The UNEP-GEF Pilot Biosafety Enabling Activity Project, a US $2.7 million project, was approved by the GEF Council in November 1997. The project was completed over a 16 month time period. The project aimed to set up National Biosafety Frameworks in 18 countries and develop systems for cross boundary movement of living modified organisms.
Biosafety in this context involves the development of systems to ensure the safe use of modern biotechnology, whether for foods or feeds, primarily but not solely in relation to their impact on the environment; and b) that the possible environmental impact of imported foods, feeds or living modified organisms has been considered and the risks taken into account before importation.
The project had two components:
- The preparation of National Biosafety Frameworks in each of the 18 participating countries, including a survey of capacity for both biotechnology and for safety assessment; and the organisation of a series of eight workshops that explored risk analysis and management, and transboundary movement of living modified organisms.
- The countries participating in this component included: Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Pakistan, Poland, the Russian Federation, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.