The Vietnamese government always gives priority to developing biotechnology during the country’s modernisation and industrialisation process while attaching more importance to biosafety.

Bui Cach Tuyen, Director General of Vietnam ’s Environmental Administration at the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MoNRE), made the remarks at an Asian Workshop on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, in Hanoi on September 7.

“ Vietnam is acutely aware of the potential risks caused by modern technologies and will promote international and regional cooperation to deal with this issue,” he stressed.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for Vietnam to learn about bio safety from other countries, he added.

At the forum, delegates from 11 countries and territories, including the Philippines, India, Cambodia, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka and Vietnam discussed major issues such as the handling, transporting, packaging and identification of living modified organisms; the rights and/or obligations of parties who transit living modified organisms, as well as liability and redress.

The participants also debated risk assessment and management, raising public awareness and drawing up strategic plans and programmes for the fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (MOP 5).

On September 11, 2003, the Cartegena Protocol on Bio safety came into effect, which highlighted international efforts to protect public health and the environment from potential risks caused by modern technologies. Vietnam joined the Protocol one year later.

The workshop was jointly organised by the MoNRE, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications and the Programme on Bio Safety in preparation for the MOP 5, which will be held in Japan this October./.