Status of ICT structure, infrastructure and applications existed to manage and disseminate information and knowledge of Agricultural Biotechnology Innovations in Syria

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Status of ICT structure, infrastructure and applications existed to manage and disseminate information and knowledge of Agricultural Biotechnology Innovations in Syria,
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  • 1. Status of ICT structure, infrastructure and applications existed to manage and disseminate information and knowledge of Agricultural Biotechnology Innovations in Syria Hamdi Alsaffouri and Ahmad Abdul kader General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Douma, P.O.Box 113, Damascus, Syria. Fax: 00 963 11 5757992/ Tel.: 00 963 95 674 9 671/ E-mails: hmo8611@yahoo.com /ahmad59@gmx.de 2- 4/7/2012 Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT
  • 2. 2 Introduction Introduction Objectives ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012
  • 3. ICT Status in Syria  ICT: Information and Communications Technology is a term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers, middleware as well as necessary software, storage- and audio-visual systems, which enable users to create, access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.  ICT in a restricted mean here is used to indicate the path that my organization and the GMOs involved organizations in Syria have taken for their ICT needs.  So, in Syria, the management of the telephone network with the computer network system using a single unified system of cabling, signal distribution and management is all controlled by the Ministry of Communications in Syria. So, telephone networks with computer networks are distributed all around Syria and connected with the WWW. ADSL gates are also available for private and public. Agri. Biotech.. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 3
  • 4. 4 Web-based information dissemination Access to Information of GMOs and Biosafety–related OIbnjtercotidveusction issues through BCH - ICT infrastructure - ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012
  • 5. ICT & Biosafety in Syria  Biosafety guidelines in Syria by NBC as early as 2001.  Syria has completed its NBF under UNEP-GEF projects at the end of 2006.  Biosafety legislation was approved recently by the PM in Syria and is expected either to the Parliament of will be issued by the president as presidential decree very soon.  FAO Regional Project – TCP/RAB/3202 http://rabnena.net/FrontEnd/BestPractice/BestPractices.aspx?lang=EN and http://www.rabnena.net/FrontEnd/BestPractice/BestPracticeDetails.aspx?Id=40〈=EN Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 5
  • 6. Biosafety Clearing House and access approach to the information regarding GMOs in Syria through BCH The main categories of information in the BCH are:  National Focal Points (NFPs): - Contact details of the NFPs of different Parties for ( CBD,CBP,BCH). - National point of contact for receiving notifications regarding unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs. - Competent national authorities (CNAs)  Laws and regulations (General conventions, Links to regulatory websites, Countries current regulations & competent authorities).  Risk Assessments (Also, National Testing Laboratories, Countries laboratories profiles and testing strategies,…)  Determine the Novel / unique traits of Identity: which include a record for classification of the novel and unique identity  Capacity- Building ...  Roster of experts Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 6
  • 7. Access approach to the information regarding GMOs in Syria through BCH  web site of the CBD under the following web address: http://bch.biodiv.org/  The guidance for national participation in the BCH are available on: http//bch.biodiv.org/.  http://www.syrbch.org  This portal should be developed well (coding: HTML, CMS: Adaptation of open CMS & Desigin: Creation of a new and open templates) and maintained frequently (updating /optimization, Accounts Management, Traffic analysis) Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 7
  • 8. How Access to the National Biosafety database at the BCH of Syria  One can find the information through search on the data bases.  Using fast search procedures  http://www.syrbch.org Home Page Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 8
  • 9. Responsible institutes regarding providing information to BCH in Syria  Ministry of Environment (Focal Point of BCH, Mr. Bilal Alhayek).  GCSAR, Biosafety Section ( Ahmad Abdul kader)  AEC (Mr. Housam Alfaouri)  General Commission of Biotechnology (GCBT), Ministry of Higher Education (Mr. Rashed Toumeh).  Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 9
  • 10. BCH & ICT A key element for the successful management and sustainable development of information sharing is the involvement and participation of a wide range of National Stakeholders involved in the country. This critical task greatly depends on the National Focal Point’s ability to co-ordinate this participatory process and on the Stakeholders’ capacity to use it as a means to effectively enriches the National Program on biotechnology. Needs and Responsibilities  Online access  Information collection (GM Food & Feed list: Review of publications, Links to pre-existing databases,….) Information exchange (National Testing Laboratories, Countries laboratories profiles and testing strategies, GM testing methods / events: Publications & Links to pre-existing databases, Meetings & conferences, Risk assessment, public awareness, Scientific Forum,….). Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 10
  • 11. 11 Intellectual Property Rights Policies for the application of IPR to products arising from biotechnology are to be formulated. Syria signed the TRIPS agreement and have been a UPOV membership. Considering the potential income generation from royalties and the licensing of novel materials and techniques, researchers and institutes where government funding is rather low may very well benefit from such legislation. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organization, establishes minimum standards of IPR protection. According to the TRIPS agreement, plant varieties must be protectable either by patents or by the breeder’s rights provided in the conventions of UPOV. Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012
  • 12. Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 12
  • 13. • Limited access to and sharing of information, Weak networks • Poor communication and dialogue among stakeholder groups • Poor public understanding • Uncertain policy environment • Within the framework of the GEF project, Ministry of Environment had to provide each party involved in GMOs and Biosafety with ADSL gate with the necessary computers so that each party have access to the net in order to provide the focal point of BCH in Syria with up-to-date information, but this not achieved. • Lack of functioning biosafety systems and standardized procedures for the management of GMOs at various ports of entry. • Lack of funding, national commitment, political will, good governance, wise policies, appropriate infrastructure and investment. • Tools for technology transfer inadequate and often inaccessible • Lack of institutional infrastructure and capacity 13 Weakness, Situation analysis and conclusions Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012
  • 14. Weakness, Situation analysis and conclusions cont. • Trained staff in different modern biotechnology methods, GMOs detection and monitoring as well as ICT is required. • Tools for technology transfer inadequate and often inaccessible. • Limited national funding and investments / mostly overseas. • Inadequate infrastructure and supporting facilities Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 14
  • 15. Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 15
  • 16. Recommendations  Providing support for good infrastructure and capacity building in ICT management addressing in particular GMO production, risk assessment and all biosafety related issues.  Ensuring the judicious and wise use of modern biotechnology in order not to jeopardize the environment and human health with good public awareness and dissemination of information.  Understanding societies’ expectations and international regulations on handling GMOs .  Better, Pick up a phone, easy to connect. Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 16
  • 17. The Way Forward and Next Steps 1. Capacity Building: Develop a critical mass in terms of human resources and laboratory facilities with appropriate infrastructure including ICT for sharing information, experiences and expertise. 2. Strengthen Biotechnology and biosafety research capabilities & formulating clear, science-based, biotechnology policy framework involving all stakeholders, which provide for an effective IPR system, incentives for local investment and innovation. 3. Train relevant officers and technicians at the national level, and develop a national (regional) platform for information sharing and networking amongst laboratory technical staff in biotechnology, RA and GMOs detection . 4. Providing support for capacity building in agri. biotechnology addressing in particular GMOs production and their related risks assessment. Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 17
  • 18. The Way … cont. 5. Initiating E- News service to provide wide circulation of information on significant developments in agricultural biotechnology & Database on agricultural biotechnology institutes in Syria. 6. Monthy (or: bi-weekly) News Updates on research and development in Syria Themes to be covered: • Agronomic traits (yield, nutrition and quality,…) • Disease and Insects Resistance • Biosafety (RA, …..) • basic biotechnology research • ……………  AEC News letter is already being published monthly. Agri. Biotech. Knowledge Network for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing.” AARINENA WS- Cairo, EGYPT 2-4/7/2012 18
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