Environment and Water Ministry holds first meeting on biosafety

DUBAI, 27th January 2016 (WAM) — The Ministry of Environment and Water has held its first meeting on preparations for setting up a national framework for biosafety.

Representatives of a number of local and federal government departments, universities and research centres participated in the meeting aimed at discussing efforts to set up a national legislative, administrative and technical framework for biodiversity. They also discussed ways to prevent loss of biological integrity and focus on the safety of the environment and human health.

An important topic discussed at the meeting was controls on movement of genetically modified living organisms across international borders.

Director of Biodiversity at the Ministry of Environment and Water, Ahmed Al Hashemi, said the ministry is working on carrying out the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity, an international treaty governing the movements of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another, in cooperation with all concerned departments and authorities in the UAE.

The UAE became a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1999 and later, in 2014, it ratified the Cartagena Protocol as well as the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.