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SenegalSenegal - Réunion préparatoire de la participation du Sénégal à la MOP 8 du Protocole de Cartagena
Le 23 novembre 2016, sous l’égide de l’Autorité Nationale de Biosécurité (Autorité Nationale Compétente du Sénégal pour le Protocole de Cartagena), s’est tenue à Dakar la réunion préparatoire de la participation du Sénégal à la Huitième Réunion des Paries (MOP 8) au Protocole de Cartagena.

La réunion avait pour objectif principal de partager les documents de travail de la MOP 8,  de recueillir les orientations et recommandations de différentes parties prenantes nationales pour assurer une bonne participation de notre pays à la MOP 8 qui constitue une importante rencontre internationale de négociation regroupant plus cent quatre-vingt Etat-Parties.

La réunion préparatoire a ainsi vu la participation de membres de l’Autorité Nationale de Biosécurité (ANB), de membres du Comité National de Biosécurité (CNB), de représentants de la société civile, du réseau des journalistes pour l’environnement et de toutes les directions du Ministère de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable.
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsCaribbean Biosafety Risk Communication Workshop
“Risk Communication for GMOs” workshop, hosted by the Regional Biosafety Project in Tobago was facilitated by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). More...
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsCaribbean Biosafety Food and Feed Workshop
The Caribbean Regional Biosafety Project hosted a workshop on “Food and Feed Safety Assessment of GMOs” from 20-22 September 2016 in St. Kitts, facilitated by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) More...
PhilippinesPhilippines - Philippines conducts workshop on Socio-Economics, Ethical, and Cultural Considerations (SEECC) in the context of GM Regulations.
Last September 8-9, 2016, a workshop on the socio-economic considerations of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was held at the Acacia Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. 

The workshop was deemed necessary in light of the issuance of the DOST-DA-DENR-DOH-DILG  Joint Department Circular (JDC) No.1 Series of 2016 entitled “Rules and Regulations for the Research and Development, Handling and Use, Transboundary Movement, Release into the Environment, and Management of Genetically-Modified Plant and Plant Products Derived from the Use of Modern Biotechnology” which stipulates that socio-economic considerations be taken into account in the risk assessment of GMOs, as stated in Article II, Section 3D: Socio-economic, Ethical and Cultural Considerations.

In making biosafety decisions for the commercialization of a regulated article, concerned departments shall take into account socio-economic, ethical and cultural considerations arising from the impact of regulated articles on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, especially with regard to the value of biological diversity to indigenous and local communities. (Emphasis added)

The workshop aimed to formulate the conceptual framework on the socio-economic, ethical and cultural considerations for GM crops and products. Speakers gave a brief background on the issues crucial to the Philippine biosafety regulatory system including concepts on socio-economic and biodiversity impact assessments, and ethical and cultural considerations. The discussions were not intended to be construed as a mandatory list of issues for implementation, rather, an initial discussion for defining a feasible, manageable, time and cost efficient, fair and protective approach for decision-making. The insights gained from said Workshop shall be useful to the regulators in the identification and formulation of the set of questions for incorporation in the risk assessment  instrument to be filled out by the proponent.

A second leg of the Workshop, is tentatively set in the first quarter of 2017. The activity will involve other stakeholders aside from the regulators in the government and shall further discuss the applicable questions and feasible approach for SEECC assessments and analyses under the Philippine setting.

The activity is a joint undertaking by the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) in collaboration with the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS).
PhilippinesPhilippines - PUBLIC AWARENESS on the new Guidelines on LMOs
In line with its persistent efforts to familiarize stakeholders on the new guidelines on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the DOST-DA-DENR-DOH-DILG Joint Department Circular (JDC) No.1 Series of 2016, the DOST Biosafety Committee (DOST-BC) Secretariat, participated in the series of public briefings conducted by biosafety partners in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture—Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC), and the Coalition for Agricultural Modernization in the Philippines (CAMP) conducted three legs of their JDC Public Briefing & Symposium on Agricultural Modernization with the aim ofproviding factual and science-based information pertaining to the science, environmental and food safety, and potential socio-economic benefits of modern biotechnology in the Philippines. The symposia were attended by farmers, students, local government units, as well as members from local industries and the private sector.

Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio of DOST-BC Secretariat and Ms. Merle B. Palacpac of DA- Bureau of PIant Industry (BPI) both discussed the key features of the JDC pursuant with the mandates of their respective agencies in the regulation of GMOs. The audience were informed about the roles and responsibilities of the National Committee on Biosafey of the Philippines (NCBP) and the DOST-BC under the National Biosafety Framework as stipulated in E.O. 514; as well as the mechanisms for transparency and accountability, access to information  through Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) that serves as platform for public awareness, education and information about GMOs and its regulations; and the enhanced public participation and involvement of other regulatory agencies in the risk assessment process. The afternoon session focused on the challenges being encountered by the agriculture sector in the country and the interventions made by CAMP to address such challenges, one of which is making representations in the Senate and Congress for the legislation of laws that will promote the welfare and livelihood of our local farmers.  

The public briefings and symposia were held at Isabela, Iloilo, and General Santos City, respectively; from September to October 2016. 

Julieta Fe L. Estacio
Head Secretariat, NCBP
and NFP, BCH Pilipinas
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsSuriname National BCH system design workshop
Suriname Workshop & meeting for analysing and designing the national BCH website More...
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsGrenada BCH national website design workshop
Grenada Workshop for analysing and designing the national BCH website More...
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsA webinar entitled "Integrating Biosafety into NBSAPs and Other Conservation Planning Tools" will take place on 25 October 2016 at 9:00 EDT
The NBSAPs forum in collaboration with the Secretariat will hold webinar entitled: "Integrating Biosafety into NBSAPs and Other Conservation Planning Tools" presented by Peter Deupmann from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 25 Oct 2016 at 9:00 EDT / New York.

The Cartagena Protocol is an integral component of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol ultimately contributes to realization of the CBD’s objectives. Focusing on NBSAPs, this webinar will highlight methods and approaches for integrated implementation of measures related to the Cartagena Protocol and the CBD. This webinar will highlight how the objectives of the Cartagena Protocol relate to the CBD, including the benefits of mainstreaming biosafety into NBSAPs and tools and approaches to do this.

Please register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/523599909440809987

Please also become an member in the NBSAPs forum under the theme biosafety at http://nbsapforum.net/#categories/340
Republic of MoldovaRepublic of Moldova - Moldova - Awareness-building Seminar on mainstreaming biosafety into national policies for policy- and decision-makers
"The Awareness-building Seminar on mainstreaming biosafety into national policies" for policy- and decision-makers has been held on 16 September 2016 in Chisinau, Moldova. The Seminar has been organized by the Ministry of Environment of Moldova, Biosafety Office within the planned activities of the CBD/CPB/UNEP project, entitled “Capacity-building to promote integrated implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level” in the Republic of Moldova. More...
BelarusBelarus - Seminar on the International Technical Assistance Project of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 22 July 2016
As a part of the project “Capacity-building to promote integrated implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level” on 22 July 2016 the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, vested with functions of the National Co-ordination Biosafety Centre, with support of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus hosted a Seminar.
In the discussion of issues related to legislative regulations and activity efficiency in the area of Safety in Genetic Engineering Activity, as well as on raising awareness of individuals involved in establishing of a strategic course and decision-making, the representatives of organizations that belong to different departmental subordinations and the activity of which is related to biosafety issues in the Republic of Belarus, took part in it. Presentations of the speakers that provided an analytical overview and the Summary of the Seminar  are available on the Website of the National Co-ordination Biosafety Centre of the Republic of Belarus at the following webpage: http://biosafety.org.by/node/27828.
LiberiaLiberia - Liberia Dedicates GMO Detection Laboratory
Liberia reached a major  milestone in its efforts to put in place a functional Biosafety system when it dedicated on  26 August 2016 a modern GMO detection laboratory with support from UNEP-GEF. More...
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsA first step towards the implmentation of the CPB in the Kingdom of Bahrain
Manama, 8 September 2016 - Bahrain hosted its first national workshop on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety at the Downtown Rotana Hotel. Stakeholders were invited to participate in the development of Bahrain’s Third National Report to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.  The workshop main aim was to assess the state of biosafety and the existing administrative and regulatory frameworks governing the import of agricultural crops, feed and food for processing in the Kingdom of Bahrain. More...