16 September 2013

Liberia: EPA Wants More Awareness On Bio-Safety

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Madam Anyaa Vohri has stressed the need to create awareness on biosafety in Liberia. Executive Director Anyaa called on international and local stakeholders doing business here to create biosafety awareness for the betterment of the country.

"I believe that environmental issue concern everyone that lives in the country; we need to take this seriously to avoid lots of sicknesses from coming into the country", the EPA boss lady cautioned recently during celebration of the 10th Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety held in the Auditorium of the University of Liberia on Capitol Hill. She disclosed that for the first time Liberia will be representing Africa on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

Speaking earlier at the ceremony, the chair person of the national focal point for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety here, Johansen T. Voker said, biosafety is a concept that refers to the need to protect human health, and the environment from adverse effects of products of modern biotechnology.

Johansen said modern biotechnology is recognized as a result of having great potential for the promotion of human wellbeing, particularly in meeting critical needs for food, agriculture and good healthcare.

He said as a country, it is essential to show concern about the potential impact of modern biotechnology on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the country, stressing that taking into consideration the risk its poses to healthcare this is very dangerous, because most people don't have the capacity to be a member of the biosafety committee.

He narrated that the conference of the parties to the convention was established in an open ended working group on biosafety at the second meeting held in November 1995, followed by a draft protocol on biosafety in order to have more African countries participate in the process.

Johansen pointed out that biosafety mainly focuses on trans-boundary movement of any living modified organism that result from modern biotechnology, and adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

He stressed that after several years of negotiations, the treaty, known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the convention on biological diversity was finalized and adopted in Montreal on January 29, 2000 at an extraordinary meeting of the conference of the parties, after which Liberia became a party on February 15, 2002.

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