National Node of the BCH

Cartagena Protocol


At its second meeting, held in November 1995, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention established an Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety to develop a draft protocol on biosafety, focusing specifically on transboundary movement of any living modified organism resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. After several years of negotiations, the Protocol, known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity, was finalized and adopted in Montreal on 29 January 2000 at an extraordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

The conclusion of the Biosafety Protocol has been hailed as a significant step forward in that it provides an international regulatory framework to reconcile the respective needs of trade and environmental protection with respect to a rapidly growing global industry, the biotechnology industry. The Protocol thus creates an enabling environment for the environmentally sound application of biotechnology, making it possible to derive maximum benefit from the potential that biotechnology has to offer, while minimizing the possible risks to the environment and to human health.