Sunday, October 10, 2010

Journalists Urged to Sensitise People on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety



Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Director of Parks and Wildlife Management, Mr. Alpha Jallow has urged Media Practitioners to from the print and electronic to crucially take steps in informing people on what the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and its information house, the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) Central Portal entails.

Mr. Jallow made the call recently at the Baobab Holiday Resort, during a one-day sensitisation workshop for Journalists drawn from the Print and Electronic Media in The Gambia on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
and its information house, Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) Central Portal.

According to him, The Gambia signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Clearing House (CPB) on 24th May 2000.

He explains that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the parent body to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and for the implementation of the parent body, he noted that parties are required to take
measures to regulate and manage the risks associated with the use and release
of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into the environment.

He pointed out that in pursuit of the country’s obligation under the parent body, the CBD, The Gambia has developed a National Biosafety Framework Document (NBF); which is the framework policy document that contains
the relevant national information on existing laws, regulations and policies
relevant to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

“The NBF is to guide all processes with regards to the safe handling, use and movement of GMOs into The Gambia by means of proposed administrative structures, with specific focus on regulating the movements of
these organisms across borders,” he said.

The protocol gives governments the opportunity to exchange information through what he called a Biosafety Regime. “The regime facilitates transparency and the sharing of information, which is vital to a dynamic and
effective Global Biosafety System,” he told journalist.

He also laid emphasis to Article 20 of the Protocol, which states that Biosafety Clearing House was established in order to “facilitate the exchange of scientific, technical, environment, and legal information on,
experience with, Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) and for the BCH to assist
parties including The Gambia to implement the Protocol.

He also disclose that under the BCH project, his department as the Focal Point for the Parent Convention, the CBD, will ensure that national mechanisms for participation in the BCH are set to operate beyond the
scope within the duration of the project (12 months), which includes the
establishment of a National Task Force on Biosafety, a body that would help in
the implementation of the project. VOL:3 ISSN:94

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