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UNIDO e-Biosafety A novel approach to Biosafety Training Presented to the 18 th SFO meeting at UNESCO, Paris 3 November 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIDO e-Biosafety A novel approach to Biosafety Training Presented to the 18 th SFO meeting at UNESCO, Paris 3 November 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIDO e-Biosafety A novel approach to Biosafety Training Presented to the 18 th SFO meeting at UNESCO, Paris 3 November 2010

2 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Legally binding Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Adopted in Montreal in January 2000, entered into force in September 2003 Intention: To promote biosafety by establishing rules and procedures for the safe transfer, handling, and use of LMOs, with specific focus on transboundary movements of LMOs 2

3 Biosafety Training and Capacity Building Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol requires individual, scientific and institutional capacities Biosafety regulation and oversight are key bottlenecks to commercial applications of and trade in biotechnology Building biosafety capacity is a complex task and requires a multidisciplinary approach 3

4 Challenges Biosafety as an multidisciplinary discipline Rising demand Available expertise Training should be targeted to countries own capacity, needs and priorities 4

5 UNIDOs Mandate in Biotechnology & biosafety The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, through Resolution 1999/61 adopted on 30 July 1999 and renewed through Resolution: ECOSOC 2004/68, gives UNIDO, amongst other UN bodies and other international institutions, the mandate to "exchange information on biosafety regulation and capacity- building, including through case studies on (a) partnerships in biotechnology, (b) biosafety, (c) bioethics and (d) approaches to biotechnology and intellectual property rights issues". 5

6 UNIDOs Assets International Network of Experts Cooperation with European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Worldwide Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS) 6

7 e-Biosafety: 7

8 e-Biosafety is targeted at: Professionals in life and social sciences and in law in –National regulatory agencies –National and international research institutes –Institutional and industrial professionals involved in biosafety compliance 8

9 UNIDO e-Biosafety One year duration with academic accreditation at postgraduate level Delivered through a state-of-the-art online training portal Complemented with two short on-campus sessions Students submit a thesis at the end of the programme 9

10 e-Biosafety Training Course: 7 Core Modules Background (Plant breeding, molecular biology, tools of biotechnology) Applications of gene technology Basics of risk assessment and regulatory structures Food and feed safety Environmental safety National and international regulatory systems Risk perception and communication 10

11 UNIDO e-Biosafety Training Course Training includes: –Practical laboratory training in plant transformation and gene detection methods –Hands-on case studies on the procedures involved in formulating and assessing GMO application dossiers as EFSA (integral part of the on-campus sessions) 11

12 Worldwide Network Nodes: Gent University, Belgium Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil Marche Polytechnic University, Italy e-Biosafety Network 12

13 e-Biosafety Network UNIDO –Coordination –Peer Review (International Advisory Board) –International and national faculty Nodes (universities) –Teaching –Student tutoring –Academic accreditation 13

14 Unique Features Integrated long-term multidisciplinary study curriculum in biosafety Combination of innovative distance learning multimedia with extensive on-campus tuition including laboratory practices Academic accreditation at diploma/master level; rigorous student performance assessment Didactic material developed by eminent experts Peer reviewed content in respect to quality, topical relevance Tailored content responding to regional needs Constructive feedback mechanisms enabling beneficial improvements 14

15 These features of UNIDOs e-Biosafety Programme are in line with the core recommendations of the Second International Meeting of Academic Institutions and Organizations Involved in Biosafety Education and Training, organised by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Kuala Lumpur, April 2007 Unique Features (cont.) 15

16 e-Biosafety advantages Overcomes geographical constraints Enables flexibility for students Develops trainees autonomy, motivation and discipline Overcomes institutional limitations 16

17 Train the trainers ensuring long-term sustainability through training of key resources persons in governments, academia and industry to develop adequate indigenous biosafety expertise in countries 17

18 Current status As of October 2010, 174 students completed the course >50% of the trainees are currently engaged with national regulatory authorities 56% of trainees female 18

19 e-Biosafety student nationalities: 19

20 UNIDO Fellowships Covered travel, accommodation for residential training sessions & university administration costs for African students Selection process: –University screens applications for academic qualification –UNIDO, together with university, pre-selects candidates with appropriate profile –Fellowship conditional on official nomination of candidate by respective government 20

21 Lessons learned Logistical challenges Cost implications Flexibility important Selection of trainees Need for understanding of regional/national requirements Language Distance learning + on-campus tuition is amendable for biosafety capacity building 21

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