TAGUIG CITY, PHILIPPINES - The Philippines affirmed its commitment to strengthen cooperation in Asia with regard to upholding the provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety by taking the lead as Coordinator of the Asia Biosafety-Clearing-House (BCH) Road Map.

The Road Map, developed and approved by the Parties in Asia during an earlier Workshop in Nanjing, China in November 2015, outlines the targets in the next five years (2016-2020) focused on build capacity towards effective participation to the BCH, promote public awareness, education and information, and enhance regional networking and cooperation, which hopefully, if realized, shall bring the region a step closer to the vision of One Asia BCH family.

During a Workshop held at the Acacia Hotel in Alabang, Muntinupa on 5 to 7 April 2016, fellow Parties at the forefront of the initiative namely the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Cambodia, and the People’s Republic of China, brainstormed and discussed in detail the subsequent steps to be undertaken to implement the Asia BCH Road Map, including the terms of reference (TOR) of the Road Map Coordinator for the period 2016 to 2017. A representative and consultants from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were also present to provide guidance.

Among the agreements reached were the creation of an Informal Consultative Committee (ICC) composed of the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, and one representative each from the UNEP, SCBD and the Compliance Committee. The ICC shall serve as advisory body to promote and sustain the activities as embodied in the Road Map.

An Asia BCH web portal, will be set up and administered by the Korea Biosafety Clearing House (KBCH to facilitate access to and sharing of information among Parties in the region such as available trainings, resource materials for PAEP, announcements, and news on the Parties’ respective activities.

The COP-MOP 8 side event entitled: “A Successful BCH Asia Family ?” will highlight the history and milestones achieved by the Asian region leading to the development of the Asia BCH Road Map. Other presentations shall include the Road Map to enhance regional cooperation and coordination mechanism to fully implement and sustain the activities beyond 2020.

With the vision of “One Asia BCH Family”, the member Parties in Asia eagerly look forward to kick-start the sustainable implementation of the activities in the Road Map.

Julieta Fe L. Estacio
Project Development Officer IV, DOST
Head Secretariat, NCBP/DOST Biosafety Committee
and National Focal Point, BCH Pilipinas