Liberia has validated a report titled “The Third National Report On The Implementation Of The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.” The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety aims at the safe transfer, handling and use of Living Modified Organisms(LMO), resulting from modern biotechnology that have adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking into account risks to human health.
National stakeholders from the relevant ministries, agencies, civil society and NGOs sectors following a brainstorming day, finally validated the document for submission to the secretariat of the protocol. Mr. Levi Z. Piah, Chief Technical Advisor at the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) who proxied for the EPA boss, challenged the participants to use their best acquired knowledge in the validation of the document on behalf of Liberia. Mr. Piah told the participants to bear in mind, that biosafety centers around human safety and the safety of Liberia with regards to the kind of genetically modified food that come into Liberia for consumption.
Earlier, the National Focal Point of the Biosafety Project at the EPA, Mr. Johansen Voker, revealed that Liberia acceded to the Protocol in 2002 and continued to make steady progress under the requirements of the protocol. According to him, such report is submitted four years as a requirement in consideration of achievements accrued over the period of time. Mr. Voker noted that of late, Liberia benefited 120-thousand United States Dollars from the Protocol and used the money to strengthen the Standard National Laboratory in the Country. He disclosed that funds provided under the protocol to the Biosafety Project in Liberia, have also been used in capacity development of personnel of several government’s line ministries and agencies connected to Genetically Modified Organisms (LMO) and Living Modified Organisms (LMO) monitoring in the country. He said the Biosafety Project being run through the EPA, has entered into a number of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ministries and agencies to work together in strategic areas that needs the help of the project. He noted that public awareness and participation are also key components of the project. Liberia’s first national report on biosafety was made 2007 and the second in 2011 in compliance with the Protocol’s requirement.
It can also be recalled that few years back, the Biosafety Project validated regulations and guidelines on GMOs introduction, liability and redress, LMO in transit, labeling of GMOs among others. These regulations and guidelines were done in consideration of the domestication and subsequent application of the protocol.