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Online Forum on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

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Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6085]
Dear Colleagues and participants to this online discussion. My Name is Malta Qwathekana from the Republic of South Africa and I am one of the Co-chairs in this discussion forum. Let me take this opportunity to welcome you all and thank you for taking some time to participate in this forum. Your participation and views are highly valued and will assist in sharing experiences, and best practices and these will in turn enhance the successful implementation of the Protocol, maximum use of the resources and strengthen synergies between the Protocol and the mother Convention - the Convention on Biological Diversity. The question we are going to start with under the above Title is :
1. What experience has been gained in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans and what have been some of the success factors and challenges?

Working in silos is less productive and encourages duplication of efforts. The national Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) is a policy document which if adequately consulted and used by various stakeholders enhances adequate coordination of activities at a national level. This coordination avoids duplication enhances synergies and promote effective use of available resources. It however comes with its own challenges which vary from country to country. It is believed that for the successful implementation Biosafety issues need to be integrated into the NBSAPs and other National Development Plans for the benefits highlighted above. Let us therefore open up and share the experiences we have gained in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and our respective national development plans and what have been some of the success factors and challenges.
posted on 2014-05-26 21:22 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6089]
In revising our draft Second NBSAP, biosafety has been included in the plan to help protect the biodiversity of the country for 2014-2020. In that way the establishment of the systems for effective biosafety management is encouraged. Biosafety is also included in plans to develop the Green Economy initiative in the country, thereby advancing socio-economic development, as the regulatory and the other management systems for biosafety has been recognised as being essential for the production of goods from modern biotechnology.

It has been several years now that biosafety management has been included in the disaster management plan for the country.

Our national development plan will contain our revised biodiversity strategy and action plan that contains plans for effective biosafety management.
(edited on 2014-05-26 22:12 UTC by Ms. Anita James)
posted on 2014-05-26 22:11 UTC by Ms. Anita James, Saint Lucia
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6090]
These are best practices that need to be taken note of and made available for consideration by other Parties. Thank you very much for sharing with us. Are there any other experiences from others that can be shared?
posted on 2014-05-26 22:23 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6143]
dear all,
I have been following the discussion currently underway from various biosafety offices and its interesting to say that our situation in Zimbabwe is not quite different from situations obtaining in other countries. We had a challenge in that biosafety issues were not recognized as essential elements  in our NBSAPS. Now we have managed to have the issues roped in these national plans. Equally part of funds allocated for CBD would not cater for biosafety office. Its our hope that funding for biosafety issues would be made available this time around.

Additionally, public awareness programmes for biosafety issues are key for majority of people to appreciate the importance of biosafety in general. This calls for capacity development in this area. If probably funding could be made available in this area, then communities and our policy makers would advocate for biosafety issues
posted on 2014-06-04 13:27 UTC by Mr. Jonathan Mufandaedza, Zimbabwe
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6152]
Dear Jonathan
Thank you for sharing with us your country's experience in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs. Are there any policies that have been developed in Zimbabwe to enhance the implementation of Biosafety issues? Other than the NBSAPs are there other National development Plans that biosafety issues have been integrated into in Zimbabwe. It would also be of use to the forum if you can share with us what key specific areas would you like the capacity development/building to focus on and what would be the target audiences and what would each target audience be expected to learn and do after such capacity development/building OR training interventions.

Colleagues, on the capacity building idea I would like to invite any other participant that has a suggestion to contribute to this important point raised by Jonathan. Just to put few pointers:
1. Lack of recognition of the biosafety issues - By who?- what intervention is required? - at what format/level: Workshop, presentation in high level meetings, submission to cabinet, formal training, exchange programmes, use of High Level Segments during COPs, parliamentary sessions during MOPs; etc etc
2. Lack of integration of Biosafety into NBSAPs and other National Development Plans- By Who? lack of capacity of focal points to do what? how can this capacity be enhanced? What format/level of training should be used to address this? etc etc Colleagues.

Any suggestions
posted on 2014-06-05 10:03 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6099]
Posted on behalf of Ke Wattana
-------------------------------------
Sent: May-26-14 9:44:43 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Dear Sir/madam,

For integration biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plan, firstly, you should raise bjosafety to government and private sectors for support through national training/workshop, public materials and develop national action plan for biosafety and biotechnology.

Best regards,

Ke Vongwattana
posted on 2014-05-27 08:26 UTC by Mr. Giovanni Ferraiolo, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6106]
Thanks Ke Vongwattana for your inputs. Capacity building is indeed an inevitable and integral component. Can you please share with the group your national experiences and lessons that you learned in integrating biosafety into your country's NBSAPs and National Development Plans, the successes and challenges.
(edited on 2014-05-27 16:23 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana)
posted on 2014-05-27 16:22 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6113]
Dear all,
I am Letchumanan Ramatha form the Department of Biosafety, Malaysia. Apologies for not responding earlier as I have been busy with some urgent matters. Our comments are as follows:

(i) To what extent have existing NBSAPs and national development plans taken biosafety issues into account and to what extent are biosafety issues being taken into account in the revision of the NBSAPs?

In Malaysia, biosafety has always been a part of the National Biodiversity Policy 1996 – which contains NBSAPs. Now biosafety has been integrated in the National Development Plan. Since 2014, allocation has been provided in the 10th Malaysian Development Plan for the implementation of the Biosafety Act 2007 on top of annual operating budget allocated to the Department of Biosafety since it was formed in 2008. Though the amount is minimal it is sufficient to keep going. Currently the National Biodiversity Policy is being reviewed and expected to be completed by next year. This is an opportunity to highlight the role of biosafety so that it is well captured in the report. Thus we hope to pull more financial allocations.

(ii) What are the main obstacles and challenges to integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans and how have they affected the process and how could they be addressed?

The main obstacles has been that the industries which was against regulating the GMOs. They wanted the law to be repealed. However after much dialogues which addressed all issues brought up by industries adequately, the industries began to accept the law as the law is being implemented flexibly to allow them gain knowledge on the subject matter before tough approaches are adopted. We also had the National Biotechnology Policy launched in 2005. As modern biotechnology is a part of biotechnology, a legal framework for biosafety was required under this policy to regulate and guide the growth of modern biotechnology. Thus the Biosafety Act 2007 became an important instrument to support the growth of modern biotechnology industries. With the law in place in Malaysia, it is a common practice to provide budget for implementation.

(ii) What do you see as potential benefits for integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans?

By integrating, the overall picture of biodiversity and the role of biosafety will remain clear. With integration, even if no allocation is provided, it is still possible to transfer some funds from other biodiversity sectors  to biosafety through administrative mechanism. Also biodiversity sectors can request for specific biosafety project to be implemented for them.
posted on 2014-05-28 00:59 UTC by Mr. Ramatha Letchumanan, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6122]
Dear Ramatha
Thank you very much for sharing with us the Malaysian experiences and bet practices in integrating Biosafety in the NBSAPs and National Development Plans. This is quite inspiring and it can be appreciated if it is OK with you to load/attach here for the benefit of the online participants a page detailing a process that Malaysia followed from the beginning to get the Biosafety issues so high up in the national agenda.

Can other Parties please share their experiences, successes and challenges in integrating Biosafety to the NBSAPs and other national development Plans.
posted on 2014-05-28 17:34 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6128]
Dear Malta,
Your name sound very much similar to Cartagena. What a coincident - that's why you are the right person to faciliate this discussion,

I have requested my colleague to provide the information you suggested. He will post it shortly.
Thanks
Letchu
posted on 2014-05-29 09:13 UTC by Mr. Ramatha Letchumanan, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6130]
Dear Letchu

Thank you for the quick response. Now I can remember who am I talking to. Thank you very much for sharing with the group the Malaysian experiences and information. Your colleague, Johnny, posted the information requested. Very much appreciation. I hope other colleagues participating in the discussions will make use of it and also in turn provide their own information and experience.
posted on 2014-05-29 11:24 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6141]
Dear Colleagues,
i am Prudence Galega, Cameroon National Focal Point for the convention on Biological Diversity.   I have followed the discussion with great interest and learnt enormously from the various countries experiences,   i wish to share Cameroon's experiences with the forum.

Cameroon is soon to develop a specific policy on biosafety.   However, with the support of GEF funding, the legal framework for biosafety was developed with the adoption of the 2003 Law which lays down safety regulations governing modern biotechnology in Cameroon and the 2007 decree for the implementation of this Law. Again within the broader policy for environmental protection, the 2011 National Environmental Management Plan II which provides the orientation for key strategic policy instruments on environment gives priority to biosafety as a sub component.    This broader policy document and legal instruments largely provided the momentum and justification for mainstreaming biosafety considerations in several biodiversity related strategies and national development plans. 

The recently validated second version of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan II (2012) goes further to significantly integrate biosecurity issues and identifies as a priority for the safeguard of ecosystems and species, the development of a strategy and program to control and prevent biological invaders (Target 7.1).   Mainstreaming this priority into other sectors and development plans today constitutes a key national priority.  It is important to cite the Sector Strategy for the Ministry of Environment (the coordination ministry) which integrates biosecurity concerns as a priority for its interventions.

We consider that GEF funding has been very instrumental in supporting these processes. In execution of the on-going GEF 4 Biosecurity project, the development of a Biosecurity policy and Act is a key priority.    Key sector ministries and the private sector have been mobilized and effectively participate as co-managers of project components or provide technical imput for its execution.

Within both the NBSAP mainstreaming process which provides the policy mandate and the project execution process which provides for practical experience in implementation, Biosecurity is expected to receive an increased attention and support within decision making processes in Cameroon.
posted on 2014-06-04 06:00 UTC by Mrs. Prudence Tangham Galega, Cameroon
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6142]
Mrs. Galega, it was very interesting to learn about the experience of Cameroon with respect to the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. You did mention the fact that GEF funding has been an important factor in assisting your country thus far. I am kindly requesting of you to share some perspectives as to how could national level coordination and collaboration among key stakeholders with regard to resource mobilization be improved?
(edited on 2014-06-04 12:51 UTC by Mr. Daniel Lewis)
posted on 2014-06-04 12:47 UTC by Mr. Daniel Lewis, Grenada
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6150]
Hi Prudence
Good to hear the wonderful work that Cameroon is doing. Colleagues these are some of the success stories and best practices that come up in this online discussion forum which we need to make use of to improve on the integration of Biosafety into NBSAPs and other National Development Plans and thereby enhance recognition and successful implementation of the Protocol on Biosafety.

Thank you once again Prudence, on behalf of Cameroon, for sharing with the forum your country's experiences.
posted on 2014-06-05 09:35 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6129]
Dear Ms Malta,

My name is Johnny Andrew from Department of Biosafety, Malaysia. I have to congratulate you for moderating this forum so well. I am referring to your reply to Mr. Letchumanan's comments on this topic and happy to share our experience here.

It took us almost 20 years to be at what we are now. It is not an easy process and requires series of consultations involving various stakeholders. I can summarize the whole things under the following milestones:

1996 – Administrative Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC) formed
1997 – Guidelines on the Release of Genetically Modified Organisms (administratively)
1998 – National Policy on Biological Diversity – Strategy XI calls for a legal framework on biosafety in Malaysia
1999 – Drafting of Biosafety Bill started
2000 – Signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ratified in 2003)
2004 – Hosted the First Meeting of Parties to CPB (MOP1) from 23-27 February 2004
2005 – National Policy on Biotechnology launched – Biosafety is relevant within Policy Thrust 7 i.e. Regulatory Framework
2006/07 – Biosafety Bill tabled in the Parliament
August 2007 – Biosafety Act 2007 passed by Parliament
2008 – Biosafety Core Team was formed. A special committee comprised of various agencies and institutions was also formed to look into pending issues and to formulate regulations.
2009 – Biosafety law enforced after agreed by the Cabinet
February & June 2010 – Hosted 2nd and 3rd Friends of the Co-Chairs Group meeting (FOCC) on Liability and Redress
May 2010 – National Biosafety Board, GMAC and Department of Biosafety were formed
November
2010 – Biosafety Regulations enforced
2013 – National Biodiversity Council first meeting – Paper on implementation status of Biosafety Act presented

We can say that from 2011 onwards biosafety system in Malaysia was functioning. Despite that, there are many things still needed to be done and we use this progress as a basis when asking for more manpower and budget.

Regards
Johnny Andrew
posted on 2014-05-29 09:48 UTC by Mr. Johnny Anak Andrew, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6132]
Dear Johnny and the DG (Mr Letchu)

Thank you so much for sharing this information with the group. I am sure other Parties and participants will add their respective organisation's experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans.
Thanks a lot once again for your contributions
posted on 2014-05-29 11:52 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6253]
Dear Johnny Andrew:

I think it is very ilustrative the date table you provide.  Could you guide me where to find the national law for biosafety of your country. 

Thank you very much.
posted on 2014-07-11 12:35 UTC by Mr luis leon
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6254]
Dear Luis,

Thank you for your comment and interest. You can download copy of the act from the BCH Central Portal. You go to Country Profiles, type/seach for Malaysia, then click Law, Regulation or Guideline. The first document is our biosafety national law (Biosafety Act 2007).

Or you can go to Malaysia BCH website (http://www.biosafety.nre.gov.my). From there, you click Laws and Regulations, then you click Download Biosafety Act 2007.

Regards
Johnny
posted on 2014-07-11 13:05 UTC by Mr. Johnny Anak Andrew, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6137]
This message, originally posted under topic 4, is also posted under topic 1 on behalf of Rufus Ebegba, following up a request of the Chair.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following is my view on Nigeria as regards the questions raised ;
(i) To what extent have existing NBSAPs and national development plans taken biosafety issues into account and to what extent are biosafety issues being taken into account in the revision of the NBSAPs?
In Nigeria, Biosafety is an emerging issue with policy in place and a biosafety bill before the Parliament. The actualization of a biosafety law will actualize the mainstreaming of biosafety into our national system and it will be budgeted for. In a bid to further mainstream biosafety into the national system for proper funding and effectiveness, the National Council on Environment has approved that all state’s should establish a biosafety desk. Institutes that have ability to carry out modern biotechnology activities have also been requested to establish Institutional Biosafety Committees and be accredited. Federal Agencies and Ministries that have related biosafety functions have also establish biosafety desks and BCH User authorization ID issued to them. The NBSAP captured the national biosafety system with mandate to management it vested in the Federal Ministry of Environment. The review of the NBSAP has also taken biosafety into account.


(ii) What are the main obstacles and challenges to integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans and how have they affected the process and how could they be addressed?
The main obstacles in Nigeria are that:
a. The absence of a biosafety law which has made it difficult appropriation for biosafety.

             The actualization of a biosafety law is the solution
b. Lack of modern biotechnology activities in the country due to lack of biosafety  law,


(ii) What do you see as potential benefits for integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans?

The potentials benefits are :
i) active modern biotechnology activities for national economic development,
ii) More biodiversity conservation consciousness regard modern biotechnology activities.

Rufus Ebegba,
National Biosafety Office,
Federal Ministry of Environment,
Abuja-Nigeria
posted on 2014-05-30 13:18 UTC by Mr. Giovanni Ferraiolo, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6167]
Hello all,

The new NBSAP will be developed in the Plurinational State of Bolivia once the budget is secured. The last NBSAP was presented in 2003 and it had a small part about biosafety, mainly making a reference to include this topic in the action program 2 about developing agro-biotechnology research and referring to the normative that was available. In 2005 the first GMO event was approved for its use in Bolivia, therefore the NBSAP didn’t address any action in regards to GMO crops, and the possible effects it could have over biodiversity or the studies and monitoring that should have been done.

If both topics could be integrated there would be an increased benefit for conservation and sustainable use of our resources, as it would be possible to promote more research projects that could help to manage invasive species, GMO events not approved and handle better research projects in the biotechnology area.
posted on 2014-06-11 22:01 UTC by Sra. Cecilia Gonzalez, Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6176]
Dear colleagues,

In Moldova  the draft NBSAP is elaborated and involved biosafety issues that considered as a part of national biodiversity policy and requred a number of actions and efforts to be undertaken in a sort, mediem and long period to be consistent with the Protocol and its Strategic Plan.  As ex., issues related enhacing capacities and skills for procedures of risk assessment/management, laboratory detection of LMOs facilities and skills, monitoring and inspection, integration of socio-economic considerations in decision making,  ensuring the financial mechanisms for liability and redress, as well as public information and decisional transparency. The National Biosafety law is  to be enforced with special procedures and mechanisms. While the Biosafety is included in the national Biodiversity political document, this fact will permit to ensure mobilize the national  financial resources, as well as to attract external support. The NBSAP will also coordinate the work and activities of different sectorial governmental bodies, making them more efficient and providing synergism and enhancing responsibility.

Best wishes,

Angela Lozan
Moldova
posted on 2014-06-12 17:28 UTC by Ms. Angela Lozan, Republic of Moldova
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6181]
Hello Malta and Daniel. Let me first congratulate both of you for the excellent work and apologies for the late entry.

Biosafety is an integral part of several policy documents such as National Environment Policy (NEP), 2006, National Biotechnology Strategy-I, 2007. National Policy for Farmers, 2007, revised National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP), 2008, Foreign Trade Policy, 2008 and National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009, National Biotechnology Strategy-II, 2014, as biotechnology is a priority sector in India.  These policies and programmes are supported by relevant legislations and guidelines, institutions and manpower
posted on 2014-06-13 09:47 UTC by Dr. Ranjini Warrier, India
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6189]
Dear Doc/Chair

Thanks for your contribution and sharing with the group in the forum how India does her work. Much appreciated. Have there been any challenges, benefits and success stories in the way Biosafety is being incorporated into your NBSAPs and other national development Plans? Please share with the group

Regards
Malta
posted on 2014-06-13 12:41 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6196]
On behalf of Ivy Wellman (Defra)

The UK recognises the importance of biosafety and has proportionate legislation and regulation in place. Inclusion of bio-safety plans into National Biodiversity Strategies will raise the profile and awareness of measures to support safe and responsible use of genetically modified organisms.
posted on 2014-06-13 15:36 UTC by Mr. Andrew Bowers, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6206]
yed Nasir Mahmood on behalf of Asif Shuja Khan former DG EPA Pakistan

The following paragraphs are submitted based on my past experience in biosafety:

Pakistan being agro based economy low literacy rate has undergone through different stages when biosafety regulations were introduced in 2005. Very few people particularly in rural areas were familiar with the word GMO. This was a challenging situation for the Ministry of Environment (now Climate Change Division) to put in place the regulatory institutions and create awareness on the matter at national and local levels. Even the non-governmental organizations were not synthasized to influnce policy makers and make them aware of the pros and cones of this modern biotechnology.

The Climate Change Division involved scientific community, research organizations, media, civil society organisations, private sector and concerned ministries and provided them different forums to interact on the mater. This was an appropriate step taken to actuate  debates on biosafety aspects of GMOs. The Institutional Biosafety Committees (at local levels), Technical Advisory Committee(TAC) and the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) were made functional. A number of field visits were conducted by the members of these committees to monitor visual effects of GMO crops.

Ministry of Food & Agriculture (now Ministry of Food Security) with the cooperation of Ministry of Environment prepared Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which clearly spelled out steps to be taken to qualify for comercial release of GM crops.

Despite these effors, biosafety mechanism still need improvement from the following aspects:

.   Upgradation and isolation of bio research laboratories from commercial interests
.    Improvement in Risk Assessment of case  strictly in accordance with Cartagena
     Protocol
.    Enhancement of regulatory institutions capacity to physically verify biosafety data of  
     applicant companies before allowing release of GM crop.
.    Establishment of biosafety regulatory institutions at provincial levels
.    Continue to involve media and hold national and international awareness and training
      workshop on biosafety

Regards,

Asif Shuja Khan
former Director General Environment Protection Agency/  former NFP Cartagena Protocol
Pakistan
posted on 2014-06-13 18:40 UTC by Mr. Syed Mahmood Nasir, Pakistan
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6207]
Thank you for the opportunity to contribuite to this important discussion.
I also want to thank Ms. Malta Qwathekana, for Co-Chairing this session.

Inclusion of Biosafety into NBSAPs have been taken into account since 2000, and is reflected in previous and current Strategies on Biodiversity in Mexico.
México has an operating Biosafety National Law and a national commission of biosafety known as CIBIOGEM (Inter-secretarial Commission on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms). CIBIOGEM is in charge of coordinating public policies on LMO Biosafety. The topic is relevant to the country and well documented expertise is available. The main government stakeholders are engaged, and actively implementing the biosafety regulation and enforce its surveillance through the national biosafety commission, and National Competent Authorities.
The Biosafety Law for Genetically Modified Organisms into force since 2005, through Articles 29 and 30 mandates the establishment of a program for development of scientific and technical research on biosafety and biotechnology (PDBB) which is included in the Special Science and Technology Program (PECITI) published every six years as part of the national development plans.
National development plans are generated for different sectors. Biosafety is explicitly mentioned in the environmental national plan related with activities of LMO monitoring and risk assessment. In the national agricultural plan the development of biotechnologies (including modern biotechnology) to contribute to agricultural production is explicitly mentioned as a strategic goal. Including in its implementation, the protection of genetic resources, human health and the environment. A transversal strategic goal reflected in several national plans of development is to improve education and linking results of scientific research with the productive sector to trigger innovation.

In México, the National Focal points to the CBD and PCB require a close coordination to ensure an adequate follow up of the implementation and evaluation on how biosafety complements NBSAPs goals. Considerable advances have been reached, triggered by the Biosafety Framework Project that Mexico executed with GEF finance support. However, continue efforts are required for policy alignment given the implications that the safe use of biotechnology has on multiple sectors.
posted on 2014-06-13 19:06 UTC by Ms. Sol Ortiz García, Mexico
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6208]
Dear Colleagues;
Complementing our previous asnwer, here we express some of the challenges we face for the integration of biosafety in NSB and other development plans.
Challenges and limitations:
• Coordination and harmonization on the necessary actions that need to be taken for the implementation of the instruments and policies, mainly due to non-aligned visions/objectives or lack of information exchange.
• Short time frames for response and communication with several stakeholders makes it difficult to act in a coordinated manner.
• Shortage of human resources, often limited on their skills on biosafety.
• Heavy workload for the national focal points in order to distribute the information to key actors and compile their opinions.
posted on 2014-06-13 19:20 UTC by Ms. Sol Ortiz García, Mexico
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6230]
Dear Sol

Thanks for sharing experiences in Mexico and participating in the forum

Regards
Malta
posted on 2014-06-14 23:04 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa
RE: Session 1: National experiences and lessons learned in integrating biosafety into NBSAPs and national development plans [#6231]
Dear Colleagues and friends of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretariat of CBD for organising this online discussion on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and allowing myself and Daniel to co-moderate it. It was great fun working with you Daniel! I would also like to thank all those who have participated in the online discussion. Your inputs were great and I hope all of us have benefitted from each other's experiences. I would also like to thank those who visited our online discussions and took some time to read the contributions participants made because when I had conversation with other CBD and particularly Biosafety focal points offline I established that even though they were not contributing to the online discussions they were reading the contributions made online by other Parties and that was great colleagues. What came out very clearly from the discussions are the following:
1. Lack of adequate resources to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
2. Importance of synergies - aligning biosafety with other national plans such as the NBSAPs and other national development plans as that will assist in raising the profile of Biosafety at a national level, avoid duplication of efforts and make it gain access to national budgets and other financing mechanisms such as the GEF
3. Importance of national legislation on biosafety which makes biosafety gain national recognition and hence gain access to national budgets and recognition as a national priority
4. Importance of the NBSAP as a policy document for the implementation of biological diversity conservation activities in general and the Convention Protocols as implementing tools for certain aspects of the Convention. Therefore it is of critical importance to have these Convention Protocols (on Biosafety and Access and benefit sharing) as integral parts of the NBSAPs and not treating them as completely independent international Treaties from the CBD.

Having said that Colleagues let us go back to our National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and make sure these Convention Protocols are the integral components of our NBSAPs, and that they are integrated into our other National development plans and that biosafety policies and legislation are developed, revised where appropriate and adequately implemented. As National focal points let us make sure we are ambassadors of the Convention and its protocols and promote their visibility and hence recognition and adequate implementation. Failure to do that means we are failing in meeting our obligations as National Focal Points.

It was a really great pleasure working with you in this online discussion

Have great fun and a safe trip to Korea in September/October and see you all there!!!

Best Regards
Malta
posted on 2014-06-14 23:55 UTC by Ms. Malta Qwathekana, South Africa