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National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2002-11-01 21:02 UTC (dubravka.stepic@biodiv.org)
Date of last update
2010-01-25 09:14 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2010-01-25 09:14 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)

This document is also available in the following languages:
General information
Title of the initiative
Bulgaria Capacity Building Project for the Implementation of National Biosafety Framework
Contact person
Prof. Atanas Atanassov
AgroBioInstitute (ABI)
8 Dragan Tsankov Blvd. AgroBioInstitute
1164 Sofia
Phone:+359 (0)2 963 54 07
Fax:+359 (0)2 963 54 08
Url:AgroBioInstitute (ABI)
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • Bulgaria
  • CBD Regional Groups - Central and Eastern Europe
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: Policy makers, regulators, decision makers, scientists and the public.
Start Date
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Government(s) sponsoring the initiative
  • Bulgaria
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative
AgroBioInstitute (ABI)
8 Dragan Tsankov Blvd.
Bulgaria, 1164
Phone:+359 2 963 5407
Fax:+359 2 963 5408
Url:AgroBioInstitute - Cntre of Excellence in Plant Biotechnology
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - Biotechnology
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Italy, 00153
Phone:+39 (0) 6 57051
Fax:+39 (0) 6 570 53152
Url:Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - Biotechnology
Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), UNEP, Biosafety Project, Egypt
Egypt, 00100
Fax:+2 25274700
Url:Egypt BCH
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Vienna International Centre
Wagramerstr. 5, P.O. Box 300
Austria, A-1400
Phone:+43 (1) 26026-0
Fax:+43 (1) 2692669
Url:United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Organization: AgroBioInstitute (ABI)
  • Type of Organization: National government
  • Type of Organization: UN Agency
Budget information
GEF - $407879
Co-financing - $96380
Availability of funds for participants
Activity details
Description of the initiative
The Bulgaria Capacity Building Project for the Implementation of National Biosafety Framework includes demand-driven activities that depended on the country's needs. The major activities beside the finalization and implementation of the national biosafety framework have been related to risk assessment activities, human resource development, information exchange and data management and public awareness and participation.

National level activities
Development of national biosafety frameworks.
Human-resources development.
Information exchange & data management.
Public awareness, education and participation.
Risk assessment.

Regional level activities
Coordination and harmonization of regulatory frameworks.
Regional collaborative initiatives.
Regional websites and databases.

International level activities
International guidance.
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
To support the establishment of the regulatory and administrative biosafety management system in order to enable an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology, with a specific focus on transboundary movements in Bulgaria.

To establish procedures for risk assessment and monitoring in order to ensure the safe use of modern biotechnology taking into account national, sub-regional and regional needs.

To strengthen capacity through training of trainers on the following subjects:
a) LMOs risk assessment and risk management;
b) LMOs testing and monitoring;
c) legal issues;
d) institutional sets up and;
e) Intellectual Property Rights/commercial issues.

To promote and strengthen information sharing and dissemination among the relevant stakeholders, and enhance public awareness.

To provide support to strengthen national capacity for the implementation of NBF in order to meet the obligations of the Cartagena Protocol.

Main outcomes
The following are the expected outcomes of the project:

1) Finalized "LMOs Act of Bulgaria"

2) Elaborated Regulatory norms for the enforcement of the LMOs Act;

3) One national workshop on: "Biotechnology and national legislation" and one regional conference on: "Biosafety Legislation in the area of plant biotechnology" organized.

4) Enhanced cooperation at sub-regional/regional level.

5) Formulated Rules and procedures for performing risk assessment and management, as regulation for implementing the LMOs Act.

6) Appointed certified laboratories and research groups performing assessment and monitoring on the deliberate release and commercial use of LMOs.

7) Data collected from mini field experiments and various biochemistry and molecular approaches.

8) A national workshop on "Safety of biotechnology R&D" organized.

9) 12 trainers from different ministries trained in LMOs risk assessment and risk management; LMOs testing and monitoring, legal issues; institutional sets up and IPRs/commercial issues.

10) A Biosafety Database System established to serve for the BCH in Bulgaria and support the respective authorities' work.

11) An international workshop on "Information exchange and safety of biotechnology for regulators, journalists, scientists and NGO representatives organized.

12) A two-day national workshop: "Centers of Excellence and expertise" organized.

13) Public awareness and information dissemination enhanced.
General thematic area(s)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Public awareness, participation and education in biosafety
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
Additional Information
Additional Information
Bulgaria has started to promote biosafety and genetic preservation efforts since 1995. The "Regulation for Biosafety of GM Higher Plants" was adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture (1996). The project is consistent with the priorities on genetic preservation and biosafety set up in the National Biodiversity Action Plan Preservation for Bulgaria, finalized in 1999. Among those priorities, which resulted from a close collaboration between NGOs and scientists to address public concerns are:

1) the preparation of a "Living Modified Organisms Act";
2) the development of a genetic preservation system, and
3) the creation of a gene bank.

Biosafety is an important issue in the negotiations for joining EU. Bulgaria, as associate member of EU, must synchronize its legislation with the corresponding EU directives. One of the Bulgarian priorities is in fact the formulation of a national biotechnology regulatory system and the setting up of its operational mechanism. With the ratification of Cartagena Protocol and the beginning of the negotiations with the European Union, Bulgaria is obliged to establish appropriate regulation on Biosafety.

The project complements the Center of Excellence program of the EU aiming at supporting the human potential development in the biosafety field.

Other collaborating organizations
Ministry of Environment and Waters
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Ministry of Health