Asia BCH Regional Workshop, held in Daejeon, South Korea, is a collaboration between the UN Environment-GEF Project for Sustainable Capacity Building for Effective Participation in the BCH (BCH III) and Korea Biosafety Capacity Building Initiative for Asia BCH Regional Workshop “Moving towards a Viable Asia BCH Family”. The project aims to (i) enhance more effective participation of countries to the Biosafety Clearing House, (ii) sustain Biosafety Clearing House capacity building beyond project duration, (iii) Capacitate the Asian Countries, and (iv) assist in coming up with an effective strategy in overcoming their gaps to enable them to be self-sustaining by 2020 and beyond in effectively implementing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety through the Biosafety Clearing-House.
The Immediate Objectives of the workshop is (i) to enable them to actively participate in the activities of the ABF, (ii) for the ABF member countries to have working and sustainable plans in addressing the identified gaps in realizing the BCH roadmap targets, (iii) to develop strategies in mobilizing resources to effectively implement their activities, (iv) to make available online tools to facilitate learning, sharing, and exchange of biosafety related information, (v) to give light on Intellectual Property Rights policies being observed/implemented by Asian countries in providing/sharing and uploading of information in the ABF Regional Portal, and (vi) to build awareness of Asian countries about the ABF's reason for being.
The participants were able to identify and commit strategies to further enhance the implementation of their activities in addressing their gaps that serves as hindrance in fully implementing the four focal areas of the roadmap. The participants were able to set doable and practical targets for implementation in their respective countries for the year 2018, progress on which will be monitored by the ICC in the coming year to facilitate the countries’ compliance to the roadmap. Most importantly, the countries have identified their purpose on the ABF and felt that they are part of the “family” which is very critical in allowing them to actively pursue the objectives of the roadmap. Lastly, their commitment to be part of this regional initiative was evident during the entire duration of the Workshop. This, we believe is a good indicator for a strengthened collaboration and commitment for the ABF to become self-sustaining in the year 2020 and beyond.