On November 17th to 20th, 2015, the Forth Asia Regional Biosafety Clearing House Workshop was held in Nanjing, China by the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences(NIES), the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China, and co-hosted by the Korea Biosafety Clearing House(KBCH) and United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP).
There were approximately 40 participants at this Workshop, which consisted of Biosafety Clearing House National Focal Points from 18 Asian countries as well as Regional Advisors, and personnel from South Korea, the UN Environment Programme, Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity, and China. To hold this Workshop the Korea Biosafety Capacity Building Initiative and UN Environment Programme each assumed half of the costs, while China supplied local conveniences such as the conference site and field tour, etc. The countries that participated in the Workshop are as follows: Bangladesh, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Lao, Cambodia, Bhutan, India, Vietnam, Tajikistan, Korea, China.
At this Biosafety Clearing House Workshop, in order to assist the efficient implementation of the Biosafety Protocol by the participating nations, Regional Advisors conducted presentations* on the status of Biosafety Clearing House implementation and some countries conducted presentations as model examples. Each country shared updates on PAEP activities, and built inter-regional cooperative networks for information exchange. In addition, workshop attracted the interest of participants by holding an exhibition of posters and training materials to introduce the PAEP activities being conducted by each country. Of note, at this Workshop, an "Asia Biosafety Clearing House Roadmap" was established, which encompasses the Workshop goals and expected achievements for the 5 years up to 2020, Biosafety Clearing House and PAEP activities, cooperative networks and capacity building areas.
* Before beginning of the Workshop, a survey was conducted to assess the Biosafety Clearing House status of each country. The results were analyzed and shared to provide an opportunity to evaluate the BCH implementation level of one's own country, and conceive various means for acquiring biosafety.
Participants engaged in heated discussions to complete the final Roadmap, which resulted in the final closing ceremony on the last day starting 6 hours after the originally planned time.
By preparing the Biosafety Clearing House Roadmap, participants could establish the direction for conduct of the BCH Workshop until 2020, and strengthen the spirit of the Asia BCH Family.