In the Near East and North Africa region,agriculture is a key element of the economy and an important source of employment and most of the countries are committed to implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Conservation and Sustainable use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture for boosting production and development. Despite the initial acceleration, the region is experiencing delays in the adoption of new biotechnologies and in the implementation of national NBFs, mainly due to lack of adequate institutional capacities in the area.
FAO has a pproved a two year regional project(TCP/RAB/3202) entitled "Strengthening capacities towards the establishment of a regional platform for the detection of genetically modified organisms". The participating countries include Lebanon, Jordon, Sudan, Syria, UAE and Yemen. The aim of this project is to strengthen regional capacities andto enhance regional information exchange and dialogue in biosafety that would lead to the establishment of a regional platform for handling and managing GMO detection and related procedures through increased regional cooperation and standardization of GM detection and analysis procedures within the region.