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Liaison Group on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

The Liaison Group was first established by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, in its decision BS-I/5, as the “Liaison Group on Capacity-building for Biosafety” and constituted one of the elements of the Capacity Building Coordination Mechanism.

The work of the Liaison Group evolved over time. For example, the Liaison Group provided input to the development of the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and contributed to the third assessment and review of the Cartagena Protocol and the mid-term evaluation of the Strategic Plan.

At its ninth meeting, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, in its decision CP-9/7, decided to expand the mandate and scope of the Liaison Group on Capacity-Building for Biosafety and rename it “Liaison Group on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety”. The Annex to decision CP-9/7 provides the Terms of Reference of the Liaison Group:

  1. The Liaison Group shall provide the Executive Secretary with expert advice on: (a) ways and means to enhance the coordination and effective implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety; and (b) overall strategic approaches as well as conceptual and practical operational measures for enhancing coordination of activities under the Protocol, including capacity-building initiatives, among other things.
  2. Members of the Liaison Group shall be selected on the basis of their demonstrated expertise and experience with regard to the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, taking into account geographical representation, gender balance, and a fair representation of relevant stakeholders.

As outlined in decision CP-9/7, the COP-MOP requested the Liaison Group to contribute to the development of the relevant elements of the biosafety component in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, in consultation with the co-chairs of the Open-ended Working Group, and to the post-2020 Implementation Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. In decision CP-9/3, the Liaison Group was also requested to contribute to the development of the draft action plan for capacity-building for implementation of the Cartagena Protocol and its Supplementary Protocol, and the draft long-term strategic framework for capacity-building beyond 2020, as appropriate. As such, the Liaison Group was mandated to play a key role in the post-2020 processes, as they relate to biosafety.

Accordingly, the thirteenth meeting of the Liaison Group was held from 22 to 25 October 2019. It reviewed the draft post-2020 implementation plan for the Cartagena Protocol, as revised following the online discussions, contributed to the development of the draft post-2020 capacity-building action plan and prepared a draft of the biosafety component of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The report of the meeting is available here.