National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2004-11-15 15:47 UTC (dubravka.stepic@biodiv.org)
Date of last update
2010-01-18 14:52 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2010-01-18 14:52 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)

General information
Title of the initiative
Canada-Latin America Initiative on Biotechnology for Sustainable Development (CamBioTec)
Contact person
Ms Joyce Groote
130 Albert St., Suite 420Ottawa ON K1P 5G4Canada
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • CBD Regional Groups - Latin America and the Caribbean
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: National agencies and organizations responsible for agricultural and agri-food biotechnology and biosafety regulations.
Start Date
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Organization: BIOTECanada, in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
  • Type of Organization: Bilateral Donor Agency
Budget information
CIDA (Can $) - $$228,910.00
Self-financing by the end of 2000
Availability of funds for participants
Activity details
Description of the initiative
CamBioTec is a collaboration between the biotechnology industry and government ministries in Canada and certain Latin American countries, which was started in May 1998, with financial support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).   The project was designed to build on the activities carried out in the Southern Cone under CamBioTec , a wider Canadian initiative funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to promote commercial biotechnology for the sustainable development of selected Latin American countries.    CamBioTec's main capacity-building activities relate to the promotion and adoption of biotechnology, and include biosafety regulation of agri-food biotechnology products. The CamBioTec capacity-building programme in biosafety and public awareness for agri-food biotechnology products was entitled "Biotechnology Development in the Southern Cone". It was developed in response to the needs of local biosafety regulatory agencies and bioindustry community in these countries, and involved three capacity-building areas: 1) biosafety information systems, 2) biosafety regulatory systems including development of risk assessment and managements skills and 3) public awareness of the benefits and risks of agri-food biotechnology products. This project element has involved the participation of national regulatory agencies from Canada, Argentina, and Chile.

National level activities
Development of national biosafety frameworks
Human-resources development
Information exchange & data management
Public awareness, education and participation
Risk assessment

Regional level activities
Coordination and harmonization of regulatory frameworks
Regional collaborative initiatives

International level activities
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
To help set national research and development priorities in biotechnology and strengthen local regulatory and research capacities in biosafety and risk assessment, including institutional biosafety procedures.
To strengthen the biosafety information systems in the project developing countries by linking them to relevant regional and international systems.
To strengthen public policies in biotechnology and the management of innovation in research and industry.
To promote public awareness and access to information about the benefits and potential risks in the production and use of agri-food biotechnology products among consumers, decision makers and the public.
To foster strategic alliances between Latin American and Canadian agencies and companies.

To promote Canada-Latin America collaboration in the application of biotechnology with the view to strengthen institutional capabilities in order to properly develop, adopt and implement the biosafety regulations required to assess and manage the inherent risks involved in the commercialization of modern biotechnology products in the agricultural and agri-food sectors.

Main outcomes
1)  Strategic alliances between Latin American and Canadian agencies and companies

2)  Strengthened public biosafety policy and regulatory capabilities in Argentina and Chile.

3)  Increased public awareness (governments, industries, consumers) about the safety of agricultural and food biotechnology products.

4) Several publications and workshop reports.
General thematic area(s)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • Risk management
  • Public awareness, participation and education in biosafety
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
Additional Information
Additional Information
Other collaborating organizations
Canadian government ministries
Canadian biotechnology firms
Foro Argentino de Biotecnología-FAB (Argentina)
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICYT) in Chile