Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meeting on the Safe Use of Living Modified Organisms First of three major United Nations meetings opens Monday

Pyeongchang/Montreal, 26 September 2014 – On Monday, delegates from around the world will convene for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP MOP 7). The meeting will discuss and adopt further decisions to contribute to ensuring the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology and consider the issue of integrating biosafety into other relevant national initiatives to enhance further implementation.

The Cartagena Protocol, an additional agreement to the Convention on Biodiversity, entered into force on 11 September 2003. To date, 168 countries are Parties to the Protocol. The Supplementary Protocol, an additional agreement to the Cartagena Protocol, was adopted in Nagoya, Japan in 2010. To date, 26 countries are Parties to the Supplementary Protocol. It will enter into force 90 days after 40 Parties have acceded or ratified it. The latest country to accede to the Cartagena Protocol and the Supplementary Protocol is the United Arab Emirates on 12 September 2014.

At the end of the five-day meeting, decisions of the Parties are expected to advance the implementation of the Protocol through their 10-year Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol. Among the agenda items to be discussed are: financial mechanism and resources for the Protocol’s implementation; Supplementary Protocol; risk assessment and risk management; socio-economic considerations concerning LMOs; and the assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Protocol. The Parties will also convene a special session on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol to review integration of biosafety into relevant national development plans, other relevant national policies in line with the Strategic Plan for the Protocol.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea, Mr. Yoon Sang-jick, said: “We should seize this opportunity to redouble our efforts to promote further guidance for integrating biosafety into relevant national development plans, other relevant national policies and programmes and mobilize additional resources in our effort to implement the Cartagena Protocol.”

The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, said: “As we prepare towards the seventh meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, I call upon Parties to re-commit to the objectives of the Protocol as their contribution to the theme of the Pyeongchang meetings: “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.”


Birendra Nagar of Surkhet, Western Nepal received 423.1 mm of rainfall within a week which is the highest rainfall of last 51 years. The earlier record was 375.9 mm of July 21, 1963. Similarly Chisapani station, lying between Bardiya of Mid-West and Kailali of Far-West regions, recorded 493.8 mm rainfall. Before this, the highest record was 375.9 mm in 1981.
September 16


The dam of 10 MW, Sunkoshi Hydropower Project at Sindhupalchowk, central Nepal is in danger of collapsing due to damage caused by last month’s landslide and flood. Four out of its six gates have been obstructed by stones and sand and there is probability of further damage if water continues to flow through the dam. Electricity generation at present is completely terminated but there is probability of resuming in a years’ time if the dam does not suffer further.
September 18


An entrepreneur in Kavre, Central Nepal, is selling electricity to 26 households during night for lighting and to a furniture shop during day from 5 kW of electricity generated from water mill.  Government subsidies are being provided for water mills which seem more sustainable than for solar installations in remote areas. Along with 250 water mills in Kavre, around 10,000 water mills have been improved across Nepal in the past 12 years and provide electricity to 200 households. With availability of subsides, a water mill for grain grinding costs NRs.  40,000 while for electricity generation, it costs up to NRs 300,000.
September 19


Two men on the lookout for customers to sell the hide were nabbed by police with skin of endangered Red panda from Dolakha, Central Nepal. There is provision of 10 years of imprisonment or fine of NRs. 40,000 to NRs. 75,000 for involvement in poaching red panda or smuggling its body parts.  Around 40 red panda have been reported from Gaurisankar Conservation Area.
September 22


People of Dharpani, Kanchanpur, western Nepal are compelled to carry water from river for drinking. They use the same river water for washing clothes and watering cattle. Locals suffer from dysentery, diarrhea and skin diseases. There are 22 households in this locality fetching water from river since 2012 as a canal made for irrigation and drinking water was damaged.
September 22