THE National Biosafety Authority says Zambia is making headways in biosafety and biotechnology.
And the authority has welcomed the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress which came into effect in Japan on Monday, March 5.
NBA chief executive officer Lackson Tonga said apart from approving some of the research trials, NBA recently had its first national stakeholders training on Biosafety Clearing House (BCH).
He said the protocol was key in contextualisation of the biosafety Act.
“Zambia is a part to the Cartagena Protocol and the coming into effect of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is very welcome and timely,” Tonga said.
“The Cartagena Protocol is important because it addresses the handling and transiting of GMOs so that they do not have adverse effects on human, animal health and the environment. The protocol is also important for trade purposes and helps ensure that all those that are party to it adhere to the regulations.”
Zambia acceded to the Cartagena Protocol in 2004.
The Supplementary Protocol was adopted on 15 October 2010 in Japan, as a supplementary agreement to the Cartagena Protocol.
It aims to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by providing international rules and procedures in the field of liability and redress relating to Living Modified Organisms (LMOs).
The Protocol requires that response measures are taken in the event of damage resulting from LMOs or where there is sufficient likelihood that damage will result if timely response measures are not taken. It also includes provisions in relation to civil liability and parties may develop them further. Response measures are any reasonable actions to prevent, minimise, contain, mitigate or otherwise avoid damage or measures to restore biological diversity.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) executive secretary Dr Cristiana Paşca Palmer said the entry into force of the Supplementary Protocol was a major milestone in the 25 years of the Biodiversity Convention, 15 years of the Biosafety Protocol and represented a major step towards achieving the objectives of the Strategic Plan for the Biosafety Protocol.
About forty-one parties have contributed towards entry into force of the Protocol.
Among those that have ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the protocol are Albania, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Congo, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Denmark.
Others are Estonia, European Union, Finland, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Swaziland and Sweden. The rest are Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and Vietnam.
“Zambia is yet to ratify to the Supplementary Protocol. However, we recognize its importance and the coming into effect,” said Tonga according to communications officer Sandra Lombe-Mulowa.
Meanwhile, Lombe-Mulowa said the Japanese government through the Japan Biodiversity Fund and the CBD Secretariat is organising activities to support parties in implementing the protocol at national level.