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BIOSAFETY CLEARING HOUSE
PROJECT PHASE II

BCH EDUCATION MATERIALS

The UNEP-GEF project entitled “Continued enhancement of building capacity for effective participation in the Biosafety Clearing House” (BCH2 project) continued the success of the first BCH Project to update and fine-tune BCH Education Materials which have been translated into five official languages of the United Nations. 

Specific Education Materials have been set up for government officials, the media, the general public and members of civil society organizations, among others. In addition, UNEP has produced new Education Materials for customs and phytosanitary officers (curricula, manual and case studies), along with a new module on registering decisions and risk assessments. All BCH Education Materials have been worldwide disseminated and may be found online on the BCH central portal (http://bch.cbd.int/help/topics/en/webframe.html?Training_Materials.html).  Additionally, CD copies of all BCH Education Materials have been developed and distributed during all national and regional workshops (more than 2,500 copies have already been distributed).

UNEP BCH2 Project continued on the first BCH Project to update and fine-tune BCH Education Materials which have been translated into five official languages of the United Nations. Specific Education Materials have been set up for government officials, the media, the general public and members of civil society organizations, among others. In addition, UNEP has produced new Education Materials for customs and phytosanitary officers (curricula, manual and case studies), along with a new module on registering decisions and risk assessments. All BCH Education Materials have been worldwide disseminated and may be found online on the BCH central portal.  Besides, CD copies of all BCH Education Materials have been developed and distributed during all national and regional workshops (more than 2,500 copies have already been distributed).

 

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

UNEP established a global Knowledge sharing platform – VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT (VLE) available at http://moodle.bch.cbd.int where BCH-II participating countries may exchange training experiences and store all education materials used during their national and regional training workshops. Each regional training workshop has its own page electronically available on the virtual learning platform. Additionally, upon request each BCH-II participating country may have its own national training workshop page made available for all stakeholders.

Between 1st July 2011 and 27th November 2012, more than 2,960 different users from more than 116 countries (more than twice the amount of BCH2 project participating countries) have used this virtual learning platform to access the BCH training materials, with more than 120,000 virtual course pages visited.

Currently the platform also includes several webinars about BCH-related issues and activities which answer more immediate requests. These include: an Introduction to the Cartagena Protocol; Registering national and reference information; Finding information with the help of the BCH practical problem-solving tools; Management by national authorized users; National biosafety website development, using the Hermes tool provided by the CBD Secretariat; and Integrating BCH information into national websites using the Ajax plug-in.

 

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Providing for BCH sustainability

While building upon and extending achievements of the first BCH project, the BCH2 project placed even stronger emphasis on specific approaches for the sustainability of BCH functions beyond project’s lifetime. 

(a)        The training of trainers approach:

  • This approach intends to promote the replication of BCH training events as it ensures technical knowledge transfer to trainees but also enhances their ability to replicate the training event itself to more stakeholders. An essential complement to this approach is the array of education materials provided and carefully organized into thematic modules. The availability of these materials online greatly facilitates such replication of BCH training workshops by national agencies and remains as a training resource beyond project’s lifetime;
  • To date, 25 national training workshops have been conducted exclusively by local national staff, without any assistance from project’s regional advisors;

 

(b)       Promoting the role of academia in mainstreaming biosafety issues:

  • The BCH2 project directly encourages and facilitates the adoption of BCH Education Materials into national academic curricula, in particular at the tertiary level. This will first ensure that the know-how created throughout the project will remain permanently for countries and regions as part of their academic programs, enabling thus national capacity to be sustained beyond the lifetime of the project; second, it will build capacity of young generations around Biosafety issues for the benefit of Biodiversity Conservation in the country.

 

  • Under the BCH2 project, 11 countries benefited from 1 day training specifically designed for participants from the academic sectors where they learned how to use BCH Education Materials to facilitate their regular curricula and how to deliver specific training on BCH. Regional workshops allowed building a catalogue of biosafety-related university courses in participating countries.

 

(c)        Supporting the establishment of information-sharing roles and their internalization in the job descriptions of country representatives:

  • Sustainability of BCH rely essentially on integrating BCH data entry and data validation functions as routine tasks in the work of civil servants, thereby ensuring a standing implementation of Cartagena Protocol by Parties. However, to fulfill countries’ obligations towards the Protocol, it is essential that National Biosafety Frameworks are fully implemented. Operationalizing the frameworks will establish the legal mandate and administrative wherewithal for BCH-related tasks to be executed consistently in the long term.
  • The obligations to share information on the BCH (article 20 of the CPB) and the critical role played by the BCH focal points (decision COP-MOP1 BS-I/3) and national authorized users in entering national data into the BCH are highlighted at all stages of the training activities. A direct outcome of this approach was the nomination of 64 national authorized users.

 

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BIOSAFETY CLEARING HOUSE
PROJECT PHASE II

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