- Written by Super User
With the global effort to sustainably conserve and use the Earth’s genetic resources, the Convention on Biological Diversity formulated the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to set guidelines for responsible handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology.
The Protocol’s need for information sharing as stated in Article 20 has set grounds for establishing the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH). The BCH, as a part of the clearing-house mechanism, is a knowledge and information exchange tool that facilitates the implementation of the Protocol.
The Philippines, being a Party to the Protocol, set up the BCH Pilipinas as the country’s node to the said purpose. It serves as a ‘one-stop shop’ where users can easily search and retrieve biosafety-related information. It also forges collaboration among the regulatory agencies and their partners to extend information services for the benefit of public and private research institutions, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.
Similarly, the BCH Pilipinas provides an operational platform where users are directed to activities and opportunities aimed at building capacity for biosafety (i.e. minimize the environmental and health risks of LMOs) in the field of risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication of LMOs. Said activities enhance the availability and exchange of relevant information in a transparent, accurate and timely manner.
Information available in this site include pertinent laws and regulations governing LMOs, risk assessments and country decisions on direct use of LMOs, and other declarations on approved LMOs among others. It also provides links to existing websites and databases of the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP) and the Competent National Authorities: Departments of Agriculture; Health; Environment and Natural Resources; and, Science and Technology, as well as other institutions engaged on Biosafety-related initiatives.
The BCH Pilipinas is regularly updated as new information and decisions on the use of LMOs are generated by relevant agencies. We hope that you will find all the information herein useful.