Lao PDR 

 

RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT  

Dr. Sourioudong SUNDARA, Ph.D. in biochemistry
· Director General, Research Institute of Science
· Focal point and competent national authority for the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety

Contents
 
Present status:
 Cartagena Protocol on biosafety
 National Biosafety Framework

1. Present status:


Lao PDR don't have a research, development and commercialization on the GMO's product and the Biosafety regulation will be prepared under the National Biosafety Frameworks.

2. Cartagena Protocol on biosafety


Lao PDR is a member of Convention on biological diversity and the ratification of the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety is on the procedure.
Convention on biological Diversity was signed in 1996. As a signatory to this convention the Government of Lao PDR agree to:
(a) develop a national strategy for the conservation and sustainable use of the nation's biological diversity;
(b) develop regulatory provisions and economically and socially sound measures for protecting threatened species, populations and ecosystems;
(c) integrate conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into national decision-making and planning processes;
(d) conduct environmental assessment (EA) of proposed development projects with a view to minimizing negative impacts on biological diversity;
(e) take measures to ensure that the sharing of benefits arising from the use of traditional knowledge and genetic resources is sustainable and equitable; and
(f) promote and encourage the understanding of the importance of biological diversity.

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3. National Biosafety Framework


Participation in the programme for developing ''National Biosafety Framework'' initiated by UNEP-GEF is vital and appropriate to help Lao PDR in developing the controlling system and completing legal documents. Research Institute of Science, STEA was designated as a single entity to fulfil the functions of both focal point and competent national authority for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
Science Technology and Environment Agency is mandated with the overall responsibility for the oversight and coordination of the Science, Technology and Environment. This includes policy development, as well as the management of international agreements and conventions. As such the principle partner in undertaking the activities outlined above is likely to be STEA. It is , however, clearly recognized that effective implementation will not be possible without the collaboration and support from other key line agencies and NGOs such as:
(a) Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF),
(b) Ministry of Public Heath (MPH),
(c) Ministry of Education (MOE),
(d) Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts (MIH),
(e) Ministry of Trade (MOT),
(f) Ministry of Justice (MOJ),
(g) Ministry of Communication Post Transport and Construction (MCPTC),
(h) State Planning Committee (SPC),

R The objective, outputs and follow-up of this project are as following:
3.1 Objective

3.1.1 The main Objective of this National Project is the preparation /evaluation/revision of a National Biosafety Framework in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

3.1.2. The main elements of this framework would be
· a regulatory system
· an administrative system
· a decision making system that includes risk assessment and management
· mechanisms for public participation and information

3.2 Outputs

The following outputs will be required to achieve the objective of the National Project

Phase One of the national project (Months 1-6), which consists of preparatory activities and the gathering of the necessary information will be expected to produce the following outputs:
a. Inventories of the following:
i Current use of modern biotechnology as defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (including those techniques that are covered in the Protocol but excluded from the Advanced Informed Agreement procedure e.g contained use, veterinary use and possibly human pharmaceuticals);
ii Existing legislation or legal instruments related to biotechnology/biosafety, etc.;
iii Active or planned National Projects for capacity building related to the safe use of biotechnology.
b. A report on existing sub-regional biosafety frameworks and mechanisms for harmonization of risk assessment/management.
c. Rosters of relevant experts within the country, identifying their experience and expertise so that adequate coverage in all areas of expertise is obtained and potential gaps can be identified.
Phase Two of the national project (Months 7-12), which includes the necessary analysis for the preparation of the NBF, will be expected to produce the following outputs:
d. Access to relevant information for all stakeholders in accordance with the requirements of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
e. Development of National Biosafety Database and linkages to the Biosafety Clearing House.
f. Mechanisms for adequate involvement of all stakeholders, including public and private sectors, on issues related to biosafety.
g. Identification of the components of the national Biosafety Framework, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
Phase Three of the national project, (Months 13-18), during which the draft NBF will be prepared, will be expected to produce the following outputs:
h. Draft of legal instruments, including guidelines, as appropriate.
i Systems for risk assessment and management, including audit, which take into account national and sub-regional/regional needs.
j Administrative system for compliance with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
k Mechanisms for public consultation in decision-making processes regarding LMOs.
l Mechanisms for sharing of scientific assessments at sub-regional levels, whilst allowing for decision-making at the national level.
m Identification of country needs and mechanisms for participation in the Biosafety Clearing House.
n Publication of inventories, reports of national meetings, draft and/or final National Biosafety Framework, relevant regulations and guidelines.

3.3 Follow-up action

Subject to guidance provided to the GEF by ICCP and, in future by the Meetings of the Parties of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the country may be eligible for further assistance to implement its National Biosafety Framework. The follow-up activities will benefit from the experience gained in assisting pilot countries to implement their respective biosafety frameworks. This further development was set out in the GEF initial strategy on Biosafety adopted by the November 2000 GEF Council meeting.


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