Ireland ratifies Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol

India, despite being the current president of Convention on Biological Diversity, has not yet ratified it  

By M Suchitra
Published: Wednesday 23 January 2013

Ireland has become the 10th country to ratify the international treaty that deals with liability arising from damage caused by genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Ireland deposited its ratification on January 14, making it the first country to ratify the treaty this year.

The protocol will enter into force on the 90th day after the date of deposit of the 40th ratification. "Ireland's ratification brings us closer to achieving the objective of ensuring the entry into force of the Supplementary Protocol before the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (CoP-MoP), which will take place in October next year in the Republic of Korea," said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, executive secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). "I urge all the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol that have not yet done so, to take the necessary steps to ratify or accede to this important treaty as soon as possible," he added.

 As an additional treaty to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety seeks to protect biological diversity from potential adverse effects of living modified organisms (LMOs), resulting from modern biotechnology like genetic engineering. The Protocol was adopted in Montreal on January 29, 2000 and entered into force on September 11, 2003. To date, 163 countries and the European Union are Parties to the Protocol.

The Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol was adopted on October 15, 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. The decision calls upon Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to sign and subsequently ratify the Supplementary Protocol, and encourages them to implement it pending its entry into force.

Since 2011, the CBD secretariat, with the financial support from the Japanese government, has organised a number of regional workshops to raise awareness and understanding of the provisions of the Supplementary Protocol with a view to expediting its ratification and entry into force. The Asia – Pacific regional workshop took place between November 17 and 18, 2011, in New Delhi. The workshop had brought together 18 participants representing 12 Parties from the region, and one participant representing civil society. Participants reviewed the objective, scope and other provisions of the Supplementary Protocol.

Though India is the current president of the CBD,  it has not ratified the Nagoya- Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol. India ratified the Cartagena Protoco in October, 2011. During the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held October last year in Hyderabad, Jayanthi Natarajan, India’s minister for environment had categorically said that there were no short cuts to biosafety.

But the minister and officials in her ministry were non-commital about the ratification of the Nagoya Supplementary Protocol

At the same time, during the CBD meeting. India ratified the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization.

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