Abstract: A perspective is offered herein which reflects on recent guidance developed by
the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Socio-Economic Considerations in biosafety
decision making in consideration of Article 26 (Socio-Economic Considerations) of the
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Awareness is raised of existing well-developed guidance and established practice for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which is used globally in multi-sectoral contexts. Highlights are made where the AHTEG guidance challenges the application of existing ESIA practice due to fundamental divergences in scope and practice, namely the provision for enhancement of
benefits as well as a proactive and participatory approach to engagement of potentially impacted stakeholders. The use of ESIA in decision making is being explored by the Target Malaria project in the context of its developmental pathway towards gene drive approaches for area wide malaria vector control.