National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2004-11-15 20:25 UTC (dubravka.stepic@biodiv.org)
Date of last update
2010-01-25 11:12 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2010-01-25 11:12 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)

General information
Title of the initiative
Australian Capacity building activities in the field of Biosafety - Framework
Contact person
Ms. Carolyn Irving
Environment Strategies Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building, John McEwen CrescentCanberra ACT 2600Australia
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • China
  • Fiji
  • Republic of Korea
  • SPC countries
  • CBD Regional Groups - Asia and the Pacific
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: Developing countries in the South Pacific region
Start Date
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Type of Organization: Bilateral Donor Agency
Availability of funds for participants
Activity details
Description of the initiative
Australia's focus is on the Asia-Pacific region where Australia has supported a number of regional and sub-regional meetings and has undertaken a range of activities to directly address biosafety issues.  Examples include the following:

1) A regulatory expert from the Department of AFFA gave: a) a presentation to the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation (PPPO) Executive Committee meeting on GMO developments and regulatory approaches in August 1999; b) a presentation on GMO developments and regulatory approaches at a SPREP Invasive Species Workshop in September 1999 and c) in-house presentations on biosafety issues as part of training programs provided to a number of countries including China and Korea.

2) The Australian Environment Ministry, Environment Australia, identified Biosafety capacity building as area of cooperation in an agreement recently concluded with China's State Environment Protection Administration.

3) In December 1999, Australia fully funded a regional workshop on Bioosafety in Fiji, organised by the South Pacific Commission (SPC) in collaboration with the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) which, for the first time, brought together key government decision makers from South Pacific Island agriculture, quarantine environment and conservation departments to discuss GMO risks and benefits and appropriate regulatory approaches. (The report of the meeting is available at SCBD). The feedback was that the workshop was very helpful to the Pacific Island Countries that attended. It clearly underlined the usefulness of collaboration at the national level between regulatory practitioners and policy makers. SPREP plans to hold a further regional workshop on Biosafety in collaboration with SPC later this year, which would explain additional risk assessment and other procedures generated under the Biosafety Protocol. Australia expects to provide technical assistance to the workshop.

4) Australia has also contributed to work within the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Experts Group of APEC, which has been developing a program of cooperation in research, development and extension of agricultural biotechnology. The main focus of this work is on information exchange and capacity building in developing economies aimed at facilitating the uptake of biotechnology and influencing the development of national processes and procedures for evaluating biotechnology products. The main focus of the expert group's biotechnology work program in 2000 is on: a) completing a "best practice" guide to risk communication relating to agricultural biotechnology; b) compiling a series of case studies on issues related to intellectual property rights, including plant variety protection, for transgenic crops of specific regional interest; c) reporting on risk assessment and risk management procedures to facilitate improved regional coordination and efficient use of risk assessment resources; d) increasing collaboration with the IPPC Secretariat in developing standards/guidelines for biosafety risk assessment (in cooperation with the ACTEG sub-group on Animal and Plant Quarantine and Pest Management); e) convening the fourth biotechnology workshop focusing on capacity building and public information in the context of agricultural biotechnology.

National level activities
Information exchange & data management
Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration

Regional level activities
Coordination and harmonization of regulatory frameworks
Regional collaborative initiatives
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
To build national capacity-building in the field of biosafety
To strengthen countries' broader regulatory policy and infrastructure capacity

To help a number of developing countries to build infrastructure to safely manage LMOs by: a) asissting with the development of their quarantine policy, b) building capacity to manage sanitary and phytosanitary issues, c) enhancing risk assessment capacity and d) strengthening environmental impact assessment capacity.
General thematic area(s)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
Additional Information
Other relevant website address or attached documents