Convention on Biological Diversity: Call for information on Synthetic Biology

Convention on Biological Diversity: Call for information on Synthetic Biology

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recently issued a call to submit information relevant to questions of synthetic biology. The call is related to the establishment of an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology whose tasks are, among others, to work towards an operational defintion of synthetic biology, to identify potential benefits and risks related to synthetic biology, and to keep track of the developments in synthetic biology with regard to its impact on the objectives of the convention and its protocols. An online portal with information on ongoing and future activities has been set up, and, later this year, a moderated open-ended online forum will be held to discuss several issues related to the work of the Ad Hoc Group.

The current call invites Parties to the Convention, other Governments, relevant international organizations, indigenous and local communities and other relevant stakeholders to submit information on issues such as

  • how to address the relationship between synthetic biology and biological diversity;
  • the similarities and differences between living modified organisms (as defined in the Cartagena Protocol) and organisms, components and products of synthetic biology techniques;
  • adequacy of existing instruments to regulate the organisms, components or products derived from synthetic biology techniques;
  • an operational definition of synthetic biology;
  • potential benefits and risks to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and related human health and socioeconomic impacts
  • best practices on risk assessment and monitoring regimes

Submissions can be sent to the Secretariat by e-mail ( The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2015.


Further information:

Notification by the CBD secretariat, including the decision to establish the Ad Hoc group

CBD Website on Synthetic Biology