National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2005-03-08 03:43 UTC (ibch@nigeb.ac.ir)
Date of last update
2010-01-25 10:31 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2010-01-25 10:31 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)

General information
Title of the initiative
Development of National Biosafety Framework
Contact person
Dr. Mahnaz Mazaheri Assadi
NBF National Project Coordinator
Department of Environment
Department of Environment (DOE)
Pardisan Park, Hakim Highway
Tehran, Tehran
Iran, 5181-15875
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • CBD Regional Groups - Asia and the Pacific
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: Policy makers, Researchsers, Stakeholders and NGO's.
Start Date
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Government(s) sponsoring the initiative
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Organization: Department of Environment
  • Type of Organization: UN Agency
Budget information
GEF Trust fund - $$197,000.00
Government contribution - $$97,000.00
Availability of funds for participants
Activity details
Description of the initiative
In January 2000, agreement was reached on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which aimed "to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements".

In November 2000, the 16th GEF Council approved the "Initial Strategy for assisting countries to prepare for the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The main objectives identified in the strategy were:
a) assist countries in implementing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety through the development and implementation of their national biosafety frameworks,
b) promote information sharing and collaboration, especially at the regional and sub-regional level, and
c) promote collaboration with other organizations to assist capacity-building for the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

The government of the I. R. of Iran submitted a bill to the Parliament for ratification of the Cartagena Protocol. The Islamic Consultative Assembly ratified the bill in August 2003. Further ratification was confirmed by the Guardian Council. On 11 September 2003, the President of Iran assigned the Department of Environment to implement the Catagena Protocol in Iran. The Protocol entered into force for the I. R. of Iran on 17 February 2004.

National level activities
Development of national biosafety frameworks

International level activities
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
The main objective of the project was the preparation of a National Biosafety Framework in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Cartagena protocol on Biosafety according to the following main elements:
- a government policy on biosafety
- a regulatory regime
- a system to handle notifications or requests for authorisations
- systems for follow up on biosafety including enforcement and monitoring for environmental effects
- mechanisms for promoting and facilitating awareness, education and participation

Lessons learned
Project execution mainly showed that:
• given the number of national research projects in biotechnology, the increasing number of LMO products being developed and transferred world wide, and the commitment of the I. R. of Iran to the Cartagena Protocol the elaboration of a National Biosafety Framework is urgent and imperative;
• NBF development as well as its further implementation and monitoring need strong institutional arrangements specifically in charge of modern biotechnology and biosafety issues;
• some initiatives had been taken prior to this project, the most important of which were two draft regulations prepared by the Department of Environment and the National Research Centre of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, neither of which had not been endorsed by the government. During the National Project execution, the NPC took a special care in gathering the technical documents that had been previously elaborated and using them as a basis for the current work;
• more dialogue and consensus is needed among the main stakeholders and decision makers who represent different fields of expertise, in order to ensure a successful implementation of the NBF. The management of this project succeeded in demonstrating the importance of a multidisciplinary approach as biosafety ultimately concerns all sectors of society;
• the public, the media as well as decision makers lack accurate and up to date information on modern biotechnology and biosafety issues. The training workshops held during this project helped initiate a strategy of public information and education;
• co-operation with experts and research centres needs to be reinforced;
• information centralisation and exchange at the national level needs to be developed;
• bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements and arrangements need to be strengthened in Iran;
• development of national biosafety frameworks is at a preliminary stage in the countries of the sub-region and needs to be encouraged urgently.
General thematic area(s)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Public awareness, participation and education in biosafety
Additional Information
Additional Information
The final report of NBF may be found on the project's web site at http://biosafety.irandoe.org and under the cpacity building section of the national Biosafety database http://ibch.nrcgeb.ac.ir/Pdf/IR-NBF[1].pdf

Other collaborating organizations
Other relevant website address or attached documents