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Biotecnología y Bioseguridad

Strengthening the National Capacity in Biotechnology and Biosafety (TCP/GRN/2902)

    Country: Grenada
    Starting Date: December 2003
    FAO Contribution: US$237 000
    Duration: 12 months

Project summary:

The Government of Grenada is increasingly confronted with the risk of illegal introduction of GMOs in the country and needs instruments to handle in a safe manner the applications it receives for GMOs releases. On the other hand, the Government appears to support the idea that biotechnology, if properly integrated into the existing agricultural system, can make a significant contribution in terms of increased and more diversified agricultural production and would like to promote its use. However it is also conscious that an improper introduction and use of biotechnology and particularly GMOs can have possible adverse effects on the environment and pose risks to the conservation of biodiversity. As part of an effort to handle this problem, a National Biosafety Committee was established, but Grenada currently lacks a biosafety legislation and adequately trained human resources, as well as the technical capacity for bringing unbiased information within the everybody's reach. The Government has requested FAO assistance to address the above constraints.

The objective of the project is to provide the country with the legal and technical instruments needed to promote a safe introduction of appropriate biotechnologies in order to improve agricultural production and food security .

The project will provide the services of six TCDC consultants (one expert in agricultural biotechnology for five weeks in one mission; one expert in ecological aspects of bio-safety for five weeks in one mission; one expert in legal aspects of biosafety for five weeks in one mission; one expert in risk analysis for five weeks in one mission; one expert in post-release monitoring of GMOs for five weeks in one mission and one communication expert for ten weeks in three missions) ; one national consultant/expert in environmental and/or agricultural legislation (two months) and FAO technical backstopping services (approximately 9.5 weeks). In addition, the project will provide for official travel, contract, training and general as well as direct operating costs.

The proposed assistance is intended to formulate a biosafety bill; train officers indirectly involved in the national biosafety system on general biotechnology concepts and the basic principles of biosafety; train National Biosafety Committee and other staff, directly involved in the national biosafety system, in all the matters related to risk analysis of GMO utilization and develop an information and communication strategy to raise awareness of possible benefits and potential risks of biotechnology application.

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