The National Biosafety Framework (NBF)
|Source||Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA)|
|Keywords||Biosafety, Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNEP|
The development of the National Biosafety Framework (NBF) for Rwanda is in compliance with the provisions of the international protocols and conventions to which Rwanda is signatory relating to safeguarding human health and protection of the environment. The Government of Rwanda (GoR) ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity on the 18th March 1995; signed and ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on 24th May 2000 and 29th December 2003 respectively. As a party to the convention and the protocol, therefore, the GoR has obligation to put in place appropriate policy, legal and institutional mechanisms to implement the provisions of these conventions and protocols.
The NBF has been developed with technical and financial support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/ Global Environment Facility (GEF). UNEP, as the United Nations body responsible for environmental management has been providing technical, financial and coordination support to parties to enable them implement the provisions of this protocol.
It is in this context that Rwanda obtained project funds and technical guidance from UNEP to develop the NBF. The purpose of this document is to give all stakeholders an overview on how the government of Rwanda is preparing to address issues relating to modern biotechnology.
The NBF for Rwanda was developed in three phases. The following country assessments were undertaken in phase one;
i. Survey on the existing national legislation s that may impact on the use of modern biotechnology,
ii. Survey on the existing use of biotechnology, safe use, level of public awareness and relevant expertise within the country,
iii. Survey on the existing national, bilateral and multilateral cooperative programmes in capacity building, R&D and application of modern biotechnology in the country
iv. Survey on the existing national biosafety frameworks in the sub region countries as well as mechanisms for harmonization of risk assessment, risk management, mutual acceptance of data and data validation
v. Survey on the extent and impact of release of GMOs and commercial products.