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This page is a collection of all documents and materials on the activities on the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Projects. Relevant information on biosafety and links to documents and publications from collaborating organizations may also be found here. 

1. General background documents:

i. The Cartagena Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.  The  UNEP-GEF Biosafety Projects aim to meet the aims and obligations of this Protocol.

ii. The GEF initial strategy is a strategy which was developed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the financial mechanism for the Cartagena Protocol, to assist countries to prepare for the entry into force of the Protocol. The UNEP-GEF Biosafety projects aim to implement the strategy by assisting countries to establish national biosafety frameworks, promoting information sharing and collaboration, especially at the regional and subregional level, and promoting collaboration with other organizations to assist capacity-building for the Protocol.

iii.  UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology (1995) were produced as a result of a UNEP-led Intergovernmental process, which held regional consultations to develop government agreed guidelines in the interim measure while the Cartagena Protocol was being negotiated.  

2. UNEP-GEF Project documents:

Development project documents

The Global Programme Document and National Project Documents are final formal documents, which set out the needs, activities, workplan, budget, supporting data and any special arrangements applicable to the execution of the UNEP-GEF projects. 
BCH project documents

i. BCH Questionnaire

The CBD Secretariat and the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Team cooperated on this questionnaire about the use of the BCH and sent it out to all countries in order to better advise all those involved in supporting the Cartagena Protocol about the global situation on access to the Biosafety Clearing House and any gaps in access to the BCH, so that appropriate measures could be planned.

ii.  BCH Project

Implementation project documents

i. Original Documents for the demonstration Implementation Projects :

3. Information papers

The information papers provide an overview of the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Projects, their components and their activities within participating countries:

4. Workshop documents and reports

Regional Workshops (first series)

The UNEP-GEF Biosafety Team carried out a series of Regional Workshops between October 2001 and May 2002, to help countries in the regions improve their understanding of the issues involved in developing their national biosafety frameworks. 

Sub-regional Workshops (second series)

The second series of subregional workshops was aimed at helping participants learn about lessons and practices so that they could facilitate the development of the national biosafety framework in their individual countries. These workshops focused on how to draft and structure two of the key elements (namely risk management and public participation) in developing their national biosafety frameworks.
Note: All workshop reports will be made available on this web site without Annex 1 (list of participants)
Sub-regional Workshops (third series)

The objective of the third series of subregional workshops was to help participants acquire a better understanding of the different options for regulatory regime and administrative systems for biosafety, as well as legal and administrative requirements of the Cartagena Protocol.
Note: All workshop reports are available on this web site without Annex 1 (list of participants)

5. Newsletters:

The newsletters provide regular updates on the UNEP-GEF Projects and their activities:

6.Toolkits for the Development Project:

The aim of the toolkits is to provide a practical "how-to" guide for countries to assist them in developing their draft National Biosafety Framework (NBF).

7. Format for preparation of a draft NBF:

8. Manual for the Implementation of an NBF:

9. Publications:

UNEP-GEF Publications
External Publications
  • "Public Participation and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety" by Institute of Development Studies - IDS:

10. Other Documents

i. As required by GEF,  all full projects are required to have an independent review at the mid-term stage.  The review of the Development project was carried out in 2003 by two consultants, Hugo Navajas and Professor James Seyani.  The report of this mid-term review is available at:  Midtermreview.pdf (PDF format) ii. This is a list of requirements that need to be fulfilled at the date of entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety:CBDS Notification 2003-093.

iii. Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters: Draft guidelines on access to information, public participation and Access to justice with respect to genetically modified organisms(also available in French, Russian and Spanish)

11. Other Links

You may find useful documents and indication of other biosafety web sites at the following URL:


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