Cambodia’s Policy on Biotechnology and Biosafety

  •  General Information

The Biosafety and biotechnology policy lies within the biodiversity policy as outlined in the national biodiversity strategy and action plan. The policy is a part of the strategic triangle in developing the country, i.e. economic growth, social development and sustainability. Moreover, the government recognized that biosafety is a key factor to promote agriculture and a cross-cutting issue that might not only affect the national food safety but the national security. With the limited application of biotechnology, the government of Cambodia has instead focused on promoting natural breeding for plants, crops and animals, with emphasis on selection for resistance to diseases, pests, and drought to boost agriculture. Cambodia is aware that it is not capable of developing any living modified organisms (LMOs) in the near future. It is more likely to be a user of LMOs instead of a producer of LMOs. Therefore, the government approved on September 09, 2002 the accessing to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. As a Party to Protocol on Biosafety, Cambodia can use the protocol as a basis to develop its own laws on biosafety so as to reduce risks from LMOs on the conservation and sustainable uses of its biological resources and human health. On December 16, 2003, the Protocol entered into force in Cambodia.

Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy Goals

The goal for Cambodia toward biosafety and biotechnology development is highlighted as follows:

  • Develop biotechnology education while preventing or minimizing environmental and health hazards associated with the use and release of living modified organisms.
  • Protect indigenous biodiversity from adverse impact resulting from the introduction and use of living modified organisms.

Through this goal, Cambodia is expected to develop its national strategy and framework on biosafety and build national capacity in modern biotechnology. This will enable Cambodia to meet its challenges in agricultural biotechnology as well as address gaps in technical, infrastructure, and institutional capacities.

Priorities for biosafety and biotechnology development in Cambodia include:

  • Research in microbial biodiversity.
  • Use of biotechnology to reduce the use of chemicals.
  • Use of biotechnology to control pollution and to improve environmental health and other aspects of environment.
  • Provide capacity for monitoring and enforcement to concerned ministries, NGOs and universities.
  • Build capacity in appropriate labs in Cambodia to be able to identify LMOs.
  • Utilize biotechnology to produce protein rich products that could be used as animal feed, organic fertilizers, soil conditioners and soil stabilizers.
  • Promote sound genetic manipulation to increase fish and crop production.
  • Promote the production of biogas, bio- fertilizers, and energy as a by-product of fermentation processes.
  • Establish a national directory of human resources working on subjects concerned with biotechnology and biosafety.
  • Develop a biotechnology training program including risk assessment and risk management of LMOs.
  • Increase university resources in biotechnology research and development.
  • Include in the educational curricula the concept of genetic diversity, its importance and application in genetic engineering and technology.

 

  • Contact Details 

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

 

Reference:

National Biosafety framework, June 2004. Last accessed on 22 October 2012 at http://www.unep.org/biosafety/files/KHNBFrep.pdf