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Biosafety Clearing-House News

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KenyaKenya - Kenyan National Biosafety Clearing House Training workshop
The Kenyan National Biosafety Authority in collaboration with the UN Environment organized the First National BCH capacity building workshop in the context of the UN Environment  – Global Environment Facility Project for Sustainable Capacity Building for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH III) from 30 to 31 January 2018 In Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop aimed at providing the country's key stakeholders with a common understanding of: the common format of the BCH records as well as the methods for finding information and the procedures for registering and publishing biosafety related decisions and identifying national procedures and operational linkages to gather information to be put on the BCH in line with the NBF's implementation and sustainability and training plan. The workshop was attended by 30 participants from various institutions of the country. The opening remarks were given by Prof Dorington Ogoyi (acting CEO of the Kenyan national Biosafety Authprity) and Dr Jiri Hlavacek (Chief of Environmental Giovernance and Conventions Branch) and facilitated by Mr Rami Abdel-malik (BCH 3 Project Manager), Dr Ossama AbdelKawy (anglophone Africa regional Specialist), and Charles Kouassi (regional Advisor) of the BCH3 project, UN Environment.
BelarusBelarus - Belarus. Webinar and Training Module
On November 28, 2017 at 11:00 (UTC + 3), the National Coordination Biosafety Centre of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus conducted a webinar on “Detection, Identification and Quantitative Determination of GMOs in Food Products, Raw Materials and Seeds within the Context of the Republic of Belarus Legislation”  for employees of the Laboratories for the Detection of GMOs and employees of Customs bodies of the Republic of Belarus. The corresponding on-line training module posted on the link http://www.biosafety.by/vebinary/ . More...
BelarusBelarus - Belarus. National Biosafety Database and Website biosafety.by
The National Coordination Biosafety Centre at the Institute of Genetics and Cytology, NAS of Belarus announces the transfer of the National Biosafety Database to a new platform and the change of the domain name from biosafety.org.by to biosafety.by. Currently, all materials are available in Russian. More...
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsCentral and Eastern Europe Training Workshop from 20 to 24 November 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia
The UN Environment – Global Environment Facility Project for Sustainable Capacity Building for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH III) organized a Central and Eastern Europe Training Workshop from 20 to 24 November 2017 in Belgrade More...
Saint LuciaSaint Lucia - Saint Lucia endorses National Biosafety Policy
Saint Lucia demonstrates its commitment to Biodiversity conservation and endorses the National Biosafety Policy and Legislation.On Wednesday 3rd May, 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers announced its endorsement of the Biosafety policy and authorised Attorney General’s Chambers to finalise the Biosafety Bill and regulations. These legal instruments will regulate the use and creation of GMOs and LMOs through a licensing system and will solicit background information on persons wishing to use or import GMOs into the country. The Biosafety bill establishes bodies of technical and scientific experts who will be called upon to review applications, assess the risk and determine whether the genetically modified product will have any negative impacts on human health and the environment, and if so, how these can be avoided. The Biosafety regulations assign fines of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) for persons importing, using, creating or transporting a GMO without the required license. More...
SenegalSenegal - Atelier sur les applications de la technologie <<Gene-Drive>> dans les systémes de santé publique
L’autorité Nationale de Biosécurité du Sénégal, dirigée par Monsieur Ousseynou Kassé a organisé, du 09 au 11 Octobre 2017, un atelier sur les applications de la technologie <<Gene-Drive>> dans les systèmes de santé publique pour mener la réflexion autour de la problématique de l’adoption des biotechnologies modernes du « gene-drive ».

La Cérémonie d’ouverture qui a eu lieu le mardi 10 avril à 10h00, a été présidé par le Ministre de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable, Professeur  Mame Thierno Dieng, en présence des représentants des Services étatiques et d'organisations de la société civile.

Dans son discours, Monsieur le Ministre a exprimé tout le plaisir qu’il éprouvait en présidant l’ouverture des travaux. Il a rappelé aussi l’engagement des pouvoirs publics à positionner les enjeux de biosécurité au centre des préoccupations de  l’Etat.
Biosafety Clearing-House NewsUN Environment - Global Environment Facility Regional Training Workshop for Caribbean BCH National FPs in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
The UN Environment – Global Environment Facility Project for Sustainable Capacity Building for Effective Participation in the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH III) organized the Caribbean Regional Training Workshop from 3 to 6 October 2017 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop aimed at assisting countries to sustain their participation in the BCH as established under Article 20 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB). Under component 1, the BCH III Project seeks to ensure that countries will benefit from experiences in neighbouring and other countries regarding their National Biosafety Frameworks and especially their BCH management.

The workshop was attended by Biosafety Clearing House National Focal Points (BCH NFPs) from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Suriname, Grenada, Jamaica and Dominica as well as the Permanent Secretary (Ag.) and her Deputy of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs from Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Biosafety Project Manager, University of West Indies, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and the UN Environment team.

Seven Caribbean countries developed national and regional strategies based on gaps and needs identified at national and regional levels to help their own country move forward to reach the expected BCH-III Project outcomes and enhance CPB compliance. The BCH NFPs developed and agreed upon a Caribbean BCH Roadmap with clear targets and indicators.

For workshop impressions, please view https://www.facebook.com/sustainablebch3/videos/138123766820408/
MexicoMexico - CONVOCATORIA: Cuarto Curso Regional para el Fortalecimiento de Capacidades en bioseguridad de organismos genéticamente modificados.
En seguimiento de las actividades de Divulgación y Comunicación coordinadas por la Secretaría Ejecutiva de la CIBIOGEM y en consideración a la importancia de la cooperación internacional en el fortalecimiento de capacidades técnicas entre países de la Región Latinoamericana, acciones asociadas al Plan Nacional de Desarrollo para delinear un México con Responsabilidad Global; esta Secretaría Ejecutiva convoca a participar en el “Cuarto Curso Regional para el Fortalecimiento de Capacidades en bioseguridad de organismos genéticamente modificados” que se realizará del 16 al 20 de octubre de 2017, en la Ciudad de México.

Le informamos que el registro se encontrará abierto del 23 de junio al 4 de agosto.
PhilippinesPhilippines - 2nd Meeting of the Informal Consultative Committee (ICC) of Asia BCH Family (ABF)
The Informal Consultative Committee of the Asia BCH Family held its 2nd meeting on May 10-12, 2017 at Puma Imperial Hotel in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, hosted by the Government of Mongolia, thru the Ministry of Nature and the Environment.

The ICC is created in order to promote and facilitate the implementation of the  Asia BCH Road Map (2016-2020) which was developed and finalized during the 2015 BCH Workshop in the Peoples' Republic of China. The ICC members are from the Republic of South Korea, Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, Cambodia, and the Philippines,  with one representative  each from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the United Nations Environment (UNE), the Compliance Committee to the CPB and UN Regional Advisors.

The meeting was convened  to assess the 1st year accomplishments of the ABF in implementing the BCH Road Map (2016-2020) and to plan and finalize the ensuing activities for the remaining 2017, the highlight of which is the holding of the joint ABF & BCH Workshops sometime in November. Notable among the 2016 achievements was the holding of the “Side Event” for the ABF in Cancun, Mexico in December 14 wherein the ABF was introduced and its mission recognized by the UN Environment and the COPMOP, among others.

The ICC agreed to continue its follow up and assist countries, as needed, to comply with the reportorial requirements of the Protocol; encourage  sharing  of information and enhance public awareness within the regional by updating country information and activities in the Asia Regional Portal (ARP) hosted by the KBCH; involvement of the ABF in enhancing regional collaboration  by presenting the Asia BCH Roadmap as a means to implement the provisions of the Protocol. The ensuing activities shall be sustained in order to achieve its objectives and  realize its vision of One Successful BCH Family by 2020 and beyond.

Detailed information about the ABF can be accessed at: http://asiabchfamily.org/?menuno=107

Julieta Fe L. Estacio
NBF, BCH Pilipinas
and Regional Coordinator ABF (2016-2017)
PhilippinesPhilippines - Regulators from Competent National Authorities participate in the 14th ISBGMO in Mexico
On 4 to 8 June, the regulators from Departments of Health (DOH) and Science and Technology (DOST) participated in the 14th International Symposium on the Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms (ISBGMO) in Guadalajara, México. For this year, the conference theme was "Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms: past, present and future"

The group was composed of Dr. Rodolfo Antonio Albornoz, Engr. Rolando Santiago, Dr. Leonardo Gonzales, Dr. Flerida Cariño, and Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio are are members of the DOH and DOST Biosafety committees which are primarily in-charge of the biosafety management of GMOs in the country.

Further, Dr. Gonzales and Ms. Estacio participated in the scientific poster presentation with posters entitled: “Biosafety Regulators Challenge: Measuring and Monitoring the Socio-economic Impact of GMOs in the Philippines” and “Public Awareness and the Asia BCH: The Philippine Experience”, respectively.

​Ms. Estacio was also invited to the PechaKucha session wherein the country's experience in public awareness was presented, alongside the collaboration and commitment of the twenty three (23) Asian countries known as the "Asia BCH Family". Also called as the ABF, these countries are continuously enhancing their efforts in implementing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety by way of the four focal areas in the BCH Roadmap (2016-2020): Compliance, Regional networking and collaboration, Capacity building and Public Awareness and Education.

​Attendance in the Symposium provided an opportunity for other country regulators to exchange information and experiences about the latest developments in the field of biosafety. New breeding techniques and results of several years of studies on the effects of GMOs on the environment were also presented with the aim for helping regulators in the conduct of risk assessment and management of GMOs.​

The ISBGMO is a biennial, international meeting organized under the auspices of the International ​Society on ​Biosafety ​Research (ISBR)  with the goal to advance the standing of biosafety research around the world and shape the ways in which GM technology is applied and regulated. This event brings together academics, technology developers, regulatory authorities, non-government organizations and other credible stakeholders involved in all aspects of biosafety and offers a unique opportunity to share information and experiences and engage in open and meaningful dialogue on biosafety research, risk analysis, policy and regulatory matters.

Julieta Fe L. Estacio
Head Secretariat, NCBP
and NFP, BCH Pilipinas