Environmental Affairs hosts biosafety risk assessment course for Anglophone Africa, 8 to 12 Apr

South Africa to host a risk assessment course for Anglophone Africa

South Africa, through the Department of Environmental Affairs, will host a biosafety risk assessment course for Anglophone Africa in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from 8 to 12 April in Pretoria.

The workshop is expected to be attended by approximately 50 participants, including the representatives of the Anglophone African countries that are party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB), representatives from the African Union Commission, the Southern African Development Community, United Nations Environment, the South African GMO Executive Council and other national stakeholders.

The objective of the course is to provide theoretical and hands-on training on biosafety risk assessment, biosafety resource mobilisation, and biosafety clearing-house on the application of genetic modification (GM) in various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, health and food. The course is in line with South Africa’s contribution to the Africa region’s biosafety efforts through the Regional Engagement Strategy on Biosafety.

South Africa is a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) which is an international treaty under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that regulates the movement of living modified organisms (LMOs), resulting from modern biotechnology, from one country to another.

The deployment of Biotechnology on crop maybe a solution in tackling food security problems and poverty reduction in Africa. However, there are concerns that GM crops may have adverse effects to both the environmental and human health.

Source: Government of South Africa