Colombia, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden became the first countries to sign a treaty open for signatures that outlines international rules regarding procedures to mitigate damage to biodiversity caused by living modified organisms.
The treaty -- the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress -- was adopted during a biosafety conference in Japan in October as a supplementary to the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity.
Hidenori Murakami, an adviser to the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, forests and fisheries, told a news conference the supplementary protocol was a key ingredient in addressing biodiversity issues.
"I think we now have this system which works as the safety net for the possible damage (of biodiversity) through trans-boundary movement of (living modified organisms)," he said in a statement.
The protocol would go into force 90 days after the 40th instrument of ratification is accepted.