The Cartagena Protocol on the prevention of biotechnological risks

The Cartagena Protocol on the Biosafety of the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement whose aim is to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health. It was adopted January 29, 2000 and entered into force on 11September 2003

Tunisia has engaged in a process to ensure the appropriate regulatory requirements for a controlled management of GMOs in order to ensure the preservation of human health, biodiversity and ensure transparency towards the consumer. In this context the following activities were carried out:

  • Ratification of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Act No. 58 of 25 June 2002)
  • Preparation of a national legal framework on Biosafety (not yet published)
  • Creation of a Scientific Commission of Reflection on GMOs
  • Creation of ad hoc National Biosafety Committee (recommendation CIM: September 15, 1999)
  • Elaboration of a strategy and an action plan on Biosafety
  • Technical studies (guides)
  • Training and capacity building
  • Public awareness: workshops and awareness materials including an interactive CD Rom on GMOs
  • Creation of a national network of laboratories for the detection and quantification of GMOs.