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National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
5655
Status
Published
Date of creation
2004-06-20 13:29 UTC (susumu.kawabe@fao.org)
Date of last update
2009-02-25 10:05 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2009-02-25 10:05 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)

General information
Title of the initiative
FAO Regional Project on Capacity Building in Biosafety of GM Crops in Asia (GCP/RAS/185/JPN)
Website address
Contact person
Dr. Andrea Sonnino
Senior Agricultural Research Officer
Research and Technology Development Service
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome
Italy
Phone:+39 65 705 5499
Fax:+39 65 705 3801
Email:Andrea.Sonnino@fao.org
Url:FAO - Research and Technology Development (SDRR) - Biotechnology and biosafety
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Viet Nam
  • CBD Regional Groups - Asia and the Pacific
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: Regulators, technical officers
Start Date
2002-05-01
Ending date
2006-06-30
Donor(s) information
Government(s) sponsoring the initiative
  • Japan
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - Biotechnology
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome
Italy, 00153
Phone:+39 (0) 6 57051
Fax:+39 (0) 6 570 53152
Email:biotech-website@fao.org,FAO-HQ@fao.org,Official-Correspondence-Group@fao.org
Url:Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - Biotechnology
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Type of Organization: UN Agency
Budget information
Government of Japan - $1,234,701.00
Availability of funds for participants
Yes
Activity details
Description of the initiative
Enhanced and sustained productivity is vital to the agricultural economies and food security of the countries in Asia.  Modern biotechnology, when properly integrated with other technologies, has a great potential in increasing productivity, reducing production costs, increasing the nutritional value of agricultural products and improving processing systems.

Countries in the region are in different stages of research and development of genetically modified organism (GMOs),  also with regards to their capacity to scientifically evaluate, assess as well as manage the benefits and risks associated with the release and commercial use of individual GMO products.  The further development of GM products thus requires adequate legislation and controls for their testing, release use and cross-border movements to protect human health, biodiversity and the environment.  Regional harmonization of biosafety standards, regulations and guidelines should foster better use of resources among the countries together with improved national capacities for the implementation and enforcement of regulations that would promote mutual acceptance of modified organisms and the products derived from them.

Recognizing the need to establish mechanisms for assessing and managing the potential environmental risks associated with GM crops under the Cartagena Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity, FAO was asked to provide capacity building to support to developing countries in this crucial endeavour.

With funding provided by Japan, this inter-country project addresses the issues related to biosafety of GM crops including:

(a) The development and harmonization of an appropriate regulatory framework for addressing biosafety concerns on GM crops; and

(b) The collection, analysis, dissemination and exchange of information on biotechnology and GM-related biosafety standards through inventories, database and decision support system.

Regional level activities
a) Develop human resources, research, and technology, infrastructure, regulations and policies on Biosafety;

b) Train human resources for researching, analyzing and managing biosafety risks associated with GM crops to facilitate transparent, science-based and objective regulatory and policy decisions and harmonized biosafety regulations regarding the development, trade and commercialization of GM crops.

c) Create a benchmark reference document that will list the relative strengths, weaknesses and gaps in participating countries and the region as a whole for meeting the above activity.

d) Establish a regional website, the Asian Bio-Net, to provide a forum for sustained regulatory collaboration among Asian countries for the safe and judicious use of modern biotechnology.

e) National workshops on biosafety aspects of GM crops in the context of agriculture and trade policies, consistent with agreed international standards.

f) Support for research and technology development for the assessment and management of biosafety risks related to GM crops.

Other source of funding
Bilateral - Government of Japan
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
Goals
*Strengthen national capacities in participating countries for the development of human resources, legislation, regulation, policies and programmes for biosafety;

*Establish the Asian Network on Biotechnology (Asian BioNet) for harmonizing biosafety; and

*Support and promote research and technology development for safe and environmentally sustainable use of GM crops.

Objectives
*To enhance food security and income of Asian people through increased productivity and quality in a sustainable and environment-friendly manner through, where appropriate, the safe and judicious harnessing of modern biotechnology.

*It is also designed to establish and strengthen technical cooperation among and capacity building of Asian countries to ensure safety in the introduction and use of GM crops, based on transparent and science-based approaches

Main Capacity Building Areas/Elements
A. Institutional capacity building (including national regulatory frameworks) 
B. Human-resources development and training 
C. Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise 
D. Risk management 
E. Public awareness, education and participation 
F. Information exchange & data management (including the Biosafety Clearing-House) 
G. Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration 
I. Identification of living modified organisms, including their detection 

Regional and sub-regional level activities
a) Develop human resources, research, and technology, infrastructure, regulations and policies on Biosafety;

b) Train human resources for researching, analyzing and managing biosafety risks associated with GM crops to facilitate transparent, science-based and objective regulatory and policy decisions and harmonized biosafety regulations regarding the development, trade and commercialization of GM crops.

c) Create a benchmark reference document that will list the relative strengths, weaknesses and gaps in participating countries and the region as a whole for meeting the above activity.

d) Establish a regional website, the Asian Bio-Net, to provide a forum for sustained regulatory collaboration among Asian countries for the safe and judicious use of modern biotechnology.

e) National workshops on biosafety aspects of GM crops in the context of agriculture and trade policies, consistent with agreed international standards.

f) Support for research and technology development for the assessment and management of biosafety risks related to GM crops

Main outcomes
1) A regional website, the Asian Bio-Net.

2) Proceedings of the First Regional Consultation on Capacity Building in Biosafety of GM Crops in Asia, 7-10 July 2003; Bangkok, Thailand. See document attached below

3) Regional Training Workshop on GMO Detection/Testing held from 27-31 October, 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand.
General thematic area(s)
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Public awareness, participation and education in biosafety
  • Socio-economic considerations
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
  • Biosafety policy and regulation
  • LMO use and transboundary movement
Additional Information