Cartagena Protocol delegates meet in South Africa

Delegates from 15 countries in Africa that are signatories to the Cartagena Protocol met on Tuesday in Pretoria, South Africa, to discuss the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

The meeting to review and discuss implementation matters was a preparation session for the sixth conference of the parties that will serve as the meeting of the parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Safety in October. The COP-MOP 6 will bring together delegates from other continents and will be held in India, Africa Science News reports.

The preparatory meeting was meant to help the delegates understand upcoming issues that will be discussed at the negotiations during the COP-MOP 6. The meeting focused particularly on how such decisions could impact regional and national biosafety interests. In addition, the workshop was meant to increase the understanding of key issues for more informed participation.

Multiple African countries continue to operate under different biosafety regimes that define how genetically modified organisms are handled in the separate nations.

The meeting was organized by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications AfriCenter, the Program for Biosafety Systems, the Public Research and Regulation Initiative, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Africabio, the South African government and the AU-NEPAD Agency Africa Biosafety Network of Expertise, according to Africa Science News.

The primary role of the COP-MOP is to regularly review implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and to make decisions needed to effectively implement the protocol.