Eastern European Regional Course on Impact Assessment of LMOs under the Cartagena Protocol


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Eastern European Regional Course on Impact Assessment

of LMOs under the Cartagena Protocol

Advancing LMO assessment: Principles, Practice and Progress”


Date:     3 February– 8 February, 2014

Venue:  Chisinau, Moldova


The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety seeks to ensure ”an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements”.

In order to manage the introduction and development of GMOs as well as trade thereof, countries are required to develop biosafety regulations which include a risk assessment in order to identify and evaluate the potential adverse effects of living modified organisms (LMOs) on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the likely potential receiving environment, taking also into account risks to human health.

Performing credible impact assessments requires multi-disciplinary scientific and social scientific competence able to consider the local context of LMO introductions. Each country needs to be able to conduct appraisals and perform evaluative reviews in order to effectively monitor and manage the introduction of LMOs into the environment. Moreover, there is a need to assess LMOs in the context of each country’s unique cultural, ethical, socio-economic and policy frameworks. Such initiatives require holistic approaches and public participation to develop adequate regulation over the use of LMOs.

While the framing of risk appraisal under the Protocol is focused on environmental and health issues, advances in the field of risk assessment recognize the complexities and interconnectivity of the social, economic and ethical dimensions related to the potential broader impacts that may be associated with the use or introduction of LMOs.

This progress in understanding, however, is challenged by a lack of understanding, expertise and scientific knowledge necessary to integrate, not only the environmental dimensions, but also the ethical, economic and social considerations, including inputs from the public, within their regulatory frameworks. Moving from the principles of risk assessment and integrating progress to risk assessment practice is thus a key challenge for advancing LMO appraisals under the Cartagena Protocol.

About the course

The course is designed to provide policy makers, regulators, scientists and NGOs/civil society leaders, from the Eastern European region (please see list below of eligible ODA countries from the region) with hands-on, practical training on risk assessment, and opportunities for networking with others working in this field. Through lectures, discussions, and a hands-on testing of risk assessment guidance developed under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, participants will be able to learn and share experiences on the many dimensions of risk appraisal.

Additionally, selected participants will be invited to give short presentations on the status of LMOs and their regulation within their own countries.

The working language for the course will be English. Simultaneous translation into Russian will be available.

Topics include:

  • Key concepts and principles of risk assessment
  • Evidence, uncertainty and the Precautionary Principle
  • Emerging advances in risk assessment
  • Environmental and health considerations
  • Socioeconomic considerations
  • Public participation
  • Problem formulation and options assessment (PFOA)
  • Operationalizing risk assessment under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB)
  • Risk management and monitoring
  • Liability and redress
  • Testing the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of LMOs” developed under the CPB
  • Regional issues and experiences in Biosafety

Eligibility for funding and costs for participation

The regional course is open to individuals from Central and Eastern European countries.

While individuals from the region will be invited to apply, full sponsorship for participation is only available to applicants from ODA countries, due to requirements from the funding agency.

From the applications 40 will be invited for participation. The sponsorship will cover curricular materials, course-associated economy-fare travel, visa-fees, accommodation and meals.

ODA countries include:

Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

For information about ODA-countries visit: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/32/40/43540882.pdf

Applicants from non-ODA Central and Eastern European countries, are invited to apply, yet are not eligible for financial support.

These include:

Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia

Selected applicants from these countries will need to be self-funded. Additionally, a course fee of Euro 150 is payable on registration to cover course materials and lunches. The costs for all other meals, flights and accommodation (Euro 60 per night at the hotel/course venue) are to be borne by self-funded applicants.

Applying to the course

All who wish to participate in the course must fill out a course application (see below). The form must be filled out entirely and with as much detail as possible. The applicant must provide information about the type/level of position they hold and state the basis for their interest in the course. In addition, a brief CV is required for consideration.

Gender and regional criteria are also used in the selection of participants in order to achieve representational balance.

Applications close on 12th December 2013.

How to apply:

Download the application Word file here: Applicationform Genok

An application form in Word-format can also be obtained on request from biosafety2014@genok.no

The completed forms/CVs should be returned to biosafety2014@genok.no

For further information you can contact:

Angela Lozan

Biosafety Office, Ministry of Environment, Moldova

E-mail: lozan@mediu.gov.md


Katrine Jaklin

GenØk – Centre for Biosafety

E-mail: katrine.jaklin@genok

This Project is funded by Norad (the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation).