With Georgia’s ratification of the amendment on genetically modified organisms (GMO amendment) to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) the total number of the amendment's Parties raises to 29. UNECE welcomes this ratification also as an important step towards the amendment's entry into force. Georgia has overall been very actively engaged in the activities under the Convention and it chairs currently the Meeting of the Parties, the main Convention's governing body.
The GMO amendment responds to a growing public concern over issues related to health, loss of biodiversity and citizens' environmental rights. Its relevance is increasing, in particular, in the context of implementation of different green economy programmes and projects. With its objective to increase transparency on the deliberate release and placing on the market of GMOs, the amendment assists Governments in creating a clear regulatory framework to ensure effective engagement of the public in decision-making on GMOs. This includes early access to information and effective mechanisms to give individuals an adequate opportunity to impact on the decision before it is taken. The GMO amendment is expected to facilitate the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals related to the promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies, sustainable agriculture and use of ecosystems. The full text of the amendment can be found here.
A further 4 ratifications are required from the following Parties for the amendment to enter into the force: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, France, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. The Convention’s Meeting of the Parties repeatedly called on those Parties to proceed with the ratification without delay.
For further information on the Aarhus Convention, its GMO amendment and the Protocol on PRTRs please visit: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html and http://www.unece.org/env/pp/gmos.html
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
Tel: + 41 (0)22 917 2376
E-mail: [email protected]
Note to editors:
The Aarhus Convention was adopted in Aarhus, Denmark, in June 1998 and signed by the European Community and 38 countries from all subregions of UNECE. It entered into force in October 2001. The amendment on public participation in decisions on the deliberate release into the environment and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms was adopted by the Meeting of the Parties at its second session (Almaty, Kazakhstan, 25–27 May 2005).
The Parties to the Convention are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union (EU), Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Parties to the amendment on genetically modified organisms are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Parties to the Convention now include the vast majority of countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, all the countries in the Caucasus and South-Eastern Europe and all EU member States.