January 28, 2000 is a remarkable day in the history of biotechnology because the day heralded an international agreement on how to practice and promote safe biotechnology. This was made possible by the adoption of the international protocol on biosafety called the Cartagena protocol on biosafety.

The Protocol will constitute part of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the most comprehensive international agreement for the conservation of our living environment. The CBD arose out of negotiations at the historical Earth Summit which brought together Heads of States from 138 countries around the world in 1992 to Rio de Janiero, and represents the political will to conserve our nature and natural resources. The convention has been signed by 174 countries so far. To implement the CBD, countries have begun to meet to discuss specific issues covered by the Convention, and the resulting agreements is made into a protocol which then become part of the larger Convention



IUCN Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia (RBP) is currently implementing an initiative on "Capacity Building to Implement the Biosafety Protocol in Asia". This activity is a part of a larger project funded by the German Federal Agency for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The initiative aims to
Help countries in Asia to implement national and international regulations concerning biosafety;
Build capacity to integrate provisions of international   and national level regulations
Support personal and institutional level activities aimed   at implementing the Cartagena Protocol. Under this   initiative the following activities are being planned:
Capacity mapping and needs assessment in the region
Establishment of a list server
Development of a Resource Kit for developing and   implementing national level biosafety protocol
Development of information and awareness raising   material
Adoption and translation of IUCN's (Guide to developing   and implementing the Biosafety Protocol) to meet Asian   regional needs
Organisation of national level training workshop(s)
Development of 'media packages' on related issues
Establishment of an information Resource Centre to   feed into a thematic Clearing House Mechanism for the   Asia region on Biosafety.

We welcome your ideas to partnership on this important regional activity. For further information please do not hesitate to call us at

Dr Balakrishna Pisupati
Head, Regional Biodiversity programme, Asia
54, Vijayarama Mawatha,

Report on Asia Regional Workshop on Risk assessment and Risk management in implementing the Cartagena Protocol

Biosafety Country Papers
Sri Lanka



Launch of RBP,s Mountain Biodiversity Resource Kit
SBSTTA-8 Montreal
10-14 March 2003

GLOBE-India,IUCN Regional Workshop for Parliamentarians on Environment and Biodiversity
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
New Delli 21 March 2003

Climate Change training Programme
India 7-11 April 2003

Global Biodiversity Forum South Asia
Bangladesh 16-18 June 2003

South East Asia Regional Training Programme on Environmental Law
7-10 July 2003

World Summit on Sustainable Development(WSSD)


Established in 1996, the IUCN Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia aims to help countries in the region effectively implement the provisions of Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD) in addition to supporting national and regional initiatives on securing community and household livelihood securities.

The Programme is one of the significant regional initiatives working across 18 countries in Asia through a partnership approach to help build capacity and decision making at various levels.

  53, Horton Place,
  Colombo 07,
  Sri Lanka.
  Telephone: (94) 74 710439,
                       (941) 682465
  Fax: (941) 682470
The Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia is currently implementing projects in about 12 countries in Asia on a range of issues concerning conservation and development with a commitment to work in partnership to build capacity in the region. The programme is aiming for both strategic and sustainable presence in the region.

The programme's strategy for 2002-2005 emphasises the fact that creating an enabling environment is the prelude to successful development as well as implementation of policies and programmes.

Currently the programme is strengthening its funding base, human resources and strategic linkages with other regions and internationally.

Balakrishna Pisupati Ph.D.