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Biosafety Clearing-House News

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AlbaniaAlbania - Second national BCH workshop Albania, 15-17 of February, 2021
The second national workshop on BCH, is aiming to gather all government officials of the line ministries and institutions with regard to exercise and update the status of the Albanian legislation as well as on how to proceed with regard to the exchange of information in the BCH portal. The workshop is assisted through the UNEP consultants. More...
TogoTogo - Arrêté n°0029/MEDDPN/SG/DRF du 24 mars 2020, portant mise en place du comité scientifique et technique de biosecurité (CSTB)
Par suite de l'art. 8 de la loi n°2009-001 du 06 janvier 2009 portant prévention des risques biotechnologiques, il est prévu la creation d'un comité scientifique et technique.
Le présent arrêté vient donc en application de la loi sus-citée.

Ce comité (CSTB) est composé d’experts et a essentiellement pour mission d’assister techniquement l’autorité nationale compétente dans la réalisation de sa mission de sécurité en biotechnologie moderne sous forme d’avis
techniques et scientifiques.
Pour remplir cette mission, il est donc chargé d'examiner et de donner son avis sur les demandes d'autorisation relatives au développement, à l'utilisation confinée, à l'importation, à l'exportation, au transit, à la production, au stockage, à la dissémination volontaire ou involentaire dans l'environnement et à la mise sur le marché des organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM).
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsUNEA-5 Virtual Side-event: Strengthening Non-State Actor Commitments for Biodiversity in the Context of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals
The Governments of Egypt and China, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, organized a virtual side event on the margins of the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5). The side event took place on 18 February 2021.

The objective of the event was to demonstrate how commitments by non-state actors (e.g. civil society organizations, youth, academia, indigenous peoples and local communities, business and financial sectors, cities and other local authorities, UN system) can help to raise ambition for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The outcomes of the event were as follows: 1) mobilizing and connecting new voices and
leadership in support of the biodiversity agenda; 2) profiling commitments and actions for the post-2020 process, as well as contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals and UN Decade of Action; and 3) bringing awareness of methodologies to track progress in support of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Please find the link to the side event recording at https://www.cbd.int/article/unea-5-side-event-action-agenda

Notification: https://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2021/ntf-2021-011-post2020-en.pdf
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsIssue 14 of the Biosafety Protocol News, the biosafety newsletter, is now available.
The topic of issue 14 of the Biosafety Protocol News, the biosafety newsletter, is entitled:
Inspiring Quotes:
20th anniversary of the adoption of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and
10th anniversary of the Nagoya Kuala - Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress

The newsletter is available at https://bch.cbd.int/protocol/cpb_newsletter.shtml and https://bch.cbd.int/protocol/bpn-14.shtml
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsNeeds assessment survey Report: UNEP - GEF Project for Sustainable Capacity Building for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH III project)
Over the period from July 1st to August 3rd, 2020, the UNEP-GEF BCH III project in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) executed a needs assessment survey to collect information and perspectives from parties to the CPB on: (i) Countries’ relevant BCH and Biosafety capacity building needs, (ii) Implementation of BCH and Biosafety measures in general at national, regional and global levels, (iii) Measures that can be instituted to enhance the general knowledge, awareness, participation and sustainability of the BCH and Biosafety over the longer term at national, regional and global levels.

The needs assessment survey was designed to collect both qualitative and quantitative data to identify gaps, capacity building needs and suggested interventions relevant to the BCH specifically and Biosafety in general. While it primarily involved multiple choice questions, it also included sections for parties to express their views in writing. Aiming to ensure broad participation from relevant Biosafety stakeholders that are knowledgeable of the current national and global biosafety situation, a notification was issued by the SCBD. This notification addressed Parties’ CPB and BCH National Focal Points (NFPs), inviting them and other appropriate persons identified by them, to participate in the survey. Additionally, the BCH III project sent a written communication to its Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)1 contact list that includes 1,673 international recipients who previously participated in the project’s capacity building activities.
Guinea-BissauGuinea-Bissau - clôture du projet BCHIII
La Guinée-Bissau a déjà terminé tous les ateliers de formation du projet BCHIII en juillet 2019 à Bissau sous la supervision des consultants régionaux. More...
BhutanBhutan - Training on national BCH and other biosafety information repository tools
Training on ‘National BCH and other biosafety information repository tools’ was held in Paro from 3-5 March 2020. The training was organized by Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, with the financial and technical support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) involving BCH expert Prof. Ruel V Maningas. The training was attended by forty four officials from BAFRA field offices, Biosafety Technical Working Group and participants from National Environment Commission, Food Corporation of Bhutan, Karma Feed and National Seed Centre. More...
GambiaGambia - Training on Hermes Instance to establish and Launch a National Biosafety Clearing House for The Gambia
Under the BCH 3 Project, a one-day training for IT officers in the Department of Parks of The Gambia was conducted on 5th March 2020 . Training on using the Control Management System of the Hermes for creating and editing pages on the national website mw.biosafetyclearinghouse.net and using Hermes syntaxes, Xhtml language and JavaScript for further populating and customizing pages was conducted. The training was attended by 4 participants.
GambiaGambia - The Gambia second training on the BCH Under the BCH 3 Project
The Gambia conducted its second stakeholders training on BCH under BCHIII project from 3rd to 4th March 2020. The training was attended by 12 participants drawn from the National Competent Authority (NCA) and other relevant institutions who are primary users of the BCH. The training was aimed at enhancing national capacity on how to use the BCH to effectively implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
Among others the following topics were covered:
• Genetic engineering concepts and terminologies
• Overview of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
 Interactive module on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
• Introduction to the Biosafety Clearing House
• introduction to the BCH central Portal
• finding information on the BCH
• the Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress
• Country Status for Cartagena Protocol and the BCH
• Registering information on the BCH Central Portal
• Introduction to the BCH management Centre Authorized users
• Introduction to the BCH training materials
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsSustaining biosafety in CARICOM
Over the period 20 – 22 January 2020, a series of meetings was held in Trinidad and Tobago to examine the issue of the sustainability of biosafety in the CARICOM region.

At the first meeting, which held from 20 – 21 January 2020, representatives from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) and UN Environment (UNE) met to develop an action plan to chart the way forward for biosafety management at a regional level.  Deliberations were based on the recommendations outlined in the report of the terminal evaluation of the UNEP-GEF Regional Project for Implementing National Biosafety Frameworks in the Caribbean Sub-Region, conducted in January 2019.

In light of the initiative to develop a strategic outlook for biosafety in the Caribbean Region to enhance the sustainability of the outputs achieved under the implementation project, a meeting of regional biosafety stakeholders was convened on 22 January 2020.  Participants came from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.  Also present, in addition to UWI, UNEP and CAHFSA, were representatives from regional and international organisations such as CARICOM, CARPHA, OECS, CARDI and IICA. Presentations examined the outlook from the national, regional and international perspectives, and a workshop session was conducted in which participants were tasked with arriving at common positions on how existing gaps to biosafety management can be addressed, as well as outline a regional implementation framework for biosafety.   

It is hoped that the discussions held over the 3-day period will serve as a means of keeping biosafety relevant, and that the necessary steps will be taken at both nationally and regionally to ensure full implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in the Caribbean region.