Assisting the Caribbean Regional Biosafety project in the development of effective regulatory systems for the products of modern biotechnology
The Biosafety Group is currently providing technical assistance under a sub-contract with the University of West Indies (UWI), the Executing Agency of the current UNEP-GEF funded Biosafety Regional Project for Implementing National Biosafety Frameworks in the Caribbean Sub-region. The objective of the Regional Project is to implement effective, operable, transparent and sustainable National Biosafety Frameworks which cater for national and regional needs, deliver global benefits and are compliant with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in 12 Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.
The practical elements of the technical assistance focus on providing:
- Biosafety legislation and administrative systems - In-country working partnerships, mentored fora
- Communication strategy and tools - Devising tailored public education and outreach strategies and technical content, e.g. radio spots, brochures, videos
- Vocational training in many aspects of GMO regulation - Regulatory experience exchange opportunities, In-country working partnerships, mentored fora
To date, the Biosafety Group has completed the following elements:
- Technical assistance -
- A Communication Strategy for the Caribbean Region project countries, with examples of supporting radio spots, brochures and fact sheets;
- The production of guidelines which enable the project countries to operationalise their administrative systems
a) Administration Systems and Arrangements Guidance;b) Fit-for-Purpose Regulatory Framework for GMOs;c) Guidance of a Risk Analysis Framework for GMOs;d) Post-release Monitoring of GM Crop Plants;e) Safety Assessment of GM Foods.
- A “best-fit” general model of an administrative system for managing LMOs, LMO-FFPs and contained use.
- In-country working partnerships (IWPs) -
- The development of event-specific Food & Feed Safety documents and Public Participation mechanisms supporting regulatory decision-making regarding GM commodity imports (LMO-FFPs);
- In-country missions and Skype sessions with a legal expert to provide technical support and coaching to Project countries in the process of developing their own legal and administrative systems.
- Regulatory experience exchange opportunities -
- 3 Caribbean biosafety experts hosted by the Directorate of Biotechnology, Ministry of AgroIndustry, Argentina and visited CONABIA, SENASA & INASE regulatory offices, Buenos Aires, 30 October - 11 November, 2017;
- Completion of a one-week fellowship for a Bahamian Environmental Officer, hosted at the ICGEB HQ in Trieste, Italy, 06-10 February 2017;
- Completion of a one-week fellowship for a Grenadian Chief Agricultural Officer, hosted at the ICGEB HQ in Trieste, Italy, 09-13 January 2017;
- Completion of a one-week fellowship by the St. Kitts & Nevis NBF Project Coordinator, hosted at the ICGEB HQ in Trieste, Italy, 13-16 December 2016;
- Completion of a one-week fellowship for a Dominican Technical Officer, hosted at the ICGEB HQ in Trieste, Italy, 14-19 November 2016.
- Mentored fora -
- UWI/ICGEB/Guyana EPA Biosafety Training Workshop “Analysis of a Mock Dossier: Drought-Tolerant Corn”, 27 February - 01 March, 2018, Guyana;
- UWI/ICGEB Biosafety Training Workshop re-capping the “Mock Exercise in the Analysis of a Dossier”, 13‐15 February 2017, Trinidad;
- UWI/ICGEB Biosafety Training Workshop on “Risk Communication for GMOs”, 24-26 October 2016, Tobago;
- UWI/ICGEB Biosafety Training Workshop on “Food and Feed Safety Assessment of GMOs”, 20-22 September 2016, St. Kitts & Nevis;
- UWI/ICGEB Biosafety Training Workshop on "The Role of Technical Guidance in GMO Regulation”, 18-22 July 2016, St. George’s, Grenada;
- UWI/ICGEB Biosafety Training Workshop on “Risk Analysis: Role of Science in GMO Decision-making”, 14–18 March 2016, held in Bridgetown, Barbados, in collaboration with the Government of Barbados;
- UWI/ICGEB Regional Biosafety Workshop on “Risk Analysis: Role of Science in GMO Decision-making”, 8–12 February 2016, held in Castries, Saint Lucia;
- UWI/ICGEB Biosafety Training Workshop on “Risk Analysis: Role of Science in GMO Decision-making”, 14-18 September 2015, held in Nassau, The Bahamas, in collaboration with the Bahamas Environment, Science & Technology (BEST) Commission;
- UWI/ICGEB Workshop on “Biosafety Regulations & Administrative Systems”, 18-22 May 2015, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago;
- UWI/ICGEB Workshop on “Biosafety Legislation”, 11-15 May 2015, held in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.