Biosafety

FAO Publishes Guide to Implementation of Phytosanitary Standards in Forestry [viewed]

March 2011: The Forestry Information Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a guide on the implementation of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) in forestry.

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EU Review of Novel Foods Regulation Ends with No Agreement [viewed]

29 March 2011: The final round of conciliation talks on the revision of the EU Novel Foods Regulation took place in Brussels, Belgium, ending without agreement on 29 March 2011. According to statements, officials could not agree on labeling requirements for meat from offspring of cloned animals for food production. As a result, the current Novel Foods Regulation, adopted in 1997, will remain in force.

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Guest Article #3: The Nagoya Biodiversity Compact [viewed]

In early May 2010, the world received a wake-up call. Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, based on the best available scientific evidence and drawing from 120 national reports of Parties to the Convention, warned of the consequences of our current development path. The continuing loss of species and habitats, predicted to accelerate under the growing impact of climate change, has placed so much pressure on the life-supporting ecosystems of our world, that many risk passing a “tipping point.” We were reminded that the status of biodiversity for millions of years to come will be determined by the actions that human society takes in the coming decades.

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WTO Frames Talks on Private Standards, Improved Collaboration in Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health [viewed]

31 March 2011: The World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Committee) has agreed to focus future discussions on five actions to develop private standards in food safety and plant and animal health, and to improve collaboration and information exchange between the SPS Committee and other SPS standard-setting bodies. The agreement was reached in the SPS Committee's meeting on 30-31 March 2011.

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CBD Parties Informed about Expanded Access to GEF Funds for Reporting [viewed]

4 April 2011: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has informed parties to the CBD and to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety that the GEF is making available expanded and expedited access to funding for enabling activities, including national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs), and national reports under the CBD and the Biosafety Protocol.

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FAO Publishes 90th BiotechNews Update [viewed]

7 April 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released the 90th edition of its BiotechNews Update, featuring articles about activities and publications in the area of biotechnology in food and agriculture by FAO and other international organizations.

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EU Parliament Committee Votes for GMO Cultivation Bans on Environmental Grounds [viewed]

12 April 2011: The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament amended a proposal by the EU Commission that will allow EU member States to restrict or ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crop varieties, on environmental grounds.

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Event: IPPC Expert Working Group on Phytosanitary Capacity Building [viewed]

Organized by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), this Expert Working Group (EWG) Meeting will consider core activities for capacity building under the IPPC. Participants will discuss: recommendations for the future structure of the EWG; terms of reference, rules of procedure and an explanatory paper for a proposed subsidiary body on phytosanitary development to the IPPC; and a new version of the IPPC capacity building work plan. Furthermore, participants will: review the work of databases related to capacity development; finalize proposals for the next meeting of the Strategic Planning and Technical Assistance (SPTA) group; discuss possibilities for projects and activities related to resource mobilization and advocacy for capacity building, and discuss priorities for a draft E-learning work programme.  

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UNEP and CARICOM Workshop Trains Caribbean Nations on Mainstreaming MEAs [viewed]

7 April 2011: A workshop in Paramaribo, Suriname, trained officials from 17 Caribbean nations in the use of Integrated Environmental Assessments for mainstreaming Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The workshop took place from 29 March-1 April 2011.

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Alpine Convention Secretariat Publishes Study on Environmental Law [viewed]

April 2011: The Secretariat of the Alpine Convention has published a legal study titled “Environmental Protection and Mountains: Is environmental law adapted to the challenges faced by mountain areas? Lessons from European ranges.”

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