November 21, 2019, Dushanbe
The key provisions of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and its additional protocol, covering biosafety objectives - the Cartagena Protocol, were considered at the last information and training seminar with students. The event, organized as part of the UNEP / GEF initiative to support the implementation of the National Biosafety Framework of the Republic of Tajikistan, was aimed at increasing the knowledge of young people and their understanding of the value of biological diversity and its conservation in the context of the use of genetically modified organisms and its derivatives.
The workshop was attended by more than 30 students of metropolitan universities, faculties of biology, veterinary medicine, horticulture and biotechnology, as well as philology and jurisprudence.
The program included a demonstration of videos on the natural, economic and cultural values of biological diversity, as well as separately what the Cartagena Protocol is and what tasks it covers. At the same time, experts made presentations in which various aspects of biodiversity conservation, the development of modern biotechnologies, the production and use of GM crops and products, their advantages and possible risks, practical mechanisms and regulatory procedures designed to reduce the risks associated with GMOs were discussed in more detail . One of the main focuses of the event was the factor of public participation in the decision-making process in issues related to GMOs, in particular, what is the role of youth in the implementation of the tasks of the biosafety clearing-house mechanism (BCH).
Participants were shown the on-line platform of the BCH, familiarizing with its key elements, and discussing the main goals and technical capabilities for receiving and exchanging information regarding activities, production, packaging, use, etc. related to GMOs.
During the discussions on the topics mentioned, the participants shared their vision and attitude towards genetically modified organisms and possible risks, and as part of a group work, prepared their presentations using the knowledge acquired during the workshop.