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In the last COP-MOP, the main focus of the Parties’ request in the meeting’s resolution document is achieving “conceptual clarity” with regard to socioeconomic considerations. 

In my mind, developing concept clarity with regard to potential or actual impacts from the adoption of an LMO on the biodiversity of importance to local and indigenous communities implies answering an (incomplete) set of questions such as the one I have listed below.

Note that although the Parties resolution in the COP-MOP apparently directs efforts to a literal read of Article 26, and since I –as part of a capacity building/strengthening and policy research institute- have to address the needs not only of the Protocol but of countries who have expressed the need for a broader definition of such assessments, these question will also apply to a broader conceptualization of socioeconomic impacts.

Questions
–         What is the definition of socioeconomics in the context of biodiversity as defined in Article 26?

-          What are all the potential SEC issues that may be assessed?

-          How to identify the SEC issues at the level of analysis (local, country, regional)?

-          How to develop priority setting criteria for SEC issues?

-          How to assess the SEC issues?

-          How to establish a decision making process?

-          A combination of some or all of these?

Note that these questions lend themselves to a more systematic needs assessment, priority setting, development of implementing regulations, process mapping and other tools and techniques used in the past to help countries define policies and appropriate responses.

Jose Falck-Zepeda

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