The Cartagena Protocol

The CBD takes into account the issue of biosafety in two different articles, Article 8 on the conservation in situ and Article 19 on the management of biotechnology and the distribution of its benefits.

Article 8 (g) imposes an obligation for the Parties to "establish or maintain means to regulate, manage or control the risks associated with the use and release of living modified organisms, which are likely to have adverse environmental impacts that could affect the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity , taking also into account risks to human health".

Article 19.3 calls on Parties to "assess the need for a protocol and how to set out appropriate procedures, including, in particular, the prior authorization issued on the basis of information received concerning the safe transfer, handling and use according to criteria of security of any living modified organism obtained from biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity".

On this basis, in January 2000 the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety was adopted. The objective of the Protocol, in accordance with the precautionary approach contained in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration, is to contribute to the insurance of an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) 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. To know more

The European Union (EU) ratified the Protocol by Council Decision 2002/628/EC.

Italy has ratified the Cartagena Protocol by Law no. 27 of 15 January 2004.

The Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol (COP- MOP), pursuant to art. 29 of the Protocol, examines and promotes the implementation of the Protocol, and, where appropriate, consider and adopt amendments, make recommendations, establishes subsidiary bodies, interacts with the competent international organizations and intergovernmental and non-governmental bodies. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-MOP 1) took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, (23-27 February 2004). The following meetings were repeated annually until 2006, and then every two years until the COP-MOP 8, which was held in Cancùn, Mexico, 4 - 17 December 2017.