Guest Contributor | Feb 21, 2024 | 0
Biosafety awareness under scrutiny at biotech workshop
By Freeman ya Ngulu.
The first day of the Oshikoto Region Biosafety Stakeholder Awareness Workshop was successfully concluded on Friday at the Oxford Hotel in Tsumeb. The workshop garnered significant attendance with over 33 individuals representing a diverse range of stakeholders.
The workshop was made possible through the collaboration of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), RAIN-Africa, GEF (Global Environment Facility), and NCRST (National Commission on Research, Science and Technology).
The workshop commenced with an opening and welcome address by His Worship Mathews Hangula, the Mayor of Tsumeb who emphasized the importance of open dialogue and well-informed decision-making regarding biotechnologies such as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
“The development of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is a technology that has sparked extensive debate and discussions within the field of biotechnology. It is our shared responsibility to approach this subject with care and caution, ensuring that we provide comprehensive information to all levels of society regarding the benefits, potential impacts, and processes associated with these technologies or innovations. By fostering an informed public discourse, we can make conscious choices aligned with the best interests of our community and the environment,” he said.
During the morning session, a notable highlight was the presentation of the Namibia Biosafety Regulatory Framework Overview by Ms Hilde Amputu, Senior Inspector Biosafety.
Other distinguished speakers also delivered engaging presentations:
Dr Gladys Kahaka, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Namibia, provided valuable insights into the benefits of Biotechnology. Ms Vera Corry, a Board member of the Namibian Organic Association, led a thought-provoking discussion on the challenges and agricultural impacts of GMOs, prompting a meaningful discussion among attendees.
Mr Michael Gawaseb, Executive Director of the Namibia Consumer Trust, highlighted the importance of informed consumer choices regarding GMOs. Ms Dorothea Shailemo, Senior Biotech Scientist emphasized the significance of biosafety measures and responsible management of GMOs. Mr Paulus Mungeyi, Biotechnology Manager, provided an introduction to the SINBF Project, setting the stage for further advancements in biotechnology research and implementation.
The event concluded with Closing Remarks delivered by Ms Lovisa Immanuel, NCRST General Manager of Innovation & Technology Development.