The GeneConvene Virtual Institute will be holding a free webinar series on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), every Wednesday from April 20 to May 25 from 11:00AM to 12:30PM EDT. The webinars will offer an introduction in six parts to the CBD, addressing its history and political background, its oversight of synthetic biology and gene drives, and key points of interest for parties negotiating at the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP15) to be held in Kunming, China later this year.
The first session, titled “Biotechnology and Biosafety in the Biodiversity Convention and its Protocols” will be presented by Piet van der Meer, Guest Professor at Ghent University and the Free University of Brussels. Felicity Keiper, Expert on Global Regulatory Affairs for Seeds and Traits at BASF, will run the second session, “Synthetic Biology & Gene Drives: Developments under the Convention on Biological Diversity”.
The following webinars will delve into the specifics of key groups for gene drives by region: Moussa Savadogo, Environmental Biosafety Principal Programme Officer for AUDA/NEPAD, will discuss the organization’s role in supporting the African Group of Negotiators at the CBD negotiations. Yolanda Teran, Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico, will present on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. She is followed by Vibha Ahuja, Chief General Manager for Biotech Consortium India, who will focus on gene drives in Asia. Finally, the closing session on Latin America will be held by Pedro Rocha, International Specialist and Coordinator in Biotechnology and Biosafety for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.