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03.04.2007 General News

Third ECOWAS Ministerial conference on Biotechnology ends


Ministers of Agriculture and Science of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the end of a four-day third ECOWAS Ministerial Conference on Biotechnology, adopted “The 2007-2010 Plan of Action on Biotechnology and Bio-safety” in the Sub-Region.

The Ministers at the weekend also recommended the creation of a coherent framework between the national bio-safety; strengthen communication on bio-safety, and implement a strategy of communication on the risks involved in the Action Plan.

The four-day conference brought together about 200 experts in biotechnology from ECOWAS countries to examine and adopt the Plan for the development of biotechnology and bio-safety within ECOWAS prepared in line with the decision taken by the Ministers during the Second ECOWAS Ministerial Conference in Bamako in June 2005.

The Action Plan, which will serve as a working tool were in two parts - action plan on biotechnology and action plan on bio-safety.

It raised concerns on the involvement of stakeholders; strengthening capacity of national research institutions including extension systems; the involvement of local private sector in the biotechnology programme; putting in place an efficient coordinating, management, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and intensifying communication on bio-safety.

They also agreed on the holding of Biennial Ministerial Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Environment, Science and Technology and to strengthen the coordination between Sub-Regional biotechnology and bio-safety institutions.

The Ministers agreed that the fourth Ministerial Conference be held in Cote d'Ivoire in June, 2008.

Source: GNA