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Biosafety concerns to be addressed soon

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is working on a project which will enable Rwanda to address biosafety concerns and integrate them into the national development framework.

“This project will help us to acquire equipment able to detect GMOs (living modified organisms) that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, “remarked Mrs. Marie Laetitia BUSOKEYE, Director of Research and Environmental Planning at REMA, during an inception workshop organized by REMA on 27th June 2013 to share with REMA’s stakeholders on the project components and its implementation framework.

According to Mr. Emmanuel KABERA, national coordinator of the project, something has been done to address biosafety issues but there is still a long way to go in order to integrate them into national development objectives.

“Rwanda has drafted the National Biosafety Framework (NBF), the Biosafety Policy, guidelines and Law but the level of awareness is still low and we don’t have laboratory equipment for GMOs detection,”he said during the workshop.

“This project comes in to fill all those gaps and we hope that with the contribution of all our stakeholders, this project will achieve its goals, “he added.

Entitled” Support to the implementation of the National Biosafety Framework for Rwanda Project”, this project funded by the Global Environment Facility(GEF), will put in place effective systems to ensure that all Rwandans are aware of, participate in and have access to information on biotechnology and biosafety issues. It will also set up a mechanism for biosafety monitoring and enforcement as well as give recommendations on how biosafety can be harmonized with national development objectives.