Come Monday, over 2,000 delegates from more than 150 countries will converge in Hyderabad to discuss about ensuring safe transfer, handling and use of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) resulting from the modern biotechnology.

The LMOs are broadly equivalent to the genetically-modified organisms (GMO) with the essential difference between the two being that LMO is capable of growing and typically refers to agricultural crops. GMOs on their part, include both LMOs and organisms which are dead, not capable of growing. The issue forms part of the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The deliberations will include decisions to advance the implementation of the 10-year strategic plan for the Protocol adopted in 2010.

The objective of the Cartagena Protocol is to contribute to ensuring adequate level of protection in safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs that could have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It would also take into account risks to human health, with specific focus on trans-boundary movements.

Strategic Plan

Delegates at the five-day meeting are expected to discuss, among other things, issues relating to capacity-building, Bio-Safety Clearing House, financial mechanism and resources required for the Protocol’s implementation, besides risk assessment and risk management. The decisions taken at the meeting are expected to contribute to realisation of the vision of Strategic Plan – Making biological diversity adequately protected from any adverse effect of LMOs.

“COP MOP 6 provides yet another opportunity to further strengthen international cooperation and build political support for the Protocol and its Supplementary. It also presents an opportunity to lay new strategies and mobilise resources for the implementation of the two treaties,” executive secretary of Convention of Biological Diversity, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, said.

Accordingly, the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises and Partners from Industry and NGOs would discuss about harnessing power of modern biotechnology for sustainable agriculture and environmental protection in the developing countries on the first day. The meet would also feature key issues for advancing bio-safety by the Third World Network.