Presentation on theme: "“Towards a Regional Approach to Biotechnology Policy in Southern Africa “ By Lindiwe Majele Sibanda"— Presentation transcript:
“Towards a Regional Approach to Biotechnology Policy in Southern Africa “ By Lindiwe Majele Sibanda firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Introduction Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are at crossroads as to whether or not to embrace the rapidly evolving biotechnology and related products such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Introduction (ctnd) The region is faced with declining agricultural productivity and increasing food insecurity & it has been argued that GMOs might have the potential to increase productivity, reduce costs of pesticides and labour, reduce human exposure to chemicals and increase farm level incomes
Introduction (ctnd) Conversely, concerns have been raised about the potential ethical, environmental and food safety threats that GMOs may pose. As a result, SADC countries are cautious about adopting biotechnology. This is partly caused by the lag in their own internal policy and regulatory capacities for GMOs
Introduction (ctnd) While each country strives to establish the policy and regulatory frameworks on biosafety and biotechnology, few have the capacity to fully enforce them. This makes the need for a common regulatory approach and policy position in the SADC region plausible through setting acceptable standards that could be approved across countries.
Introduction FANRPAN, in collaboration with national nodes and technical partners, is seeking to document a balanced review of the technical information needed to inform SADC’s regional biosafety policy choices responsibly.
The GMO Debate Natural Food Production Declining Productivity Harmful pesticides Droughts Human exposure to chemicals
The GMO Debate GMOs Increased Productivity Reduced costs of pesticides Reduced human exposure to chemicals Unethical? Unsafe? Unfriendly to the environment?
Overall Objective The overall objective is to document a balanced review of the technical information needed to inform SADC’s regional biosafety policy choices responsibly. This project is part of a USAID supported agenda aimed at assisting SADC countries to come up with feasible policy options for addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by GMOs on trade and food security.
Specific Objectives 1.Undertaking stakeholder analysis in the SADC countries highlighting opportunities, challenges, views and positions related to their engagements in trade, GMOs and food security; 2.Analyzing impacts of GM crops on farm income in the SADC region;
Specific Objectives (ctnd) 3.Analyzing commercial risks that SADC countries are likely to face in the destination export markets both regionally and internationally if permission to plant GM crops was granted. 4.Estimating impact of precautionary GMO principles on access to emergence food aid and food security in the SADC region; and
Specific Objectives (ctnd) 5.Identifying a range of regional biosafety policy options for decision-making on issues of GMOs and trade in SADC countries.
Expected Impact The ultimate impact is to ensure improved food security and incomes in the agricultural systems in the SADC countries through adoption of productivity enhancing technologies.
Expected Impact (ctnd) The project will help to ensure that the SADC countries have a balanced view of the costs and benefits of biotechnology & GMOs for better decision-making.
Target Countries Target Countries MalawiMauritiusS. Africa
Target Countries The three selected countries have active national FANRPAN networks and very strong national biotechnology institutions, with functional bio-safety legislation
Target Countries The project will complement work already done in the same area by the USAID-RCSA funded Southern Africa Regional Biosafety (SARB) programme that was completed in June 2003, and the UNEP-GEF biosafety development programme
Project Partnerships University of Pretoria, South Africa University of Mauritius, Mauritius Bunda College of Malawi FANRPAN National Nodes AfricaBio (South Africa) BioEroc (Malawi) Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI) Technical Partners
Key Project Activities Agenda setting & constituency building Information dissemination Regional workshop National workshops Empirical data collection Desk research & analysis
Time Frame The project will run from January 2005 to December 2006