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Discussion Group 2

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Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3286]
Dear Forum Participant,

Welcome to Theme 8 on "Means of active dissemination".

We welcome you to answer the guiding questions listed below.

1. What are the primary means through which biosafety information is made available to the public (e.g. BCH, national website or database, e-mail, post, information centres)?

2. What are the primary means through which the public is notified about available biosafety information (e.g. newspaper, radio, TV, notice boards, e-mail alerts)?

3. How are new information and communications technologies, including online networks and forums and social media (e.g. Facebook, twitter, webinars) being used or should be used to facilitate public access to biosafety information ?

4. In your experience, what means should be used to facilitate public access to biosafety information to different target groups?

Best regards,

Ulrika Nilsson
(edited on 2012-05-24 22:07 UTC by Ulrika Nilsson)
posted on 2012-05-24 17:29 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3533]
8. Means of active dissemination of information
- The most frequent way and most effective nowadays is dissemination through the Internet.
Mostly webpage of the main / reponsible authority is used, such as Ministry of the Environment or Ministry of Agriculture or Ministry of Health etc., with references to other sources. Information are usually disseminated in national language, in some cases or in restricted extent the English version exists.
- National BCH represents other important tool (generally in English).
- Official board in locality of intended use of genetically modified organisms, local press, etc.
- Publications tailored to special groups of  stakeholders and public.
- Cooperation with mass-media at different levels (including local).
- Meeting with different interest groups - societies and public in general.
- Special workshops.
- Cooperation with schools, centres of environmental information, musea etc.

Milena Roudna
posted on 2012-06-11 15:34 UTC by Ph.D. Milena Roudna, Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3545]
The Ministry of Environment organises the compilation and storage of information on use of GMO in the Republic of Lithuania and making such information available to the public through the Database of GMO (http://gmo.am.lt).
According to the applicable national laws and regulations, public information about the use of GMO using mass media shall be organised by the notifier. Paragraph 4 of the Regulation for Information of the Public and Public Participation in Issuing Authorisations for Use of GMO or GMP provides that “…the use and compilation of information about GMO or GMP and making such information available to the public through the internet database shall be organised by the Ministry of Environment, which shall not violate intellectual property rights and the confidential nature of such information.”
The notifier shall announce in the media the intention to use GMO within 10 days from the submission of the application and/or notice to the Ministry of Environment. The notifier shall provide the following information regarding the intention to use GMO in areas of high concentration of people (e.g. in the notice board of the municipality), in the national newspapers and in the newspapers of the city/cities or region/regions of the proposed use of GMO, on the radio or TV, following the procedure established in paragraph 9 of this Regulation:
- about the intention to deliberately release GMO into the environment in a new location;
- about the intention to place GMO or GMP in the market, unless they are intended to be used for scientific purposes and unless such information was published before;
- about safety measures to be applied in case of an accident during the contained use of GMO in classes 2-4, if an adverse effect on the environment and/or human health is likely;
- where, when and how reasoned proposals or comments on the intention to use GMO or GMP can be submitted.
If any new information regarding a threat to the environment, agriculture, human or animal health, which is likely to cause adverse effects, is obtained during the consideration of the notice, the public shall be informed about it as provided by this Regulation.

Respectfully,
Gintare Blazauskiene (NFP)
GMO Division
Nature Protection Department
The Ministry of Environment of Lithuania
posted on 2012-06-12 07:43 UTC by Mrs. Gintarė Blažauskienė, Ministry of Environment
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3553]
1. A national website is available for initiated public. A public book in all local assembly could be more available for involved actors
3. This kind of communication could be used by initiated actors. But they are powerful tools for public participation, surveys on the knowledge of the public on these issues
4. An important way of access to information still workshops and meetings of exchanges
posted on 2012-06-12 14:42 UTC by Pr. Meriem Louanchi, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3562]
1. Currently in my country, Benin, the average primary educations by which information is made available to the public are:  BCH central portail, , regional BCH, national BCH, Website of the Ministry of the Environment, Resource centre of the Ministry of the Environment and E-mail.
 
2. The average primary educations by which the public is informed of information available are:  streamers, workshops of information, newspapers radiotelevized, radiotelevized round table, emissions radiotelevized, newspapers. 

3. Social networks (Facebook;  Twitter) are means which are very effective to make available information on the biosafety on all in direction of youth (schools, colleges  and university).

4. With my experiences, the means which can be used to make available information on the biosafety following the groups of actors are: 
- General public:  the radio and television;
- Pupils, students:  BCH, Facebooks, Twitter, newspapers, plates
- Elected officials:  radio, television, conferences, workshops, BCH, Facebooks, Twitter, newspapers, plates
- Producers and consumers:  radio, television, BCH, facebooks, Twitter, newspapers, plates, workshops, conferences.

KAKPO Comlan Marcel
Benin NFP of PCB and BCH
posted on 2012-06-13 09:14 UTC by Mr. Comlan Marcel KAKPO, Ministère de l'Environnement, de l'Habitat et de l'Urbanisme
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3564]
With many thanks to the secretariat to provide this opportunity to share the views, and participants in this forum,

Iran Biosafety Clearing House affiliated to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology is responsible for providing and distribution of biosafety information to related stakeholders. In this regard, Iran Biosafety Clearing House website is the primary and most reliable means of dissemination of biosafety information. This website is accessible through computers and internet which are available in universities and libraries.
Another means of dissemination of  biosafety information is through the publication of seasonal biosafety bulletin which contains the latest biosafety news, upcoming national and international congresses and workshops, workshop reports and educational materials such as introducing other countries biosafety laws and regulations and interpretation of cartagena protocol articles from explanatory guide of the protocol. 
Published bulletins are posted free of charge to related organizations and individuals active in biosafety issues.
Providing a mailing list of about 120 scientists, students and individuals involved or interested in biosafety issues is the other means of sending latest and important biosafety news.
Biosafety workshops and seminars are held at least twice or three times a year by related ministries, organizations and scientific societies.
A biosafety Journal is published by Iran Biosafety Society.
All the above means are mainly usable by educated people.
In my opinion, mass media like TV and radio which are now available by most of the Iranians even in very small towns and villages with simple programs about biotechnology and biosafety should be used to facilitate public (ordinary people) access to biosafety information.

Kind Regards
Nasrin S. Esmaeilzadeh
BCH focal point
posted on 2012-06-13 09:34 UTC by Ms. Nasrin Sadat Esmailzadeh, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3576]
Biosafety Clearing House is widely promoted as a mechanism for public to get information on biosafety in Malaysia.  The primary means to promote this mechanism are through various workshops, seminars and meetings conducted by the Department of Biosafety and also public awareness related publications. Besides the use of website, publications and electronic mass media, we think that radio still remains the most important media for the dissemination of biosafety information among most of the developing countries.  The cost of using radio would be much lower as compared to the other media of communications, which might also not be easily available in some of developing countries.

Regards
Johnny Andrew
Department of Biosafety
Malaysia
posted on 2012-06-14 03:51 UTC by Johnny Anak Andrew
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3579]
What are the primary means through which biosafety information is made available to the public (e.g. BCH, national website or database, e-mail, post, information centres)?

In compliance to Article 20 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the Philippines was able to set up in 2008, the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) Pilipinas with support provided by the UNEP-GEF. The BCH became the primary means through which information can be readily accessed by all stakeholder wanting information on the risk assessment and decisions  made by the government on applications of GMOs for use as food, feed and processing as well as those applied for commercialization.  Dissemination on GMOs are also provided by public research and government institutions by way of Seminar series and Foras. E-groups were likewise created for dissemination and public awareness on GMOs. The BCH, its features and the available training materials/modules  were publicized by holding Workshops for the  academe, education sector, government,  civil society groups and other stakeholders. They in turn committed to do public awareness and education activities in their respective sectors.  Other websites on biosafety and information are also made available to the public by tri media.

What are the primary means through which the public is notified about available biosafety information (e.g. newspaper, radio, TV, notice boards, e-mail alerts)?

For information on application received by the Bureau of Plant Industry on Direct Use of GMOs, the public is informed about the said application as indicated in DA A.O. 8, PART V, APPROVAL PROCESS FOR IMPORTATION OF REGULATED ARTICLES, FOR DIRECT USE AS FOOD OR FEED, OR FOR PROCESSING, Section 12, item d, to read:
Public Consultation. - Within fifteen (15) days from receipt of notice that its application has been given due course, the applicant shall cause to be published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation a copy of the Public Information Sheet for Direct Use approved by BPI. The Public Information Sheet for Direct Use shall, among others, invite interested parties to send their comments on the proposed importation for direct use as food or feed, or for processing, to BPI within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication. During the comment period, any interested person may submit to BPI written comments regarding the application and these shall become part of the application file. The application shall submit to the Director of BPI proof of publication within fifteen (15) days from the date of publication.

PART IV, APPROVAL PROCESS FOR, PROPAGATION OF REGULATED ARTICLES, Section 10, item e: to read:  Public Consultation. - Within fifteen days from receipt of notice that its application has been given due course, the applicant shall cause to be published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation a copy of the Public Information Sheet for Propagation approved by BPI. The Public Information Sheet for Propagation shall, among others, invite interested parties to send their comments on the proposed release for propagation to BPI within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication. During the comment period, any interested person may submit to BPI written comments regarding the application and these shall become part of the application file. The application shall submit to the Director of BPI proof of publication within fifteen (15) days from the date of publication.

PART III, APPROVAL PROCESS FOR, FIELD TESTING OF REGULATED ARTICLES, Section 8:
Requirements for Field Testing,  item G. Public Consultation. - The applicant, acting through its IBC, shall notify and invite comments on the field testing proposal from the barangays and city/municipal governments with jurisdiction over the field test sites. The IBC shall post for three (3) consecutive weeks copies of the Public Information Sheet for Field Testing approved by the BPI in at least three (3) conspicuous places in each of the concerned barangay and city/municipal halls. The Public Information Sheet for Field Testing shall, among others, invite interested parties to send their comments on the proposed field testing to BPI within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of posting. It shall be in a language understood in the community. During the comment period, any interested person may submit to BPI written comments regarding the application. The applicant shall submit proof of posting in the form of certifications from the concerned barangay captains and city/municipal mayors or an affidavit stating the dates and places of posting duly executed by the responsible officer or his duly authorized representative.

H. Public Hearing. - If based on the report of the STRP, the proposed release may pose significant risks to human health and the environment, the Director of BPI shall cause the IBC to conduct public hearings within the vicinity of the proposed field test sites within thirty (30) days from the date the applicant was furnished by BPI a copy of the STRP report.

Every third week of November is declared National Biotechnology week and during the week-long celebration, flyers, and other materials and information on biotechnology and biosafety are disseminated to the public. Technical sessions and seminars are held on the subject.

In your experience, what means should be used to facilitate public access to biosafety information to different target groups?

The easiest way is thru the internet wherein public can easily access biosafety-related websites. For those who do not have internet access the offline-CD version of the BCH comes in handy. In fact, the CD version is what we send to schools, local government units and other stakeholders, for information and awareness on the GMOs.
posted on 2012-06-14 08:31 UTC by Ms. Julieta Fe L. Estacio, Philippines
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3580]
Bethia Daniel, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy and Science and Technology, Saint Lucia

1. What are the primary means through which biosafety information is made available to the public (e.g. BCH, national website or database, e-mail, post, information centres)?

Presently, the methods used are the BCH, Workshops, Training Seminars , Press Releases and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in the form of jingles.

2. What are the primary means through which the public is notified about available biosafety information (e.g. newspaper, radio, TV, notice boards, e-mail alerts)?

The primary means used in Saint Lucia is through the newspaper.

3. How are new information and communications technologies, including online networks and forums and social media (e.g. Facebook, twitter, webinars) being used or should be used to facilitate public access to biosafety information?

Sadly, in Saint Lucia, biosafety has been marginalized (James 2012). Presently we are waiting for a new project, the Biosafety Implementation Project to come on stream. When this project commences, we hope to set systems in place for the more effective dissemination of biosafety information and public participation. Presently we are dealing with the elementary aspects, and through this project we are hoping to have a well established centre for biosafety.

4. In your experience, what means should be used to facilitate public access to biosafety information to different target groups?

In this highly technological age I think the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) should be strongly considered when seeking to encourage or facilitate public access to biosafety information. Facebook alone has over 800 million active users. Think of the vast number of persons that could be reached using that forum and this would certainly extend beyond our local public audience. I am also of the opinion that this type of forum would appeal to a more youthful audience thus exposing people to biosafety information from an early age, so that by the time they become farmers, manufacturers or scientists, biosaftery information is neither new nor foreign to them. However I do not believe that we should limit ourselves to just one method, and other methods should be incorporated so as to include person who do not have access to or who are unable to use ICTs. The more traditional methods of newspapers, television or radio announcements in the local language and press releases should be continued.
(edited on 2012-06-14 15:50 UTC by Bethia Daniel)
posted on 2012-06-14 15:49 UTC by Ms. Bethia Daniel, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy and Science and Technology
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3603]
1. What are the primary means through which biosafety information is made available to the public (e.g. BCH, national website or database, e-mail, post, information centres)?
        Website and information databases of the National Coordination Biosafety Centre are both the primary resources where reliable biosafety information is available to the public.

2. What are the primary means through which the public is notified about available biosafety information (e.g. newspaper, radio, TV, notice boards, e-mail alerts)?
        Newspapers, radio and TV are the primary means through which the Belarusian public is notified about available biosafety information.

3. How are new information and communications technologies, including online networks and forums and social media (e.g. Facebook, twitter, webinars) being used or should be used to facilitate public access to biosafety information?
        At present websites, newspapers, radio and TV are the best way to facilitate public access to biosafety information in Belarus. But the time is changing and people learn to use modern information and communication technologies, so we will be able to use these technologies in a couple of years, I think.

4. In your experience, what means should be used to facilitate public access to biosafety information to different target groups?
        As I said above, websites, newspapers, radio and TV are the best way to facilitate public access to biosafety information to different target groups.

BCH NFP Elena Makeyeva, Belarus
posted on 2012-06-16 13:39 UTC by Assoc. Prof. Elena Makeyeva, Belarus
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3615]
The primary means through which biosafety information is made available to the public are BCH , websites, newsletter.
The primary means through which the public is notified about available biosafety information are publications, press release, newsletter of each agencies.
To facilitate public access to biosafety information to different target groups, seminars/meetings are used effectively.
posted on 2012-06-18 03:31 UTC by Ms. Praopan Tongsom, Thailand
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3618]
1. In Moldova the primary means through which biosafety information is made available are:  BCH central portail, national BCH wesite,  Website of the Ministry of Environment, CIM Informational Center for Environment of the ME, Biosafety office,E-mails and telephone.
 
2. The primary means through which the public is notified  are: E-mail alerts via  national BCH website to the Electronic Register of interested public and NGOs, Summary published via websites of the Ministry of Environemt, CIM and national BCH website. Information may be available in hard copies on request. The environmental bulletin also may publish biosafety information for broader dissemination, as well as radio, TV, press-conferences and round tables are considered useful means for information.   

3. Social networks (Facebook;  Twitter) might be very effective to make available information on the biosafety especially to youth, children, university students.

4. The Biosafety information should be available via national BCH web-site and the governmental (ministerial) website.  
General public, NGOs:  nBCH, e-Register of public, via the radio and TV, newspapers, ecological bulletine, press conferences, round tables;
Pupils, students: nBCH, Facebooks, Twitter, newspapers, files;
Universities, academia:  BCH web-sites, e-mail, E-Register of public, official letters, radio, TV, conferences, workshops, Facebooks, Twitter, newspapers;  
Farmers and consumers:  radio, TV, BCH website, E-Register, newspapers, workshops, conferences.
posted on 2012-06-18 09:36 UTC by Angela Lozan
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3639]
Posted on behalf of Ms. Mahlet Teshome Kebebe, African Union:

Active dissemination techniques could range from the print media (both government and private) having periodic columns/ messages on the subject matter to the broadcasting through local and regional radio stations and TV stations. An emerging active dissemination could also be the use of social networking media/websites to target the learned populace and the youth.
posted on 2012-06-19 13:40 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety
RE: Theme 8: Means of active dissemination [#3642]
Posted on behalf of Mr. Ossama Abdel-kawy, Egypt:

"Generally speaking means of active dissemination largely depend on the definition of public and on the aimed type of public participation.

Public participation can take several forms and includes:
- Manipulative participation: participation is simply a pretence, with people’s representatives on official boards but who are unelected and have no power.

- Passive participation: People participate by being told what has been decided or has happened. It involves unilateral announcements by an administration without any listening to people responses. The information being shared belong to professionals
- Participation by consultation: People participate by being consulted or by answering questions. External agents define problems and information gathering processes, and so control analysis. Such a consultative does not concede any share in decision making and professionals are under no obligation to take on board people’s views.

- Interactive participation: people participate in joint analysis, development of action plans and formation or strengthening of local institutions as well as decision making. Participation is seen as right, not just the means to achieve some goals. The process involves interdisciplinary methodologies that seeks multiple perspectives and make use of systemic and structured learning processes.

Concerning biosafety, governments should seek interactive participation and in this regards specific procedures and messages should be designed specifically for the target group(s). And means of dissemination should be considered bearing in mind the specific national context.

O.A.ElKawy
posted on 2012-06-19 16:32 UTC by Ms. Ulrika Nilsson, UNEP/SCBD/Biosafety