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Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2004-08-23 12:51 UTC (Andreas.Meissauer@mos.gov.pl)
Date of last update
2010-01-25 11:29 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2010-01-25 11:29 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)

General information
Title of the initiative
EU Twinning Project PL 01/EN/IB/03 - "Biological Safety System in Poland"
Contact person
Dr. Gernot Schubert
Project Leader
Division for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Federal Ministry for Health and Social Security
Am Probsthof 78 A, D-5312
Phone:+49 228 941 3270
Fax:+49 228 941 4936
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • Poland
  • CBD Regional Groups - Central and Eastern Europe
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: Public administration and competent authorities responsible for the enforcement of the Polish Act on Genetically Modified Organisms (Decision makers, Inspectors, Laboratory staff).
Start Date
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Government(s) sponsoring the initiative
  • Poland
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Organization: Polish Ministry of the Environment and the German Federal Ministry for Health and Social Security
  • Type of Organization: National government
Budget information
EU PHARE Programme - $$1,700,000.00
Availability of funds for participants
Activity details
Description of the initiative
This Twinning Project is intended to support Poland in the task of establishing a national biosafety system comparable to EU standards concerning the use of GMO, their deliberate release and introduction to the market. The objectives targeted by the project are bundled in seven main project measures (components), which are further divided into several activities that reflect different tasks.  The main components are: 1) Project Inception Phase, 2) Legal review and assessment of state of approximation of the Polish legislation to the Acquis Communautaire; 3) Decision-Making; 4) Inspection; 5)  Assistance in establishing accredited laboratories; 6) Assistance in establishing an electronic information system; and 7) Assistance in promoting public information and public participation. These are briefly outlined below and explained in full detail in a separate attachment (Twinning Covenant), including a time frame and the staff required for their implementation.

The component on Legal review and assessment will help to determine the basis for the implementation of measures regarding decision-making, inspection, control of border crossings and public concern.The decision-making component addresses the decision making functions, including risk assessment and public participation, of the competent bodies to be strengthened, which manage the issues related to GMO. The objective is to enable Poland to perform decision-making procedures in line with EU standard.

The Inspection component addresses the objective to enable the Polish authorities to perform inspection procedures in line with EU standards. Adequate sampling, sample analysis, development of analytical methods, for contained use, deliberate release and placing on the market of GMOs will be available and staff trained in inspection procedures as a result of the project.

The component on establishment of accredited laboratories is aims to achieve a complete national laboratory network which shall be able to give analytical support to the inspecting authorities and which shall consist of two or three specialized laboratories covering safety levels 1 and 2 and, at least, of one laboratory covering safety level 3.The component on establishment of an electronic information system will ensure fast flow, processing and exchange of information, assure transparency and fulfil information requirements in order to support the decision-making and inspection authorities. Systems hardware and software and training on its utilisation will be provided by the "investment" part of the PHARE programme.

The component on provision of assistance in promoting public information and public participation will be support initiatition of public discourse on genetic engineering and the design and conduction of a "public awareness-campaign" including development of a web site, brochures, and planning and conduction of a public symposium on biosafety aspects including beneficiary and risk potentials of genetic engineering.

National level activities
Development of national biosafety frameworks
Human-resources development
Information exchange & data management
Institutional strengthening
Public awareness, education and participation

Regional level activities
Coordination and harmonization of regulatory frameworks

Other source of funding
EU PHARE Programme
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
The establishment of competent bodies for handling requests and notifications, and inspection. For this purpose, the training of the staff will be an integral part of the project
The establishment of accredited laboratories appropriately equipped for inspection and control of samples in various GMO-related fields and testing (e.g. modified food, seed-bearing material etc.);
The establishment of an electronic information system for the needs of activities concerning GMO
The initiation and performance of a public awareness campaign on issues related to biological safety.

The overall objective is to assist Poland in improving the administrative capacity on the field of biological safety by development of a national biosafety system comparable to EU standards which covers the contained use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) as well as their deliberate release to the environment and placing on the market.  The Ministry of the Environment (MoE) will be supported mainly in the handling of requests, including risk assessment and in the field of inspection. Specifically, expert support will be given in the areas outlined below:

Main outcomes
1) The state of legislation regarding GMOs in Poland has been assessed. A written report on existing legal framework, was presented and discussed in an expert seminar. The report summarises and comments on the legislation and legislative efforts at the time four months after the start of the project work schedule and gives recommendations.

2) The state of practise regarding decision making in Poland, including risk assessment has been reviewed. Polish staff has been trained and informed on German/EU standards/best practice/procedures for decision making;

3) The guidelines for procedures concerning the handling of GMO issues are formulated;

4) Polish staff responsible for inspection has been trained on sampling, sample analysis, development of analytical methods for contained use, deliberate release, and placing on the market and and enabled to perform adequate inspection procedures in line with EU requirements;

5) Staff trained in handling requests and notifications;

6) Sampling strategies and procedures for laboratory analysis of GMOs are established;

7. Three (3) laboratories have been prepared for accreditation for GMO-testing and a National (Polish) working group of GMO-testing laboratories established

8) An electronic information system to support decision-making and inspection is designed; The Biosafety Clearing-House for Poland has been established: http://www.ihar.edu.pl/gene_bank/GMO/index_en.html

9) A public awareness campaign on issues related to biological safety has been conducted; brochures and an abstract book distributed to the public (press, libraries) and political decision-makers.

See separate attachment (First Quarterly Report)
General thematic area(s)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • Risk management
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Technology transfer
  • Public awareness, participation and education in biosafety
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
Additional Information
Additional Information
Other collaborating organizations
1) Federal Environment Agency, Vienna, Austria; and 2) Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentariès, Barcelona, Spain