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The FAO - CBD - OECD Biosafety Databases Forum


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) each host an international biosafety-related database with individual mandates and scopes.

On 12 November 2014, the "Webinar on the International Biosafety Databases" was jointly organized by FAO, CBD and OECD. During the webinar, representatives of the three organizations made presentations on the mandate, scope and activities of the FAO GM Foods Platform, the Biosafety Clearing House of the CBD and the OECD BioTrack Product Database.

One of the key points discussed during the webinar was the importance of national focal/contact points for each of the three databases to work together in close collaboration at the national level. Although the participants of the webinar widely acknowledged the necessity of such collaborations, many participants stated that they are in need of establishing and/or improving effective communication and coordination mechanisms (the report of the 2014 webinar can be downloaded here).

The BCH - FAO - OECD Biosafety Databases Forum page has been created to facilitate further discussion on effective communication mechanisms at the national level among the focal/contact points for the three biosafety databases hosted by the CBD, FAO and OECD in preparation for future webinars. This page also serves as a means to disseminate information on upcoming webinars and other relevant activities, hosted in collaboration between the three Secretariats.

Joint FAO-CBD-OECD webinars on International Databases on Biosafety

Online discussion

Challenges and experiences in establishing and maintaining inter-agency communication on biosafety-related issues

Discussions will be held between 27 April – 10 May 2015

During the online discussion, focal points and contact points of the GM Foods Platform, the Biosafety Clearing-House of the CBD and the OECD BioTrack Product Database will be invited to share their views on the challenges and experiences they faced in establishing and maintaining effective inter-agency communication, at the national level, on biosafety-related issues.

In addition to sharing their own challenges and experiences, participants may wish to consider the following guiding questions:

  • Does your country have a mechanism in place for facilitating inter-agency communication on biosafety-related issues?
  • Have you experienced any challenges in establishing or maintaining inter-agency communication on biosafety-related issues?
  • What challenges have you faced meeting or streamlining national obligations and/or contributions (data uploads) to the databases?
  • What role could the international organizations have in assisting national communication processes?
  • What do you think would be key factors for facilitating inter-agency communication on biosafety at the national level?

The outcomes of the e-discussion session will serve to tailor and further refine the content of the upcoming webinar on the international biosafety databases, as well as to identify participants who will be invited to deliver presentations on good practices during the webinar.