Protect biodiversity from living modified organisms at MOP5 in Nagoya!
Read updates here: Nagoya 2010
Japan Citizens’ Network for Planet Diversity (JCNPD) is a nationwide network for citizens who are working on protecting our food crop diversity from living modified organisms.
We started this network in order to act on the United Nations’ major meeting to be held in Nagoya, October 2010, for the Protocol on Biosafety (also called Cartagena Protocol) which regulates the international trade of organisms modified by modern biotechnology (living modified organisms).
We want the meeting in Nagoya to define rules to protect consumers and the environment. The rules will be a crucial element of the global regulations regarding the integrity and continued sustainable use of living organisms under threat from certain risky applications of modern biotechnology.
Make binding global rules!
The Cartagena Protocol was adopted as a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It sets forth procedures for the transport, handling, and use of living organisms modified by modern biotechnology (LMO) that have the potential to adversely affect biodiversity. The protocol specifies regulations on cross-border transfer of modified living organisms developed with biotechnology, such as genetically modified agricultural seed, food products, and microorganisms. Such regulations are needed because of the possibility that LMOs can exert adverse effects on other living organisms.Most countries around the world has become parties to this treaty, with the notable exception of the United States of America.
By February 2009, 191 countries and regions had become contracting parties. Japan also became a party to the convention in May 1993. Japan approved the first National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity at a Cabinet meeting in October 1995 and the third National Strategy was approved at a Cabinet meeting in November 2007.
The meeting in Nagoya called MOP5 (meaning the fifth meeting of the parties of the Protocol) is an important part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims to conserve, use and share biological diversity in general. Issues concerning CBD will be discussed at COP10 (meaning the tenth conference of the parties of the Convention) to be held together with MOP5.
MOP5 should finalise the discussion about liability and redress!
GMO crops are known to disturb and destroy other living organisms. Their cultivation have expanded in a few countries, and its introduction has led to increased control over seed, as smaller plant breeding companies have been bought up by a few multinational corporations. This has also led to a major shift in the control of food and agriculture. This urgently needs to be addressed at the international level.
One of the focal points of MOP5 will be to discuss liability and redress. What measures should an administration undertake if biological diversity is damaged by the introduction of a genetically modified organism? Who is going to bear the costs and expenses of the damage, and how? What backup financial system should be established for the cases where the cost for the redress is not properly covered? The rules and methods will be debated as stipulated by the Cartagena Protocol.
In Japan, this is a very real question as exemplified by the spread of imported genetically modified rape seed, that has been found to mix with natural local varieties of related crops on a number of occasions along roads and near harbors. How should an administration (local or national) and the corporations involved approach such contamination?
Our Goals and Vision
Our goal is to take food and agriculture into our own hands, and make every effort to protect living organisms and biological diversity by establishing the Japan Citizens’ Network for Planet Diversity, in cooperation with other NGOs in Japan and around the world.
Caring deeply about food and agriculture, we strongly believe that the debate and discussion during MOP5 should rapidly be brought to agreement so that the legal framework will be strengthened for truly protecting local crop varieties and all living things.
- Parties should finalise a binding international regime to ensure that both liability and redress will be forthcoming.
- The damage-scope should be as wide as possible to include human health and socio-economic effects.
- Strict liability, financial security and limited exemptions are fundamental to ensure that payment is forthcoming to consumers and farmers in all cases of damage caused by living modified organisms.
- Parties should establish a backup fund to ensure that the environment can be truly protected and victims compensated.
- No! GMO Campaign
- Association of GMO Concerns, Chubu-district, Japan
- Seikatsu Club Consumers Co-operative Union
- Seikatsu Club Consumers Co-operative in Aichi
- Shumei Natural Agriculture Network
- Kiso River Ryuiki Min-min Association
- Consumers Union of Japan/ GM Kokusai Watch
- Consumers Union of Japan
- Policy Research Institute for the Civil Sector
- Japan Organic Agricultural Association
- Co-op Shizenha Consumers Co-operative
Japan Citizens’ Network for Planet Diversity
c/o No! GMO Campaign
Nishi Waseda 1-9-19-207
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Website: http://mop5.jp (in Japanese)
For more information:
- Biosafety Information Center: site by the Third World Network (excellent site!)
- Liability: What to do when Risk turns into Damage?: English site by German NGO – Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung. Don’t miss their very good booklet (pdf) on Liability and Redress issue prepared for MOP4 in Bonn, 2006: Liability: What to do when Risk turns into Damage?
- ETC Group’s Biodiversity and Genetic Resources Pages: extensive material about biodiversity & genetic resources from the perspective of indigenous and local communities
- Convention on Biological Diversity (UNEP): this site includes Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
- Biosafety Clearing House (UNEP): this site includes information on the First meeting of the Group of the Friends of the Co-Chairs Concerning Liability and Redress in the Context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a working group on Liability and Redress that is to be discussed in Nagoya.
- Reports by IISD on the First Meeting of the Friends of the Co-Chairs on Liability and Redress under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: very informative reports.