www.osnovosti.ru
smk-pride.ru

Автор статей: Марина Богданова

Consumers ready to contribute to protection of biodiversity,

Montreal/Paris, 26 May 2016 — More and more people are aware of biodiversity. If credible information and reputable brands are available, consumers are ready to purchase biodiversity- friendly products and contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. These are among the latest insights of the Biodiversity Barometer, an annual survey of the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) on biodiversity awareness among consumers and leading beauty, food and beverage companies around the world.

Launched in 2009, the Biodiversity Barometer now distils the results of eight years of research on biodiversity awareness among 54,000 people in 16 countries. It offers valuable information — both for governments developing strategies to meet the United Nations Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and for companies shaping their approaches towards ethical sourcing of biodiversity. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets include one on awareness by 2020, at the latest, ensuring that “people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably”. The Biodiversity Barometer is one of the global indicators recognized under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

“It is particularly encouraging to see the growing biodiversity awareness around the world, with more education, and a focus on cultivating the interest of consumers in contributing to biodiversity conservation, I am confident that we can meet the 2020 target on biodiversity awareness and action”, says Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the Executive Secretary of the CBD.

UEBT research shows that consumers would like to contribute to biodiversity conservation, but most don’t yet know how to go about it. They expect companies to respect people and biodiversity, but are currently far from confident that appropriate measures are being taken. Consumers want to receive more information, and could be convinced by the reputation of a brand as well as authentic, externally verified stories.

“ We see both a clear responsibility and opportunity for companies. Natural ingredient supply chains can be turned into positive agents of change, promoting actions that restore biodiversity and promote local development. This implies a significant challenge, of course, as it requires a paradigm shift and a true commitment to ethical sourcing, but it can be done. A few companies, including UEBT members, have already taken up the challenge and are leading the way», says Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT Executive Director.

The beauty sector offers some inspiring examples of how companies can put their supply chains to work for people and biodiversity, and UEBT research shows consumers begin to recognize this. For instance, Natura Cosmetics, a Brazilian multinational that is widely recognized for their commitment to sustainability, has pioneered sourcing with respect of biodiversity for many years. Natura makes sustainable use of the Amazon’s biodiversity and actively contributes to local development, something that is verified independently by UEBT. The natural cosmetics company Weleda is another good example. Just recently, Weleda was awarded the Swiss Ethics Award for their engagement with UEBT and their commitment to promoting ethical sourcing practices along all their natural ingredient supply chains.

Also beyond UEBT, companies are acting. For instance, The Body Shop, which is also mentioned by consumers in the UEBT survey, recently launched a new global CSR Commitment, Enrich Not Exploit, with a pledge to enrich the planet, its biodiversity and resources.

The top ten insights from the 2016 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer are:

  1. The understanding of biodiversity is rising significantly around the world. Understanding has doubled in the USA, and increased by 70% in France and Germany since UEBT started measuring in 2009.
  2. Biodiversity is a global concept, with high awareness in emerging markets in Latin America and Asia. More than 90% of consumers, mostly internet connected, have heard about biodiversity in Brazil, China, France, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam.
  3. People want to personally contribute to biodiversity conservation, but they generally don’t know how to go about it.
  4. Consumers around the world expect companies to respect biodiversity, but have little confidence that they currently do. On average, only around one-third of the respondents are confident that companies pay serious attention to ethical sourcing of biodiversity.
  5. Transparency is important. Consumers want to know whether sourcing practices respect people and biodiversity. They would like more information, preferably externally validated.
  6. Consumers are convinced of companies’ respect for people and biodiversity mainly through brand reputation, as well as through authentic stories and images in brands’ communication.
  7. Younger people have the highest awareness of biodiversity and can identify brands that respect biodiversity. They learn about biodiversity at school, and value companies taking concrete actions for people and biodiversity.
  8. Few international brands have positioned themselves around sourcing practices with respect for people and biodiversity.
  9. Corporate communication on biodiversity by beauty, food, and beverage companies is on the rise, but still falls short of expectations. Among the top 100 beauty companies, 38 communicate about biodiversity, whereas 63 among the top 100 food and beverage companies do. These numbers still need to go up, and so should the quality of reporting.
  10. References to access and benefit sharing (ABS) are rising in corporate communications. This follows the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol and EU rules on ABS in 2014.
  11. More information can be found in the 2016 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer. http ://ethi calbiotrade. org/biodiversity-b arometer/

Note to editors

Union for Ethical BioTrade

The Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) is a member-based non-profit association that promotes the ‘Sourcing with Respect’ of ingredients that come from biodiversity. UEBT promotes sourcing practices that advance sustainable business growth, local development and biodiversity conservation. UEBT was created in 2007 as a spin off from the United Nations to promote business engagement in BioTrade. In 2011 the CBD and UEBT signed a MoU to contribute to the implementation of the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

More information at: www.uebt.org, or contact pr@uebt.org.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force on 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 170 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on 12 October 2014 and to date has been ratified so far by 76 Parties. For more information visit: www.cbd.int. For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at david.ainsworth@cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1                                                                                         514   287   6670 or at

johan.hedlund@cbd.int.

REGIONAL PROGRESS TOWARDS GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL TARGETS

22 May 2016, Cambridge, UK; Montreal, Canada; and Nairobi, Kenya — Today on the International Day for Biodiversity, a major series of four regional reports entitled The State of Biodiversity — a mid-term review of progress towards the Strategic Plan, have been launched.

The four reports, one each for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, West Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean were initiated by UNEP Division of Environmental Law and Conventions in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). . The reports offer a regional perspective of the Convention’s 2014 publication Global Biodiversity Outlook-4 (GB0-4).

Using a similar approach and method of analysis to that of GBO-4, each of the regional State of Biodiversity reports contains a summary of progress towards a set of 20 global environment-related goals known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, followed by a detailed target by target analysis and a summary of opportunities and recommendations for policy and decision makers.

The reports’ key findings are that all regions are making good progress on Target 11 (protected areas), Target 16 (ratifying the Nagoya Protocol), Target 17 (the adoption of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) as policy instruments) and on Targets 18 and 19 (traditional knowledge respected, and knowledge shared, improved and applied). However, no region is making progress on Target 6 (sustainable management of marine resources), Target 8 (reduction of pollution), Target 10 (reduction of pressures on vulnerable ecosystems) and Target 14 (ecosystem and essential services safeguarded).

A further key finding is that the suite of responses to regional pressures on biodiversity varies from one region to another. Some focus on capacity building while others are testing approaches, such as, payment for ecosystem services, expansion of protected area networks, and ecosystem service valuation.

For example, the Africa report shows that while freshwater ecosystems are under pressure and forest decline and degradation continues, many countries are using investment in ecosystem service valuation and REDD+ to help achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Many countries have already achieved the component of Target 11 on protected areas related to the area under protection. Eleven out of 20 Targets

are ‘on track’ or progressing towards achievements and eight show no significant progress or movement away from achievement.

The West Asia report shows that biodiversity and ecosystem services information in the region is limited and water scarcity, worsened by climate change, are a real threat to biodiversity. However, there has been considerable investment in building capacity and policymaking in the region over the past five years. While there were insufficient data to assess progress on four of the targets, eight out of 20 show signs of progress towards achievement and eight show ‘no significant progress’ or movement away towards achievement.

In Asia and the Pacific, the report highlights the pressures caused by unsustainable wildlife trade due to growth in demand and the devestating impact that invasive alien species can have on oceanic islands. Nonetheless, protected area networks have grown and voluntary certification schemes are showing modest growth. Although 13 out of 20 Targets show ‘no significant progress’ or movement away towards achievement, six are ‘on track’ or progressing towards achievement.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the role of rapid economic growth in driving agricultural expansion and intensification, urbanization, infrastructure expansion and increasing pressure on natural resources has been noted. Despite this, the region has developed considerable capacity and expertise in a variety of conservation responses including the development of payment for ecosystem services schemes and ecotourism. Six out of 20 Targets show ‘no significant progress’ or movement away towards achievement while 13 are ‘on track’ or progressing towards achievement.

The work will support dialogue with regional partners and stakeholders by clearly communicating each region’s progress towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and stimulating discussions about collaborative actions that maximise opportunities to achieve the global goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity by 2020.

Note to editors

For more information or to speak to the report’s authors please contact:

Hilary Allison, Head of Ecosystem Assessment Programme, UNEP-WCMC

Mobile: +44 (0) 7872 542103, Email: Hilary.Allison@unep-wcmc.org

David Ainsworth, Information Officer, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Cell: +1 514 833 0196, Tel: +1 514 287 7025, Email: David.Ainsworth@cbd.int

Publications can be downloaded using the following links:

  • The State of Biodiversity in Africa — a mid-term review of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

http: //wcmc.io/State -of-Biodiversity-Africa

  • The State of Biodiversity in West Asia — a mid-term review of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

http://wcmc.io/State-of-Biodiversity-WestAsia

The State of Biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean — a mid-term review of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

http://wcmc.io/State-of-Biodiversity-LatinAmericaAndCaribbean

 

UNEP-WCMC is a world leader in biodiversity knowledge. We work with a global network of scientists and policymakers to place biodiversity at the heart of decision-making. We pride ourselves on delivering and improving access to high quality information and analyses, to help our partners make enlightened choices for people and the planet. www.unep-wcmc.org

About the Convention on Biological Diversity

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force on 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 170 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on 12 October 2014 and to date has been ratified so far by 75 Parties. For more information visit: www.cbd.int. For additional information, please contact:                     David Ainsworth on +1        514   287   7025 or at

david.ainsworth@cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund@cbd.int.

About UNEP Division of Environmental Law and Conventions

The Division of Environmental Law & Conventions (DELC) is the lead Division charged with carrying out the functions of UNEP that involve support for the development and implementation of environmental law including environmental conventions and governance.

G7 Environment Ministers communique welcomed by Head of Biodiversity Convention

20 May 2016, Montreal, Canada: The Toyama communique issued by G7 environment ministers has been welcomed by Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), for its strong support to both the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets as well as the theme of the upcoming thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the CBD, in Cancun, Mexico from 4 to 17 December 2016.

“The messages in this communique demonstrate the growing commitment to achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, conceived in Japan in 2010” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity. “I look forward to the deepening of global discussions on the ways to mainstream biodiversity into and across key areas of activity such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, as well as into the Sustainable Development Goals.”

At the end of the 2 day meeting, which was held in Toyama, Japan from 15 to 16 May 2016 a joint communique was issued recognizing:

  • the need to transition to socio-economic systems that make conservation and sustainable use more valuable than unsustainable use;
  • the potential of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaption disaster risk reduction at all levels including by local and national governments; and
  • The importance of promoting fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promoting appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed.

    The original statement by the Ministers can be viewed at: http: //www. env. go.ip/press/files/i p/102871 .pdf

  • The communique also includes a commitment to further develop and advance mechanisms for mainstreaming biodiversity for well-being across strategic sectors. This commitment provides support to the theme of the forthcoming COP 13, planned for Cancun, Mexico.

About the Convention on Biological Diversity

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force on 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 170 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on 12 October 2014 and to date has been ratified so far by 75 Parties. For more information visit: www.cbd.int. For additional information, please contact:                     David Ainsworth on +1        514   287   7025 or at

david.ainsworth@cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund@cbd.int.

Latin America and Caribbean nations declare support for biodiversity mainstreaming efforts under Convention on Biological Diversity

Montreal 7 April 2016 — In anticipation of the discussions to take place at the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) later this year, Latin American and Caribbean Ministers of Environment have adopted a decision to enhance implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. In particular, the decision supports actions to mainstream biodiversity into productive sectors, and to implement regional and sub-regional plans to support implementation efforts.

“This is a very positive decision and shows that the region is prepared to move forward on key mainstreaming issues for biodiversity,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. “Momentum towards a successful COP 13 has now been clearly established.” COP 13 will take place in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2016.

In the decision, taken at the 20th Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean in Cartagena, Colombia, ministers agreed to promote, at COP 13, the adoption of decisions in support of holistic and integrated approaches towards mainstreaming biodiversity, including the strengthening of legal and institutional frameworks, and to link this with communication strategies targeted at relevant sectors.

Ministers recognized the importance of the restoration agenda in agreeing to build support for a decision at COP 13 that would provide financing for ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems and their ecosystem functions, taking into account issues of connectivity with protected areas.

Ministers also agreed to develop a Regional Cooperation Programme on Biodiversity to help build national capacities for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in addition to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. The programme will focus on a number of strategic sectors, including: agriculture and cattle raising, forestry, mining, exploitation of hydrocarbons, energy, fisheries and tourism sectors, and would include measures to encourage active participation of other actors, including local governments, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities, civil society and social movements.

There was agreement to support ongoing work on the elaboration of a Caribbean Biodiversity Strategy for Small Island Developing States, as an important means of enhancing the implementation of the Convention in the Caribbean Basin.

The Convention’s protocols were also of interest to the Ministers, who agreed to promote the adoption and implementation, in the region, of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol.

Note to editors

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force on 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 170 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on 12 October 2014 and to date has been ratified by 73 Parties. For more information visit: www.cbd.int. For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at david.ainsworth@,cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at j ohan.hedlund@cbd.int.

MESSAGE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

MESSAGE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY BRAULIO FERREIRA DE SOUZA DIAS on the occasion of WORLD HEALTH DAY 7 APRIL 2016

“Step Up: Beat Diabetes ”

The World Health Organization’s objective of scaling up the prevention, care, and surveillance of diabetes on World Health Day 2016 provides a timely opportunity to reflect upon the profound impacts of biodiversity loss and its consequences for human and planetary health. The conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, forests and other terrestrial ecosystems, seascapes and freshwater systems can contribute to dietary diversity and to reducing the rising global health threat posed by diabetes and diet-related diseases through its potential contributions to healthier diets and food choices.

In 2012, diabetes claimed over 1.5 million lives, 80 per cent of them in low and middle-income countries. The first Global Report on Diabetes released by the World Health Organization to mark World Health Day indicates that diabetes has increased fourfold since 1980, with the greatest rise in low and middle- income countries. At the same time, one in every four people are overweight and one in every ten are obese. Urbanization, globalization, monoculture and agricultural intensification are increasingly eroding biodiversity and traditional food systems worldwide while also contributing to profound dietary changes. Many low and middle-income countries are also experiencing the double burden of malnutrition alongside a rise in overweight, obesity and diet-related chronic diseases, particularly among children and other vulnerable populations.

As the prevalence of diabetes continues to increase worldwide — with an expected doubling over the next 10 years alone — we need to ensure that the production systems that influence our food choices, practices and behaviours are in line with our global commitments to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Supporting the healthy lifestyle choices endorsed by the World Health Organization to address the growing public health burden of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases can have parallel benefits for biodiversity. To get there, we can promote dietary diversification as an alternative to simplified diets

that are calorie-rich but nutrient-poor. We can encourage people to moderate consumption of meat and processed foods and to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. We can also support the sustainable management and ecological intensification of agro-ecosystems through more integrated policies and incentives, and we can increase opportunities for people to engage in regular physical exercise in parks and other settings.

A recent and compelling body of scientific evidence also suggests that increasing our exposure to microbial diversity in the natural environment can be beneficial to the microbiota present in humans and strengthen our immune functions and responses that modulate our risks of autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases including Type II diabetes and obesity. Yet, microbial diversity in our diets and the broader environment is increasingly compromised as we transition to increasingly urban settings.

Preventing diet-related epidemics such as diabetes is about much more than individual behaviour change and ensuring access to nutritious foods. It is also about promoting the maintenance and expansion of crop and livestock genetic diversity, and policy choices that diversify the sources of calories and quality of nutrients that end up on our plates, including the prevention of excessive use of sugar, fat and preservatives in processed food. As we support these goals, the related changes to our agriculture and food systems can have the added benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the regulation of water, air and nutrient cycles, restoring soil fertility, increasing ecosystem and human resilience, decreasing crop pests and pathogens, abating pressures on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, sustaining the genetic and species diversity central to food security and nutrition, while also spreading awareness of the mental, physiological and emotional health benefits biodiversity provides.

There will be critical opportunities to respond to these challenges at the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in December, as decision-makers consider the implications of the findings of the State of Knowledge Review, Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health1, jointly developed by the WHO and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The complex but numerous vital linkages the report describes are a sobering reminder that we are all stakeholders in this undertaking. I urge all individuals, sectors and governments to consider these findings in this light.

By committing to the conservation and sustainable use of our precious natural heritage, we can achieve the transformational change necessary to maximize the human and ecosystem health benefits biodiversity can deliver to present and future generations.

Canada and the United States of America Affirm Partnership on Climate Action, Clean Energy, and the Arctic and its Biodiversity

Montreal, 14 March 2016 -The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, applauds the Arctic Partnership announced Thursday by United States President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Washington, D.C. Although focused on climate action, the partnership has far-reaching consequences for biodiversity in the Arctic, including the role of indigenous peoples and their traditional knowledge.

Concerned that the Arctic is experiencing accelerated climate change and is on the frontlines of this global crisis,[1] President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau pledged, in a joint statement, to embrace opportunities and confront challenges in the Arctic with indigenous and Northern partnerships and responsible, science-based leadership. Of particular relevance to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the two leaders called on all Arctic nations, including those with Arctic interests, to embrace a new future for Arctic leadership with four objectives:

  • Conserve Arctic biodiversity through science-based decision-making: Canada and the United States reaffirmed their national goals of protecting at least 17 per cent of land areas and 10 per cent of marine areas by 20 20[2], vowing to work directly with indigenous partners, state, territorial and provincial governments to establish a new conservation goal for the Arctic based on the best available climate science and knowledge.
  • Incorporate indigenous science and traditional knowledge into decision-making: The two

countries said they are committed to collaborating with indigenous peoples and Arctic governments, leaders and communities to more broadly and respectfully include indigenous science and traditional knowledge into decision-making, including environmental assessments, resource management, and advancing the understanding of climate change and how best to manage its effects.

  1. See Note to editors, Background: The Arctic, Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples.
  2. Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
  • Build a sustainable Arctic economy: Commercial activities, according to the two countries, will occur only when the “highest safety and environmental standards including national and global climate and environmental goals, and Indigenous rights and agreements” are met. They pledge to work together to develop, in 2016, a shared and science-based standard for considering the life cycle impacts of commercial activities in the Arctic and establish consistent policies for ships operating in the region. With a vision to ensure a future of “abundant Arctic fish”, both countries called for a binding international agreement to prevent unregulated fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean based on precautionary, science-based principles.
  • Supporting strong Arctic communities: Canada and the United Sates commit to defining new approaches and exchanging best practices to strengthen the resilience of Northern and Arctic communities and to continue to support the well-being of Arctic residents while stressing the importance of respecting the rights and territory of indigenous peoples. Among other things, the two countries committed to working in partnership to implement land claims agreements to realize the social, cultural and economic potential of all indigenous and Northern communities.
  • This new partnership, which embraces Northern and indigenous communities and their local and traditional knowledge, together with science, for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and climate action, brings renewed hope for a world region which is experiencing accelerated climate change.

Note to editors

U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy and Arctic Leadership: www .whitehouse. gov/the — press-office/2016/03/10/us-canada-ioint-statement-climate-enemv-and-arctic-leadership

Background: The Arctic, Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

The IPCC[3] predicts that climate change will likely have a profound effect on humanity. Indigenous peoples and local communities are among the first to face the direct adverse consequences of climate change, due to their dependence upon and close relationship with the environment and its resources, including biodiversity. While climate change may still be a distant threat for some people, it is already a grim reality for many indigenous peoples and local communities, especially those in the Arctic region. Climate change brings additional vulnerabilities to indigenous and local communities, which can add to existing challenges, including political and economic marginalization, land and resource encroachments, human rights violations, discrimination, unemployment and substance abuse.[4]

Paris Agreement on Climate Change: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09r01 .pdf

Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (2013): www.arcticbiodiversity.is/

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders, including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force on 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 170 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on 12 October 2014 and, to date, has been ratified by 72 Parties. For more information, visit: www.cbd.int. For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at david.ainsworth@cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at j ohan.hedlund@cbd.int.

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity United Nations Environment Programme

413 Saint-Jacques Street, Suite 800, Montreal, QC, H2Y 1N9, Canada Tel : +1 514 288 2220                              Fax : +1 514 288 6588

secretariat@cbd.int          www.cbd.int

[3]          Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: www.ipcc.ch/.

[4]          Refer to: www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=WG8J-05UNEP/CBD/WG8J/5/INF/18 — Report on Indigenous and Local Communities Highly Vulnerable to Climate Change Inter Alia of the Arctic, Small Island States and High Altitudes, with a Focus on Causes And Solutions.

FAO GM Foods Platform: WEBINAR in E-Newsletter January 2015 issue

January 2015

E-Newsletter for the Platform community http://fao.org/gm-platform/

Happy New Year!

The FAO GM Foods Platform team would like to wish you the very best for 2015. We trust the Platform will continue to grow with more new information. Visit your country page today — we have created a short URL for you to bookmark: http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM- LOGIN

Platform status

We welcomed Micronesia to our community this month. Also three countries (Luxembourg, Zambia and Laos) successfully registered to the Platform. Welcome on board! Also, we are happy to inform you that the country profiles of Tanzania (link: http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM-TZA). Myanmar (link: http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM-MMR ) and Indonesia (link: http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM-IDN) have been updated. We now have a total of 157 countries that nominated a Focal Point and 151 countries that registered to the Platform. Among them, 91 countries have completed their country profile pages. Now we are hosting 509 records on the Platform.

Now available: Videos and report of the Webinar on the International Databases on Biosafety

The two sessions of the webinar held on the 12th of November 2014 have been recorded and made available online. The recordings are available in approximately 20 minutes each. A report of the webinar is now available that includes an overview on the discussions held during the webinar and provides a list of all attended and registered participants. All the questions posted during the webinar have been addressed in the report. We strongly encourage you to take a look at the draft report (link: http://tiny.cc/Webinar-Report-Nov2014 ) as you will see all relevant information as well as the list of participants/registered people so that you can easily identify your national colleagues working in the same field.

Presentations

o FAO GM Foods Platform:           http://youtu.be/3YFnq44hSSA

o UNEP Biosafety Clearing House: http://youtu.be/qFl UOqtuCA o OECD BioTrack Database: http://youtu.be/OHuedUEVGXY

Question and Answers

o Session 1: http://voutu■be/vHDadZcovSO o Session 2: http://youtu.be/RaAfR6i7Gls

Discussion Topic 1: What are areas within biosafety where further synergy can be achieved among the organizations? o Session 1: http://youtu.be/kwBlHLlq8ko o Session 2: http://youtu.be/0DDQch8z6sA

Discussion Topic 2: How does communication among different national users of the databases takes place? o Session 1: http://youtu.be/FPSR9X6-iq8 o Session 2: http://youtu.be/4j rqQcQOKg

Discussion Topic 3: What are the practical challenges in the use of the databases? o Session 1: http://youtu.be/QK2mNoq2zo4 o Session 2: http://youtu.be/rg5M 8Cpiws

Information about stacked events

During the webinar, several participants asked how stacked events are managed on the FAO GM Foods Platform. “Stacked event” generally indicates a plant variety that contains multiple transformation events (please note: there is no official internationally harmonized definition for this terminology). The OECD Unique Identifier system combines the relevant Unique Identifiers of the events that composed the stacked event. For example, the stacked event rACS-BN004-7xACS-BN001-4′ consists of two individual events of ‘ACS-BN004’ and 7xACS-BN001-4’.

Various regulatory approaches exist to categorize and/or manage stacked events at national level. On the FAO GM Foods Platform, there is a text field available on the country profile page so that the focal points can explain their own situation and relevant regulatory issues around stacked events. Followings are the examples of countries that elaborated on their specific national regulatory approach on stacked events.

  • Philippines: http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM-PHL
  • Brazil: http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM-BRA
  • Canada: http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM-CANAll editions of the Newsletter issued in 2014 are now archived and made available online. Our Newsletters have been addressing a wide range of topics including the practical guide in using the FAO GM Platform and the related events organized. To see the archives, please visit: http://tinv.cc/FAO-GM-ARCHIVE2014For this month, FAO selects the Colombia and introduces its “Country Profile” (http://tiny.cc/FAO-GM-COL ). The selection is done at random and there is no criterion for the selection. We strongly encourage all of you to start filling out the Country Profile section of the Platform. You never know when your country will be selected!
  • competent authority for GMO that are exclusively used in health and food purposes. The same Decree creates the National Biosafety Technical Committee for GMO’s used in health and food purposes. The Committee is compose by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, or its delegate, the Director of the National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute — INVIMA, or its delegate, and the Director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Administrative Department — COLCIENCIAS, or its delegate. This committee is responsible for the risk assessment of the dossier submitted by the applicant; to require any additional information; assessment of any measurements in accordance to the Cartagena Protocol in order to avoid, prevent, mitigate correct and/or compensate de possible risks of effects that may occur; the recommendation to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection the administrative act for the authorization of the GMO for health or food purposes.”
  • Country Profile Highlight vol. 9: Colombia
  • Now available: 2014 newsletter archive

Question of the Month: I am leaving my post soon and therefore I cannot fulfil the tasks of the Focal Point to the FAO GM Foods Platform anymore. How can I ensure the transition to my successor proceeds smoothly?

If you are moving from your current job position (or retiring), and will not be able to perform he tasks as a Focal Point of the Platform, please assure that a new Focal Point is nominated before your move. Your step is very easy — you just need to inform your national Codex Contact Point of your move, then the National Codex Contact Point should contact us at GM-Platform@fao.org so that the process for re-nomination can start.

Questions? Comments?

We are always happy to receive any questions, comments and/or suggestions to improve the Platform. Feel free to contact us at GM-Platform@fao.org.

If you do not wish to receive this monthly newsletter, contact GM-Platform@fao.org. You are receiving this e-mail because you are the official Focal Point or Alternate Focal Point nominated by your respective Government for the FAO GM Foods Platform (http: //fao.org/gm-platform). General FAO terms, conditions and disclaimers apply

(http://www.fao.org/contact-us/terms/).

Smallholder farmers are key to sustainable management of the world’s natural resources

Smallholder farmers are key to sustainable management of the world’s natural resources

Convention on Biological Diversity joins the world community in celebrating World Food Day

16 October, 2014, Pyeongchang — Smallholder farmers throughout the world play a key role in maintaining natural resources through the use of sustainable practices, and can significantly contribute the conservation of biodiversity, the Convention on Biological Diversity stressed today, in a joint press conference with FAO, held in the margins of COP-12 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on the occasion of the World Food Day 2014.

The theme for this year, Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the Earth, seeks to raise the profile of the more than 500 million family farms, which produce about 80 percent of the world’s food and are crucial to ensure global food security.

«These 500 million families of farmers should be considered key players in the management of the world’s biodiversity — they are the largest group of biodiversity managers. Achieving the Aichi biodiversity targets relevant to agriculture will require their efforts,» said Eduardo Mansur, Director of FAO Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division.

Achieving food security is intrinsically linked to the conservation of biodiversity. Family farms use a vast array of plant varieties and animal breeds in the most diverse and challenging environmental conditions. By using these breeds and varieties, family farmers conserve a broad genetic diversity. These genetic resources are indispensable for breeding new varieties and breeds and allow people to cope with present and future environmental and social changes.

Towards achieving Aichi biodiversity targets

Family farmers also possess unique knowledge and understanding of the local ecology and land capacity, which allows them to manage diverse landscapes. Their sustainable management of land and fisheries makes family farmers important contributors to the achievement of sustainable development and the global biodiversity goals known as the Aichi Targets.

The 20 targets, which are due in 2020, include having all fish stocks managed and harvested sustainably, as well as areas under agriculture and forestry. They also aim to halve the rate of loss of all natural habitats and significantly reducing degradation and fragmentation. Through practices like

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity United Nations Environment Programme

413 Saint-Jacques Street, Suite 800, Montreal, QC, H2Y 1 N9, Canada Tel : +1 514 288 2220   Fax : +1 514 288 6588

secretariat@cbd.int  www.cbd.int
crop rotation and using alternatives to chemical pesticides, family farmers prevent soil erosion and degradation of ecosystems.

Sustainable farming practices also increase the resilience of ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.

«Supporting the work of family farmers throughout the world would contribute substantially to eradicating poverty and to reaching global food security. These important stakeholders also have a role in implementing many of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, such as contributing to developing and implementing sustainable agriculture, forestry and aquaculture practices, maintaining genetic resources for food and agriculture, to reduce the loss of natural habitats and others» said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Notes for Editors

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 194 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 167 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on 12 October 2014 and has been ratified by 54 countries to date.For more information visit: www.cbd.int.

For more information please contact David Ainsworth, Information Officer, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity at +82 (0)10 2149 0526 (until 17 October 2014) or at david.ainsworth@cbd.int

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that was established on 16th October 1945. Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts — to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO’s three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

FAO has many intergovernmental processes and fora, one of them is the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture with its 178 member countries where global consensus can be reached on sectoral and cross-sectoral policies relevant to biodiversity for food and agriculture. Its main objectives are to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use, for present and future generations. The Commission oversees and guides the preparation of periodic global assessments, such as the Report on the State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources launched in June 2014, as well as negotiates global action plans, codes of conduct and other instruments.

For more information visit: www.fao.org.

For more information please contact Irina Utkina, Media relations, FAO, at +39 06 570 52542 or at irina.utkina@fao.org

FAO GM Foods Platform: E-Newsletter September 2014 issue

September 2014

E-Newsletter for the Platform community http://fao .org/gm -platform /

Welcome — this month’s Platform status

We welcomed two new countries (Honduras and Malta) to our community this month. Furthermore, one country (Cameroon) uploaded country profile information. Currently we have a total of 154 countries nominated the Focal Points and 145 countries registered to the Platform. Now we are hosting 401 records on the Platform. Currently 84 countries filled out their country profiles. We strongly call on all registered members who haven’t done this, to complete the country profile as soon as possible.

A Milestone — the 400th Record Uploaded.

We are happy to announce that recently the 400th record has been uploaded on the Platform. We would like to thank all countries that took the effort to upload information on the Platform so-far. These efforts make the Platform an increasingly more comprehensive source of information on the risk assessment of GM Foods. Our special thanks go to the Focal Points of Mexico and China who recently started uploading records and hence made it possible to achieve this milestone. We encourage all Focal Points to start and continue uploading relevant information on the FAO GM Foods Platform.

Who’s records can you find on the Platform?

The 401 records that are available on the Platform are uploaded by 14 different countries from different regional origins. Currently more than 50 records with information are available from Australia, Canada, the Philippines and the USA. Furthermore, information has been uploaded by Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, China, the EU, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea and Uruguay. We would like to thank all contributors who have been active in sharing their information.

FAO/UNEP-CBD/OECD Biosafety Webinar: Date changed to 12 November 2014!

In order to facilitate the exchange of information on biosafety, there are several initiatives at the global level that provide access to a variety of scientific and other relevant information. FAO, UNEP-CBD and OECD closely collaborate together to enhance the effort in creating complementing information systems. Differences exist in the number of Member States and the scope of the data/information hosted (food and feed safety, environmental risk assessment and/or decisions on commercialization). On the 12st November 2014, we will organize a Webinar that will provide an overview on the tools and information resources available on the FAO GM Foods Platform, the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) maintained by UNEP-CBD and the Biotrack database of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Webinar will be interactive, allowing participants to ask questions and engage in discussions. A certificate will be awarded to the successful participants. More information will follow in due course. Should you have any questions, contact us at gm-platform@fao.org

Country Profile Highlight vol. 7: Philippines

For this month, FAO selects the Philippines and introduces its “Country Profile”. The selection is done at random and there is no criterion for the selection. We strongly encourage all of you to start filling out the Country Profile section of the Platform. You never know when your country will be selected!

Country Profile of Philippines: ‘The Philippines is the first ASEAN country to establish a modern regulatory system for modern biotechnology. The country’s biosafety regulatory system follows strict scientific standards and has become a model for member-countries of the ASEAN seeking to become producers of agricultural biotechnology crops. Concerns on biosafety in the Philippines started as early as 1987 when scientists from the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Quarantine Officer of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the Director for Crops of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) recognized the potential for harm of the introduction of exotic species and genetic engineering. The joint committee formed the biosafety protocols and guidelines for genetic engineering and related research activities for UPLB and IRRI researchers. This proposal was eventually adapted into a Philippine Biosafety policy by virtue of Executive Order No 430, Series of 1990, issued by then President Corazon C. Aquino on October 15, 1990, which created the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP).

The NCBP formulates, reviews and amends national policy on biosafety and formulates guidelines on the conduct of activities on genetic engineering. The NCBP comprised of representative from the Department of Agriculture (DA); Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Health (DOH); and Department of Science and Technology (DOST), 4 scientists in biology, environmental science, social science and physical science and 2 respected members of the community. The Philippines’ Law, Executive Order No.514 (EO514), Series of 2006 entitled “Establishing the National Biosafety Framework (NBF), Prescribing Guidelines for its Implementation, Strengthening the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines, and for Other Purposes was also issued. This order sets the establishment of the departmental biosafety committees in the DA, DENR, DOH and DOST. The mandates jurisdiction and other powers of all departments and agencies in relation to biosafety and biotechnology is guided by the NBF in coordination with the NCBP and each other in exercising its power.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) issued Administrative Order No 8, Series of 2002, (DA AO8, 2002), which is part of EO 514, for the implementation of guidelines for the importation and release into the environment of plants and plant products derived from the use of modern biotechnology. The DA authorizes the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) as the lead agency responsible for the regulation of agricultural crops developed through modern biotechnology. The BPI has adopted a protocol for risk assessment of GM crops for food and feed or for processing based on the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s Guideline for the Conduct of Food Safety assessment of Foods Derived from Recombinant-DNA plants and a protocol for environmental risk assessment in accordance with the Cartagena Protocol on

Biosafety and with the recommendation of the Panel of Experts of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). DA AO8, 2002 ensures that only genetically food crops that have been well studied and found safe by parallel independent assessments by a team of Filipino scientists and technical personnel from the concerned regulatory agencies of the Department are allowed into our food supply and into our environment. The DA AO 8, 2002 has a step by step introduction of GM plant into the environment. The research and development phase would require testing the genetically modified (GM) crop under controlled conditions subject to regulation by the government agencies. The first stage of evaluation for GM crops is testing under contained facilities such as laboratories, greenhouses and screenhouses. After satisfactory completion of testing under contained facilities, confined environmental release or field trial is done. Confined field trial (CFT) is the first controlled introduction of the GM crop into the environment. The approval for field trial shall be based on the satisfactory completion of safety testing under contained conditions. Unconfined environmental release or commercialization of the product would follow after the safe conduct of the CFT. Approval for propagation shall only be allowed after field trials and risk assessment show no significant risk to human and animal health and the environment.’

Question of the Month: I am searching for specific information, how can I obtain this?

We noticed that in the Platform community many knowledge and expertise is available that go beyond the information uploaded in the records. We encourage knowledge sharing among Focal Points and therefore we would like to stress the possibility to contact other countries directly for information exchange. In the Country Profile page of each member the contact details of the Focal Points are noted. This can help you to get in touch with the appropriate counterpart to obtain specific information!

Questions? Comments?

We are always happy to receive any questions, comments and/or suggestions to improve the Platform. Feel free to contact us at GM-Platform@fao.org!

FAO GM Foods Platform: E-Newsletter for the Platform community

E-Newsletter for the Platform community http://www.fao.org/gm-platform

Platform status

We welcomed six new countries (Angola, Cameroon, Lesotho, Mauritius, Niger and Romania) to our community this month. Also five countries (Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritius and Romania) successfully registered to the Platform. Welcome on board! In addition, five countries (Cote d’Ivoire, India, Mexico, Peru and Turkey) newly filled out their country profiles. Currently we have a total of 147 countries nominated the Focal Points and 139 countries registered to the Platform. Now we are hosting 369 records on the Platform.

The Codex Side Event
As mentioned in our previous newsletters, FAO will convene a side event on the FAO GM Foods Platform at the occasion of the 37th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. All official delegations, Codex Members and Observers to the Commission are cordially invited to attend the side event, which will be held on Monday, 14 July, 2014, at 13:00 — 15:00 in Room 4 at the Centre International de Conferences Geneva (CICG). For more information, please refer to “the question of this month” below.

FAO would like to provide all the Focal Points to the FAO GM Foods Platform with small cards, therefore we will hand them out to the Codex Contact Points who will be attending the side event. FAO will ask them to provide the cards to the Focal Points. You can personalize the card with your name and your country. The card also has a QR-Code which contains the URL to the GM Foods Platform. Moreover, the card identifies you as a member of the GM Foods Platform community and you can also use it to promote the Platform. If you are a Focal Point who will not be attending the side event, please contact your country’s Codex Contact Point to receive your copies after the 37th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission which ends on the 18th of July 2014.

Linking the GM Platform website to respective national webpages

According to the original request from Codex, FAO is promoting this Platform to develop it as the most useful global database on the topic of GM foods and its safety assessment. Each country’s contribution makes a difference and contributes to this progress. If your country has any national/governmental websites/webpages on this topic, please consider linking this Platform from your national websites/webpages. FAO will also “link back» to your country’s website from the «resources» page of our database (http://www.fao.org/food/food-safety-quality/gm-foods- platform/resources/en/#st).

Country profile highlight vol. 3: Malaysia

For this month, FAO selects Malaysia and introduces its “Country Profile”. The selection is done at random and there is no criterion for the selection. We strongly encourage all of you to start filling out the Country Profile section of the Platform. You never know when your country will be selected!

Country Profile of Malaysia: “GM food safety assessment is a requirement by law under the Biosafety Act 2007 in Malaysia. The National Biosafety Board reviews and makes decisions on events based on a scientific/technical risk assessment, policy considerations as well as public input. The decisions and its related documents made are publicly available through the Malaysian Department of Biosafety Website and the Convention of Biological Diversity Biosafety Clearing House.”

A question of the month: How can I participate in the FAO GM Foods Platform side event in Geneva?

The 37th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission is open for the Codex members and observers. An Online Registration System (ORS) to register participants to Codex meetings is available on the Codex website. Registration of delegates is only open to those with access to the official email registered as Codex Contact Points. Please liaise your national Codex Contact Points if you are interested in attending the Commission and its side events. FAO will not be responsible for arranging your participation. If you have any problem with the ORS system, please contact codex@fao.org.

Questions? Comments?

We are always happy to receive any questions, comments and/or suggestions to improve the Platform. Feel free to contact us at gm-platform@fao.org!