In November 2001, the GEF Council approved 12 proposals for projects to support countries with the implementation of their national biosafety frameworks (NBFs). Two of those projects (India and Colombia) are coordinated by the World Bank, two (Malaysia and Mexico) by UNDP and eight by UNEP (Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Kenya, Namibia, Poland, Uganda).
The UNEP-GEF projects on Implementation of NBFs are approximately three years in duration, and the budgets range between US $500,000 and US $1,000,000.
The UNEP-GEF Projects on Implementation of National Biosafety Frameworks are "country driven" projects. The participating Governments are also expected to ensure coordination with other relevant capacity building projects in their country, to avoid duplication and ensure synergy. The "Implementation Team" focuses on providing expert assistance and guidance, ensuring accountability through adequate and transparent reporting, and promoting collaboration and coordination with Governments and other organisations. The target of each country project is to have the main components of the national biosafety framework operational by the end of the 3-year project period.
At the end of the projects, each participating country will have:
A workable and transparent regulatory regime consisting of enabling legislation, implementing regulations and complementing guidelines that are consistent with the Biosafety Protocol and other relevant international obligations
Ability to implement systems for :
- handling of notifications or requests for approvals (including systems for administrative processing, risk assessment and decision making);
- enforcement and monitoring;
- public information and public participation.
Key activities to date include the: Clear picture of the state of developments at the start of Projects; Review of draft legislation by international panels of experts; Workshops; Detailed work plans; Meeting of the national coordinators; and Training on enabling legislation, implementing regulations, users' guides and internal manuals.
To ensure effective monitoring and evaluation, several systems were established during the first part of the execution of the UNEP-GEF Projects on Implementation of NBFs including: Description of the state of developments at the start of the projects and targets to be reached; Revised formats for progress reports; Specified bank accounts and audits; Regular communication with the National Coordinators and ‘on-site’ visits; and Meetings with national coordinators.