Biotech Updates

ISAAA Spearheads Asian Recapping and Debriefing Workshop on CBD/CPB and COPMOP

October 12, 2022

The virtual workshop titled CBD/CPB Recap and COPMOP Debrief was held from October 5 to 6, 2022 via Zoom and was hosted by ISAAA Inc. based in the Philippines. More than 50 participants from around 20 Asian countries were in attendance to be versed with the latest updates about the discussions in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB). The event also served as a refresher course about the previous discussions on key biotechnology and biosafety-related topics included in the agenda of the next Conference of Parties (COP) of the CBD an the next Meeting of Parties (MOP) of the CPB in December 2022.

The workshop was co-organized by ISAAA Inc., BioTrust Global, Malaysian Biotechnology Information Center (MABIC), Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI), and the United States Department of Agriculture aimed to engage stakeholders in biotechnology and biosafety policies and regulations, international negotiations and consultations in home countries. It also helped support potential delegates to the COPMOP meetings with science-based regulations.

The two-day virtual workshop included sessions about the history of the CBD and the current issues on the agenda of the COMOP meetings. The first day started with an overview of the historical events that led to the present state of the CBD discussions presented by Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan, ISAAA-BioTrust Global Coordinator and Executive Director of MABIC. This was followed by presentations by Prof. Piet van der Meer of PRRI on the key biotechnology and biosafety related items on the agenda of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting to the parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (MOP10).

Presentations on the second day included an in-depth talk about the science and regulations of new breeding techniques and genome editing by Dr. Gabriel O. Romero of the Philippine Seed Industry Association. Prof. van der Meer also gave his presentation on the next steps to take in order to prepare for the COP15-MOP10 and this was complimented by a presentation on the annotated agenda, the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Target with a special focus on Target 17, and updates about the Biosafety Clearing House from the CBD Secretariat delivered by Wadzanayi Mandivenyi, head of the Biosafety Unit of the CBD.

Breakout sessions were also conducted during Day 2 that enabled the participants to share the status of biosafety regulations in their respective countries, and identify the needs, interests and issues that they would like to relay to their respective country delegates who will attend the COPMOP meetings.

The workshop was moderated by Mr. Panfilo de Guzman, Senior Associate Scientist at ISAAA Inc., and Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, ISAAA Inc. Executive Director and Director of the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, who also gave the opening and closing remarks.

The Asian Pre-COPMOP workshop will be held in face to face setting in Manila, Philippines on November 7-9, 2022. Follow in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

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