|Achievements of Phase I|
During Phase I of the GMO ERA Project, from 2002 to 2004, the project held three workshops, with 49 (Kenya workshop), 85 (Brazil workshop) and 65 (Vietnam workshop) scientists, plus 20 advisors (advisory board meeting), a total of over 150 public sector scientists who have collaboratively worked on developing methods and tools, laying out the scientific basis of environmental risk assessment of transgenic crops. This effort has been particularly important because it has included key input from developing (and tropical) country scientists, and has considered currently relevant crops that could have a significant impact on the agriculture of those countries in the near future.
The three workshops in Kenya, Brazil and Vietnam consisted of two parts: four days of work on the guidelines, by invitation only, and a one day public conference, open to all. Participants invited to the public conference included regulators, government advisors, industry and civil society organization representatives, the project Advisory Board, and all core group members.
The workshops were organized by the regional group with support from the steering committee. The regional group issued the invitations.
First project workshop
Second project workshop
project workshop in Vietnam
Final conference of Phase I
In January 2005, the GMO Guidelines Project held a project conference at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland to wrap up phase I. The conference, designed as a capstone for the first phase of the project, "gave the scientists involved a chance to see how all the pieces fit together, and how the sections evolved during the course of the three workshops", according to Angelika Hilbeck, the project co-coordinator.
The approximately 100 attendees represented participants from each of the three workshops in Kenya, Brazil and Vietnam, the project advisory board, funding agencies, faculty and students from the Institute, and interested parties from around the world. For newcomers, it was an opportunity to see a glimpse of each project component and case study. For the regional groups and scientific section coordinators, it was a chance to savor the accomplishments of the project and reconnect with colleagues.
The two central goals of the project were to create scientifically rigorous risk assessment tools for developing countries that are contemplating the use of GMOs in their agricultural system, and to create a forum for scientific exchange among the developing country scientists involved in the project.
The project has produced three peer-reviewed books in a series sponsored by the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel. Thousands of complementary copies of the books were mailed to libraries of research organizations and universities, to scientists and regulators in developing countries that have signed to Cartagena Protocol.
Side events at the Meetings of the Parties (MOP) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Thanks to support from the Swiss Environment Agency, the project was able to host a side event at MOP1 in February 2004, and two side events at MOP2 in June 2005. At MOP1, we presented the project approach and workshops to the country delegates, as well as distributing widely a leaflet announcing the Kenya book. At MOP2, we focused on the project methodologies, and distributed a booklet on the project methods.
iSwiss Federal Institute of
idiscussion - Vietnam
inspecting a cotton insect
Public Day, Kenya