Cambodia became the second country, after Malaysia, in South East Asia to be a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Protocol entered into force in Cambodia on December 16, 2003. We are proud to be developing the national law on biosafety and the sub-decree on LMOs management. Both these legal instruments will help Cambodia to prevent and/or reduce possible risk from the release into the environment of living modified organisms (LMOs) in Cambodia.
This National Biosafety Framework (NBF) marks the significant progress in the development of a biosafety policy to ensure the safety of biological resources and human beings associated with the application of biotechnology. It is a pro-active step for Cambodia to have this law before we are fully admitted as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This membership would bring with it another set of responsibilities and consequences. The scope of NBF does not cover products of modern biotechnology including products derived from LMOs. Recognizing that society including Cambodia will enjoy tremendous benefits especially in the fields of bio-pharmacy and agricultural biotechnology, it is important that these products are used safely. Precaution must be applied in the handling, transfer, and use of these products. Since our expertise at present is limited to the prevention of such risks from occurring, the implementation of the Advance Informed Agreement Procedure under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will assist us in decision making. Additionally, the law on biosafety is the key to achieve the national and global objective in the conservation and use of genetic resources in a sustainable manner.
The success that we will obtain from the NBF is dependent on our capacity to implement the NBF and our success in achieving public acceptance of the biotechnology, raising public awareness and increasing public participation. Capacity building should be provided to all levels of personnel prior to the full implementation of the framework to ensure its effective implementation.
Ministry of Environment, Cambodia
#48, Samdech Preah Sihanouk, Tonle Bassac,
Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel and Fax: 855-23-217560
Website: http://www. moe.gov.kh
National Biosafety framework, June 2004. Last accessed on 22 October 2012 at http://www.unep.org/biosafety/files/KHNBFrep.pdf