Germany’s contribution

Biosafety: avoiding risks and promoting in-country skills and capabilities

Lab worker in a lab for genetic modifications in Berlin

In many of the countries Germany partners with in development cooperation, the requisite experts and institutions that would have been necessary to guarantee biosafety following the adoption of the Cartagena Protocol in 2000 were simply not in place. Through Germany’s Biosafety Capacity Building Initiative, Germany supported countries and regional organisations in developing such capacity from 2000 to 2011.

These measures included, for instance, projects designed to encourage public participation in questions of biosafety, as well as training for government officials and civil servants, scientists and experts from non-governmental organisations. Country-specific measures have been implemented in Algeria, China, Colombia and Peru.

In addition, the BMZ worked with the Commission of the African Union (AUC) at regional level to develop biosafety capacity. To support their member states in implementing the Cartagena Protocol, the AUC conducted amongst other things an Africa-wide process to amend the African Model Law on biosafety. The revised version was adopted in 2012.

The main thrust of German support for the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol is provided through multilateral projects funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The BMZ has been actively involved in the Board of the GEF since 2000, playing a substantial role in shaping strategies for biosafety and related projects.

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