COP9

Information concerning Innovative Financial Mechanisms (IFMs): Offset Programmes

A submission to the CBD Secretariat concerning decision X/3

July 2011

Helena Paul & Antje Lorch

With Decision X/3, A, paragraph 8(c) "invites parties, relevant organisations and initiatives.[...] to submit information concerning innovative financial mechanisms that have potential to generate new and additional financial resources as well as possible problems that could undermine achievement of the Convention's three objectives [...]".
This submission focuses on experiences with offset programmes, showing examples and concerns that have arisen from them and that are relevant to ideas of developing biodiversity offset systems or similar mechanisms.

Genetically Engineered Trees & Risk Assessment

An overview of risk assessment and risk management issues

May 2008

by Ricarda A. Steinbrecher and Antje Lorch

Trees differ in a number of important characteristics from field crops, and these characteristics are also relevant for any risk assessment of genetically engineered (GE) trees. A review of the scientific literature shows that due to the complexity of trees as organisms with large habitats and numerous interactions, currently no meaningful and sufficient risk assessment of GE trees is possible, and that especially a trait-specific risk assessment is not appropriate. Both scientific literature and in-field experience show that contamination by and dispersal of GE trees will take place. Transgenic sterility is not an option to avoid the potential impacts posed by GE trees and their spread. Regulation of trees on a national level will not be sufficient because due to the large-scale dispersion of reproductive plant material, GE trees are likely to cross national borders. All this makes GE trees a compelling case for the application of the precautionary principle.

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