NEPAD Agency ABNE, in collaboration with the National Biosafety Regulatory Agency of Malawi, organized a sensitization and awareness creation workshop on biosafety for Lawyers in Malawi, on 6 November, 2018, in Lilongwe.
This capacity building initiative is subsequent to a visit by ABNE’s technical team in the country in September, 2018, during which members of the Parliament’s committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, requested NEPAD Agency ABNE to support the country in the creation of sensitization and awareness for targeted stakeholders who matter as the country gets along the process of de-regularization of the Bt. cotton. Hence, the reason for considering the lawyers constituency as one of the key stakeholders.
The participants were drawn from Government Ministries and National Agencies such Attorney General’s Chambers, and Department Justice, Directorates of civil litigation and Public Prosecution, Environmental Agency, Agriculture Department, Customs, Standard Setting Agency, Human Rights Department, the first Parliamentary counsel and legislative drafting office. All the expected 20 attorneys were in attendance.
During the meeting, presentations were made on the basics of biotechnology and biosafety. The lawyers were also introduced to GMO associated litigations from some African countries and elsewhere. Intellectual Property issues regarding the technology were also introduced to the participant to enable them to appreciate aspects of technology transfer and understand the shortfalls of most developing countries in lack of the required IP management capacity and resources to perform product clearance analyses and evaluations that facilitate the legitimate import, use and/or export of products from these technologies.