The roster of experts on biosafety was established by the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP) in decision EM-I/3
that adopted the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in January 2000. The mandate of the Roster is to "provide advice and other support, as appropriate and upon request, to developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition, to conduct risk assessment, make informed decisions, develop national human resources and promote institutional strengthening, associated with the transboundary movements of living modified organisms".
The Roster is accessible and searchable through the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH). The BCH also provides links and details on: the use and function of the roster; its history and development; the procedures for nominating experts and updating expert information in the roster; guidelines for operation of the roster; information on the voluntary fund for the use of experts from the roster; statistical summaries of the roster including breakdown by region, areas of expertise, and gender; and the printable summaries of the full roster. More>>
At its eighth meeting
, the COP-MOP, in decision CP-VIII/4
, decided to expand the roster to include experts nominated by Parties and other Governments to participate in Ad-Hoc Technical Expert Groups and networks under the Protocol. The COP-MOP invited Parties to nominate experts to the roster and to invite the experts already nominated to the roster to update their records. The COP-MOP also encouraged Parties to consider nominating experts in areas where there is a lack of expertise on the current roster. Furthermore, the Executive Secretary was requested to revise and streamline the nomination form for the roster to facilitate the submission and retrieval of information; to incorporate a search functionality through the BCH that would permit results to be sorted by the category in which the experts were nominated; and to explore the possibility of linking the roster of biosafety experts to tools being developed under other initiatives such as the Bio-Bridge Initiative and the FAO/CODEX Alimentarius in order to facilitate the matching of biosafety needs with available funding and technical assistance.