Biosafety Clearing-House News
The Biosafety Implementation Project has forged ahead with providing training in familiarisation with biosafety terms and in using the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH), for key officers in various ministries and agencies, that will be assisting in biosafety management in the country, since the month of March 2014. Participants were also introduced to the biosafety policy, bill and regulations. To date, a total of eighty persons have been trained from the north and south of the island. More...
In view of the decision of the Sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP6) to evaluate the practicality, utility and usefulness of the Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs), the Philippines held a series of workshops to serve this purpose. The evaluation of the Guidance Document also considered its consistency to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the past and present experiences with LMOs.
The workshop series was held on 24-25 October 2013 and 24-25 March 2014, respectively. The workshops were participated in by the staff of Competenet National Authorities (CNAs) engaged in biosafety regulations and risk assessment of LMOs.
Using actual applications, the Guidance Document was tested using the country’s risk assessment instrument prescribed in the National Bisoafety Framework (Executive Order 514) and Administrative Order No. 8, s. 2002 of the Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Flerida A. Cariño, physical scientist member of the Department of Science and Technology – Biosafety Committee (DOST-BC), facilitated the workshops. Several experts in biotechnology and biosafety regulations were also present in the activities.
The outcome of the two workshops were consolidated and served as inputs in accomplishing the questionnaire on testing the risk assessment guidance prescribed by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Apart from this, a narrative report is also being prepared, along with the results which shall then be circulated among the participants. The results of the workshops will be further presented to stakeholders as part of the country’s preparation for the upcoming COP-MOP7.
These activities are being spearheaded by the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines, through the DOST-BC, in cooperation with the CNAs.
Korea Biosafety Clearing House(Director, Ho-Min Jang), together with the UNEP and Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment, held the 3rd UNEP-KBCH Biosafety Clearing House Asia Regional Workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia, for 3 days from November 18th to 20th of 2013. This workshop was held pursuant to the inclusion of the proposal made by the Korean government in the final resolution of the MOP6 held in October of 2012 in Hyderabad, India,
There were 36 participants in this workshop, including UNEP DELC personnel(Ms. Ileana Lopez), Regional Advisors(Dr. Ruel Maningas, Mr. Edmund Revilla), and BCH members from 13 countries in the Asian region, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand. Amidst such participation, they discussed ways for provision, maintenance and sharing of LMO-related information of each country, as well as the means for sharing the current situation on PAEP(Public Awareness, Education and Participation), and resolving the challenges that countries face, together with plans for further development.
Participants revealed the difficulties they faced in promoting public awareness of LMO and biosafety, in cooperation among domestic institutions, and evaluation and monitoring for implementation of the Protocol. To resolve this situation, they emphasized the need for inter-regional cooperation, so that countries could share and learn from each of their experiences.
Moreover, a consensus was formed among participants, that in order to promote public awareness and educational campaigns, Countries need to make use of national policies and programs on biosafety issues, information and other educational material, simplified data on biosafety and biotechnology, and social media.
Participants agreed heartily that this type of workshop should continue to be held, as it enabled Biosafety Clearing House experts in the Asian region to come together and talk about major issues and share their experiences. They also proposed cooperative projects in the Asian region, such as the implementation of public awareness surveys, if they are able to acquire the budget going forward.
Korea Biosafety Clearing House conducted 2 workshops of this kind in 2008 and 2011, and it intends to continue its efforts to make it further more fruitful for countries in the region.
Eastern European Regional Course on Integrative Impact Assessment of LMOs under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: Advancing LMO assessment: Principles, Practice and Progress” held in Chisinau, Moldova, 3-8 February 2014. In partnership with the Ministry of Environment in Moldova and Third World Network, GenØk is organizing a course in biosafety and risk assessment. In addition to increase the participants general knowledge of biosafety, the course aims to run a test of the “Roadmap for Risk Assessment” developed by the Cartagena Protocol under the Convention on Biological Diversity. 45 participants from 13 countries from the region have attended the course. More...
El Proyecto MINAM-UNEP/GEF-UNOPS "Implementación del Marco Nacional de Bioseguridad en el Perú (IMNB-Perú)" quiere sumarse a la construcción de un Sistema Nacional de Bioseguridad, eficaz y transparente, en el que las decisiones, tanto de autoridades como de público en general, se tomen basadas en información adecuada. Para ello, pone a consideración el módulo didáctico “Recursos Genéticos, Biotecnología y Bioseguridad”, en el que se desarrollan los conceptos, fundamentos y procesos para entender el valor actual y potencial de los recursos genéticos, el verdadero poder y alcance de la biotecnología y la indispensable necesidad de desarrollar un Sistema Nacional de Bioseguridad. More...
El proyecto MINAM-UNEP/GEF-UNOPS “Implementación del Marco Nacional de Bioseguridad en el Perú (IMNB-Perú)”, con el auspicio del Instituto del Mar del Perú (IMARPE) y el Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria (SENASA), y el apoyo técnico del Centro Internacional para la Ingeniería Genética y Biotecnología (ICGEB) y el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente Oficina Regional para América Latina y el Caribe (UNEP), realizó el primer taller internacional “Enfoques estratégicos en la evaluación científica del riesgo de Organismos Vivos Modificados para la toma de decisiones con fines regulatorios” del 20 al 22 de enero de 2014, en Lima-Perú. El taller se llevó a cabo en el Auditorio Principal del SENASA, los días lunes 20 y martes 21 de enero; y en el Auditorio Principal del IMARPE, el día miércoles 22 de enero. More...
In decision BS-VI/12, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP) commended the progress made on the Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms and asked that Parties test the document nationally for further improvement in actual cases of risk assessment and in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety through their risk assessors and other experts who are actively involved in risk assessment. The objective of the testing is to evaluate the practicality, usefulness and utility of the Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms with respect to consistency with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, in particular Article 15 and Annex III, and taking into account past and present experiences with living modified organisms.
The Department of Biosafety Malaysia organized a one day workshop for this exercise and it was attended by members of the Genetic Modification Advisory Committee and the technical officers from the Department of Biosafety. Dr. Vilasini Pillai, who was Malaysia’s Technical Expert Representative to the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group gave a brief background on the development of the guidance document. Prof. Rofina Yasmin bin Othman, who is one of the biosafety experts in the National Biosafety Board attended the workshop as well. The case study that was used for the purpose of this evaluation was the field trial of LM mosquitoes that was previously approved by the National Biosafety Board in 2010. The participants of the workshop were briefed about the case and also provided with relevant documents as reference to be used to evaluate the guidance document. Based on this, the group conducted a risk assessment on two parts of the guidance document that was relevant to the case study, which were:
a) Part I: The Roadmap for Risk assessment of LMOs
b) Risk assessment of LM mosquitoes
The results of the testing were consolidated and submitted through the questionnaire as required by the Secretariat
The National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) has extended its promotion of the Philippine Biosafety Regulatory System on Genetically Modified Organisms to the general public during the week-long celebration of the Ninth National Biotechnology Week on November 25-29, 2013 at Arroceros Forest Park, Unibersidad de Manila, Manila City.
With the theme “Bioteknolohiya para sa Kalikasan, Kalusugan, Kagandahan, Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran (Biotechnology for the Environment, Health, Wellness, Livelihood and Development),” the event was opened through a forum that tackled milestones and major concerns in modern biotechnology in the country. The forum was opened by NCBP Chairperson and Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo through a keynote message enjoining the public to seize all opportunities to understand and learn more about the importance of modern biotechnology in accelerating economic development.
During the forum, Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio, the National Focal Point of the Biosafety Clearing-house of the Philippines, elaborated on the existing biosafety regulations and procedures. She discussed the history of the country’s biosafety regulations along its development for the past years. She further highlighted the establishment of the National Biosafety Framework which expanded the involvement of different government agencies to reflect the many scopes of modern biotechnology that play a vital role in our pursuit for national development. Furthermore, she stressed the significance of the Biosafety Clearing-house in enhancing public awareness and in understanding of biotechnology and the crops that were approved for use as food, feed and for processing.
On the other hand, Dr. Kenneth Y. Hartigan-go, NCBP Health Scientist and Food and Drug Administration Director-General, addressed health issues and concerns emerging from the uses and applications of modern biotechnology across the country.
This year’s celebration was lead by the Department of Education which emphasized the value of biotechnology in addressing the country’s agricultural and environmental challenges. Essentially, students and teachers from different secondary schools and universities took part in the event. The involvement of the education sector has long been seen as an important element in forwarding and intesifying efforts in biosafety public education and promotion.
Medical doctors from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and personnel from the National Bureau of Investigation are the new faces in the celebration since it started nine years ago. Proclamation no. 1414 has declared the National Biotechnology Week as an annual celebration held every last week of November.
Other agencies collaborated for the event were Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Commission on Higher Education. Other partners involved were the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-bitoech Applications, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture-Biotechnology Information Center, and the National Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology in University of the Philippines Los Baños.
El Ministerio del Ambiente en convenio con la Universidad San Francisco de Quito y en el marco del Plan Quinquenal de Capacitación en Bioseguridad, realizó el Curso Teórico Práctico "Bioseguridad y detección de organismos genéticamente modificados" del 9 al 13 de diciembre de 2013, con la participación de 10 funcionarios de las instituciones competentes en materia de Bioseguridad en el Ecuador. More...
El Ministerio del Ambiente en convenio con la Universidad San Francisco de Quito y en el marco del Plan Quinquenal de Capacitación en Bioseguridad, realizó el Curso "Formación de Capacitadores en Bioseguridad" del 2 al 4 de diciembre de 2013, con la participación de 33 funcionarios de las instituciones competentes en materia de Bioseguridad en el Ecuador. More...