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Partners for the Online Forum on Education

Under operational objective 2.1 (d) of the programme of work, the Secretariat, Parties, civil society, industry and academia are invited to foster cooperation and coordination of public awareness and education activities with governments, organizations, UN agencies, civil society, industry, academia and the public. Under priority area 2 to the programme of work, the Secretariat, Parties, relevant organizations and academia are invited to organize joint awareness and educational activities.

In this regard, the Secretariat is promoting partners for the forum. If this is of interest, please contact secretariat@cbd.int. So far, the following are partners to the forum:

United Nations Environment - Global Environment Facility

The United Nations Environment - Global Environment Facility (UNEP-GEF) development and implementation project has served as a starting point for building capacity to implement Article 23. Over 100 countries have incorporated systems for public awareness, education and public participation in their draft national biosafety frameworks and proposed specific measures for implementation. As a result, many countries have national policies and legal provisions, institutional policies, administrative systems, national strategies related to Article 23. They also experience in setting in place educational programmes and developing educational materials.

Africa

University of Swaziland

The University of Swaziland and the Swaziland Environment Authority signed an Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for “Mainstreaming of Biotechnology and Biosafety in Processes and Programmes of Higher Institutions”. As a response a committee was housed under the University of Swaziland was established, which is composed of members from various institutions around the country. The committee is working on mainstreaming biosafety into existing courses. The activities undertaken so far include: Produced and published a Training Manual; Conducting a curriculum audit in all 8 institutions (including the university); Training all the Vice Chancellors and Principals of all the institutions (Training of Leaders & getting their buy-in); The Vice-Chancellors nominating individuals from their institution as Biosafety Champions; and A training of all the Champions and In liaison with the Champions, organizing workshops for all the staff members per institution.

Tunisian Association on Biosafety and Environmental Education (ATB2E)

ATB2E have a strong multi-disciplinary team to support a program that is fully committed to be a model in the region. There is a strong partnership in promoting public education and awareness on biosafety mainly related to GMO's in an environmental education strategy. ATB2E's expectation is also to built a strong partnership at the international level.

Asia and the Pacific

University of the Philippines and Colegio San Juan de Letran

The University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB) offers courses on agricultural biotechnology, including biosafety. The Colegio San Juan de Letran Calamba, on the other hand, conducts seminar-workshop every two years for their faculty members (e.g. elementary, high school and college level) on modern biotechnology and biosafety for integration in science-related subjects/courses. This October 2016, Letran Calamba will once again conduct a seminar-workshop for high school and college science teachers. Both activities are part of an education program on GMOs under a series of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities that is part of a regulatory system in compliance with the Philippines policy on transparency and accountability. The regulatory agencies engaged in biosafety regulation promote biosafety by holding IEC's, including holding of regular presentations and developing materials on biosafety. As per request of UNEP, a video clip of Colegio de San Juan de Letran -Calamba experience is under development regarding the use biosafety/biotechnology information through the BCH, including the way information is incorporated in science curriculum based on two previous seminars (2011 and 2014) and their outcomes. The video clip is aimed to be finalized shortly.

Latin America and the Caribbean

University of Mexico

The University of Mexico reaches biosafety of genetically modified organisms from the perspective of the environmental sector in the Faculty of Sciences (the National Autonomous). Students can take a degree in biology with a course on: "The biosafety of genetically modified organisms from the perspective the environmental sector".

University of the West Indies

The University of West Indies has a Master's degree programme in biosafety, including a course on legal aspects of biosafety. The courses in biosafety are tailored to meet the demand for biosafety expertise associated with the use of modern biotechnology products in trade and to promote the benefits, awareness and understanding of modern biotechnology and biosafety. The courses employ a mixture of learning methods/formats with both online (e.g. online presentations with scheduled virtual meetings) and face-to-face methods (e.g. term assignments and tests as well as a written final examinations). The objectives are to create a cadre of skilled biosafety experts with knowledge of biotechnology in the region, sustain the benefits of biotechnology while demonstrate the need for its safe application, provide students with biosafety skills in biotechnology and the ability to identify the risks involved and provide a response to both national and regional biosafety needs among various stakeholders as outlined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

Central and Eastern Europe

National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

National Academy of Sciences of Belarus The Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (IGC NAS Belarus) has a National Co-ordination Biosafety Centre (NCBC) that provides a number of biosafety educational resources, including online modules, biosafety courses and educational articles available on the website at the link http://biosafety.by/ . The online modules are on GMO biosafety issues, including for laboratories on GMO detection on new methods of GMO detection and identification and for the experts who provide GMO risk assessment, for persons who responsible for GMO authorization and for the public concerned . There is also education and training courses and seminars in collaboration with the Aarhus Centre (http://www.aarhusbel.com/), including a presentation on "Sharing Experience in the Field of Education and Raising Public Awareness of Biosafety Issues" and "Public Participation in Biosafety Issues" (http://www.biosafety.by/konferentsii/). Books and guidelines are also available through the link for the primary, secondary and tertiary level, including the Belarusian State University course on Microbiology Cathedra "Transgenic Eucariotic Microorganisms" (http://www.bio.bsu.by/microbio/kursy_transgen_eukariot_org.html). Finally, there is also educational materials, including articles for outreach purposes (http://www.biosafety.by/publikatsii/ and http://www.biosafety.by/chavo/) and speches on radio and television e.g.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVEI4lFNVnI&list=PLmGv3zIr0LKCB3Vzk6nqzo7ic30SKhj7P).

Western Europe and Others

GenØk

GenØks is a non-commercial foundation that conducts research on environmental, health and social consequences of genetic engineering and genetic modification. GenØk also delivers scientifically based advice, comprehensive courses, workshops and conferences, reports as well as training and education in cooperation with international partners. GenØk works both nationally and internationally, and specifically aims to offer developing countries training and advice related to risk assessments of genetically modified organisms. Our training courses (with lab exercises) have a duration of 1 or 2 weeks. The shorter course is taught at partner venues internationally. The past two years the topic of the training courses have been synthetic biology. Locally, GenØk also accepts school visits from students at college level and gives guest lectures at UiT the Arctic University of Norway.