The Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) is a mechanism set up by the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to facilitate the exchange of information on Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) and assist the Parties of the protocol to better comply with their obligations under the Protocol.
In Namibia the legal instrument through which the Protocol is to be implemented is the Biosafety Act, 2006 (Act No 7, 2006). The custodian of this Act is the National Commission of Research Science & Technology, which is the competent authority and the National focal point for the Cartagena Protocol. In order to carry out activities relating to Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) and their products, the Biosafety Council (BSC) was established according to the Act and will be responsible amongst other things to provide information, advise and liaise with any Ministry or state organ charged with or engaged in any matters concerning biotechnology & biosafety in Namibia. The Biosafety Council serves as the National Focal Point to the Cartagena Protocol.
The BCH allows countries access to a variety of scientific, technical, environmental, legal and capacity building information to parties of the protocol and is the main tool that will be used by the BSC to communicate all information relating to Namibia’s decisions regarding GMOs and LMOs.