The Guide is the product of a process which started early in 2001. It is the result of the collaboration of IUCN Environmental Law Centre and the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD), later joined by the World Resources Institute. It is also the result of a consultation process over nearly two years.

The initial draft of the Guide, prepared by a small group of authors, was the starting point for an extensive consultation process, producing at each step a refined version. The cornerstones of this consultation process were three workshops, held in September 2001, October 2001, and February 2002.

The participants in the first workshop were all familiar with the Protocol text, and had all participated in its negotiation, either as governmental delegate, or as representative of the non-governmental sector. The purpose of this first workshop was to elicit comments on the content of the Guide, in particular its accuracy, and to identify gaps and deficiencies, as well as to obtain information on some of the negotiating history.

The second workshop was aimed at obtaining comments on the content of the Guide from the perspective of its future users, and feedback on whether the text, in substance and format, facilitated the understanding of the Protocol for those who will work with it in the future. Participants were all from the Central and Eastern European region, and included individuals working in government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

The final workshop considered a completed, revised and edited draft of the Guide. Emphasis was on participation from all parts of the world, in particular developing countries, and from NGOs. In order to maintain continuity, a number of participants who had participated in the first or second workshops were also invited. The workshop reviewed the draft first in plenary, then went through clusters of issues and the corresponding commentaries in working groups, with results reviewed again in plenary to complete the process.

Participants to all workshops attended in a personal capacity, and many of them continued to follow the progress of the Guide throughout the process, commenting on interim stages of the Guide by e-mail.

The “pre-final” draft of the Guide, which resulted from the comments received at the third workshop, was made available to participants at the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol in the Hague in April 2002. It was also posted on the web sites of IUCN-ELC and FIELD in order to generate further review and comments before the text was finalized.

As a result of this process, many people have assisted in the preparation of the Guide, not only by participating in the workshops described above, but also by providing thoughtful verbal or written comments. All of the comments received were carefully considered by the authors in the preparation of the final text.

We would like to acknowledge all those contributions, and especially thank the following individuals for having enriched the process, and thus the final product:

Teresa Aguero; Karen Anderson; Andrezj Aniol; Marc Auer; Christoph Bail; Philip L. Bereano; Christopher Briggs; Jan Brindza; Alice Caddow; Rebecca Clarridge; Kate Cook; Marjana Dermelj; Marija Dirlevska-Caloska; Jane Earley; Ossama El-Tayeb; Igor Ferencik; Elaine Fisher; Mary Fosi Mbantenkhu; Amanda Gálvez Mariscal; Jan Gazo; Kristina Georgieva; P. K. Ghosh; Alexander Golikov; Clare Hatcher; Lynn P. Holowesko; Birthe Ivars; Tom Jacob; Ivana Jelenic; Zsolt Jekkel; Jerzy Jendroska; Roger Krueger; Kele Lekoape; Sam Johnston; Alimameh Kamara; Patricia Kameri-Mbote; Veit Koester; Azra Korac-Mehmedovic; Janusz Krata; Svitlana Kravchenko; Hüsniye Kýlýnçarslan; Lubica Lacinová; Dan Leskien; Darko Lojen; Sarah Lukie; Danius Lygis; Desmond Mahon; Mark Mansour; Lindsey Marcus; Unda Marjutina; Helen Marquard; Mariam Mayet; Piet van der Meer; Hartmut Meyer; Chaba Mokuku; Veronika Mora; Emmanuel Moutondo; Fiona Mucklow; Gábor Nechay; Jimena Nieto Carrasco; Ingrid Nöh; Nicola Notaro; Andriy D. Ostapenko; Elpidio V. Peria; Peter Pouplier; Christian Prip; François Pythoud; Laura Reifschneider; Orlando Rey Santos; Michal Schalit; Doreen Stabinsky; Milena Roudna; Sabrina Safrin; Eric Schoonejans; Gernot Schubert; Stephen Stec; Biserka Strel; Tania Temata; Craig Thorn; Kristina Veidemane; Carmen Vicien; Conrad Von Kameke; Xueman Wang; Christine von Weizsäcker; Dayuan Xue; Jasenka Zaninović.

We are also grateful to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity for their support with comments to the Guide as well as assistance in organizing the side event on the Guide held at ICCP3 in The Hague on 24 April 2002.

Special thanks go to Hartmut Meyer for his helpful comments and advice throughout the process. Special thanks are also addressed to Piet van der Meer and the “Implementation of national biosafety frameworks in pre-accession countries of Central and Eastern Europe” project for assistance in organising the second workshop.

We have a special debt of thanks to those institutions which have made this work possible through their financial support: the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA), through Danish Cooperation for Environment in Eastern Europe (DANCEE), for bearing the lion's share of the costs of this project; the European Commission, the Norwegian Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Rockefeller Foundation (for support through the World Resources Institute). Additional support for in-kind contributions, directly or through the partner institutions, is also gratefully acknowledged from the German Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) project on “Implementing the Biodiversity Convention” and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

A number of individuals at IUCN-ELC and FIELD have provided tireless secretarial and managerial support in the preparation process: Jil Self, Daniella Montag, Rachel Holmwood and Catherine McLellan. Additional support was provided by Zsuzsa Soos, Louis Mekel and Katharine Mann.

At FIELD, Carolina Lasén Diaz, Fernando Latorre and Alice Palmer, lawyers on FIELD's Biodiversity and Marine Resources, and Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development programmes, provided significant substantive contributions throughout the preparation of the Guide and undertook a technical review during the editorial process.

WRI acknowledges the Southeast Asia Regional Institute for Community Education (SEARICE) and African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) for co-sponsoring workshops on Capacity Building and Public Participation in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the results of which provided part of the basis for WRI's contribution to the Guide. Research support for WRI's contribution was also provided by Vicente Yu III, Cecilia Blasco, Arthur Getz, Ruchi Bhandari and Adriana Casas.

We would like to extend our deep appreciation to all the contributors to the Guide, who tirelessly provided drafts and redrafts of particular parts of the commentary while accepting that their contributions would be edited and blended into a team work in the end.

Finally, we would like to express our deep gratitude to Veit Koester, both for his advice and support throughout the preparation of this Guide and also for first raising the idea of the need for an explanatory guide to the Protocol which led us to undertake this work.

Our thanks go to all those mentioned above, and others, for their contribution to the Guide. We, however, remain responsible for any weaknesses that remain.

Ruth Mackenzie, FIELD, London
Françoise Burhenne-Guilmin, IUCN ELC, Bonn
Antonio La Viña, World Resources Institute, Washington DC
October 2002

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