In 2003, Trinidad and Tobago became signatory to the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety, which is a supplementary agreement to the convention on Biological Diversity. The Protocol is the means by which over 169 countries will establish minimum standards for regulating the products of modern biotechnology, with special emphasis on the import and export of these products. At present, all matters related to Biosafety are being managed by the National Biosafety Co-ordinating Unit.
Functions of the Biosafety Co-ordinating Unit
The Co-ordinating Unit is the precursor entity, which will transition into the National Biosafety Office in the Ministry of Legal Affairs. The Unit will implement the National Biosafety Framework, which is a work document generated from the national policy.The five outputs from the phase of implementation include:
- Biosafety Legislative Framework
- Technically Sound Administrative System
- Capacity Building Plan
- Information Management System
- Public Education, Awareness and Risk Assessment
Trinidad and Tobago’s Role
Trinidad and Tobago forms part of the regional initiative to implement frameworks in other Caribbean countries, that is, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname. The regional office is located at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago.
There are no Living Modified Organisms being grown in Trinidad and Tobago at this time.