The South African government as a party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, recognizes the need for the implementation of Decisions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP), in particular: Decision BS-V/5 (d) which called upon Global Environment Facility (GEF) to "Expand its support for capacity-building for effective participation in the BCH to all eligible Parties to the Protocol"; and Decision BS VI/5.2(f) which invites the (GEF) to “provide further support to all eligible Parties for capacity-building in the use of the Biosafety Clearing-House, based on experiences or lessons learned during the Project on Continued Enhancement of Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House".
In that respect, through the UN Environment – Global Environment Facility's generous financial support , South Africa organized the first National Biosafety Clearing House training workshop in Pretoria on the 13-14th September 2018. The objectives of this training workshop were to define procedures and mechanisms for information flow onto the BCH; define roles of the Competent National Authority and National Focal Points, as well as enhance the national capacity to use the BCH Central Portal to find and register information. The training was facilitated by Dr Ossama AbdelKawy, Anglophone Africa Regional Specialist, BCH3 project UN Environment.
This training will contribute towards achieving strategic objective 5 enunciated in the strategic plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, 2011 – 2020, which aims at enhancing the availability and exchange of relevant information through the Biosafety Clearing-House.