharing through the proposed clearinghouse mechanism. NIGER stressed the importance of giving information for risk assessment and management generally and sharing information with all Parties notwithstanding confidentiality. The EU stressed speed and effectiveness in whatever procedure is adopted, so that appropriate measures may be taken rapidly.
As to who should trigger the procedure, proposals included the originating party, the affected party, and other States, particularly potentially affected third parties, depending on where the UTM or release is first identified. NORWAY and the EU noted that this question covers legal responsibility. Ultimately the country where the release has occurred must take action, which will require developing a legal basis under CBD Article 14. MOZAMBIQUE specified that the procedure should be triggered through the competent authority of the originating State or the affected State. MAURITANIA noted that Article 8 of the CBD requires the Party responsible for the release to trigger the procedure or, if not, the affected country or any other country that might be affected. SRI LANKA specified the exporting party as the trigger, through its competent authority. BRAZIL and ZAMBIA specified the affected countrys competent authority; the country of origination should alert that authority. BELARUS said for natural disasters the originating country should trigger the mechanism. For illegal activities, the damaged party or a third party could trigger the procedure.
MAURITIUS reiterated the need to strengthen developing countries capacity to deal with these risks. INDIA added that compatibility with Article 14.2 of the CBD requires redress measures in the protocol. BELARUS called for a mechanism modeled on the CBD procedure for dispute settlement.
HANDLING, TRANSPORT, PACKAGING AND TRANSIT: On the handling, transport, packaging and transit requirements for transboundary movement of LMOs, the aide-memoire asked: to what extent should handling, transport, packaging and transit be covered by the protocol and to what extent are these issues already covered by other international agreements. Many delegates, including INDONESIA, BARBADOS, UGANDA, LESOTHO, NORWAY and BRAZIL, agreed that these issues should be covered by the protocol. BARBADOS and BURUNDI emphasized the importance of these issues for trans-shipment countries. LESOTHO urged the inclusion of labelling among the items. NORWAY said the LMO must be accompanied by movement documentation from origin to use or release. Provisions in the protocol should be general and the Parties could develop a detailed packaging provision.
The EU, supported by NEW ZEALAND, said that questions related to transfer should be referred to the ECOSOC committee of experts on the transfer of dangerous goods. BRAZIL said these issues should be explicitly covered by the protocol and details included in an annex. NEW ZEALAND said the protocol should not be prescriptive but should encourage all interested Parties to observe appropriate safety considerations. MALAYSIA said that handling and transit are separate issues and noted that transit issues are not adequately covered by international agreements. ECOROPA supported consistent labelling procedures for LMOs from cradle to grave.
During the final Plenary, delegates accepted the Chairs draft element paper on unintentional transboundary movement of LMOs, including accidental and emergency cases (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/2/ CRP.13) and on handling, transport/packaging/and transit requirements for transboundary movements of LMOs (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/2/CRP.15). These papers include all of the proposals made by delegates during discussion.
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