Workshop on Bhutan Biosafety Clearing House underway in Paro

3-5 March, Paro: A training workshop on ‘National biosafety repository tools’ is underway in Paro. The training is aimed to obtain the information and access to global biosafety information repositories such as Biosafety Clearing House (BCH), FAO GM Foods platform and OECD Biotrack tool. It will help to find/locate relevant information in the context of Bhutan using the case studies through group sessions and global biosafety information repositories. It will further help to obtain step-by-step instructions on how to register national information on the national BCH tool and BCH central portal.

Bhutan is signatory to Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) and as an obligation, CPB emphasises on the need of establishment of national BCH as an information exchange platform. Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) is the national competent authority to implement Biosafety Act of Bhutan 2015. In order to engage biosafety regulators, academia and food importers for exchange of scientific, technical, environmental and legal information on living modified organisms, BAFRA is revamping the Bhutan Biosafety Clearing House (BBCH) which was previously managed by National Environment Commission (NEC).

The revamping of the existing national BCH website is carried out with the financial and technical support of FAO involving the BCH expert Prof. Ruel V Maningas. Updated BBCH includes new features for registering information, forums for online discussion, updated biosafety news and biosafety information repositories, such as FAO-GM Foods Platform, OECD Biotrack database etc. which will enable stakeholders and regulators to get information at one go for better decision making.

The workshop is attended by officials from BAFRA field officials, biosafety technical working group members and participants from NEC, Food Corporation of Bhutan, Karma Feeds and National Seed Centre.

 

Submitted by BAFRA

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