NBA explains biosafety protocol importance
THE coming into force of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol is key in contextualisation of the Biosafety Act, National Biosafety Authority (NBA) chief executive officer Lackson Tonga has said.
In a statement issued to the Daily Nation, Mr Tonga explained that the coming into effect of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur supplementary Protocol was important as it would address the handling and transiting of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to avoid adverse effects on human, animal health and the environment.
Mr Tonga said the protocol came into effect on Monday, March 5, 2018 in Japan and was also important for trade purposes and helped to ensure that all those that were party of it to adhered to the regulations.
He said Zambia was part of 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, was very welcome and timely.
“Zambia acceded to the Cartagena Protocol in 2004 and the Supplementary Protocol was adopted on October, 15 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),” Mr Tonga said.
He explained that the protocol required that response measures to be taken in the event of dam- age resulting from LMOs or where there was sufficient likelihood that damage would result if timely response measures were 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,” he said.
Mr Tonga said that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) executive secretary Dr Cristiana Paşca Palmer in welcoming the entry into force of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol 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 represented a major step towards achieving the objectives of the Strategic Plan for the Biosafety Protocol.” Mr Tonga said about forty-one parties had contributed towards the entry into force of the protocol adding that among those that had ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the supplementary protocol included Albania, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Congo, to mention but a few.
“Zambia is yet to ratify to the supplementary protocol. However, we recognise its importance and the coming into effect as Zambia is making headways in biosafety and biotechnology,” he said. Mr Tonga stated that the Government of Japan, through the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the CBD Secretariat was organizing activities to support Parties in implementing the Supplementary Protocol at the national level.