Saturday, March 11, 2006

Biosafety meeting in Brazil

Seven College of the Atlantic students and two faculty members are spending part of spring break at the biosafety negotiations that are occurring March 13-17 in Curitiba, Brazil. Specifically, they are attending and participating in the 3rd Biosafety Protocol negotiations (MOP3) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The trip is organized by Doreen Stabinsky, who teaches half time at COA and works half time for Greenpeace international on their genetic engineering campaign. The seven students going to the meeting all took a tutorial with Doreen during winter term.

The Biosafety Protocol is also known as Cartagena Protocol, as Cartagena, Columbia, is the city in which the final version of the protocol was negotiated. (Similariy, the more well known Kyoto protocol was agreed upon in Kyoto.) The Cartagena protocol is an international agreement on the handling, transfer, and use of genetically modified organisms.

The students and faculty will be posting to a blog that I helped set up, Where did my genes go? Doreen is already in Brazil. Most of the students will be arriving late Sunday. Check the blog frequently for updates from the meeting. At this blog you can also find some additional background information on the protocol in general, and the issues that will be under consideration at this meeting of the parties.

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