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One of NCBP's aims this year is to effectively engage and inform the public about modern biotechnology and biosafety regulations. This goal was further realized when the Philippines, through Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio, was invited to present the Philippine experience in the regulation of GMOs in the second Global Round table on public awareness, access to information and public participation regarding GMOs at the Palais des Nations (Salle V) in Geneva, Switzerland last 15 to 17 December

 The round table discussion is a joint event under the auspices of UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. According to the organizers, discussion aimed to build countries’ capacities through sharing knowledge, experiences and lessons learned in promoting public awareness, access to information and public participation regarding living modified organisms/genetically modified organisms (LMOs/GMOs) and to make recommendations for future action at the national, regional and international levels. The meeting showcased both the Cartagena Protocol and the Aarhus Convention’s success stories and will further contribute to sustainable development and protecting biodiversity. It will also assist Parties, other interested Governments and stakeholders in furthering relevant sustainable development goals. The event was participated by a wide range of stakeholders, such as Governments, media, academia, business and non-governmental organizations.

The outcomes of the discussion are intended to facilitate the ratification and implementation of the Aarhus Convention’s Almaty Amendment on GMOs and to contribute to the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety's programme of work on public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs (2011-2015). The outcomes of the event will be presented at the upcoming sessions of both the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention (11-13 September, 2017, Budva, Montenegro) and of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol (4 -17 December 2016 - Cancun, Mexico).

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Photo credits: All the photos in this article are grabbed from unece.org