Biosafety Education: Building Capacity for Biotechnology Applications
Asian Biosafety Education Network (ABEN) :


We, professors from academic institutions and researchers from public agencies in Asia, have met at the University of Tsukuba, Japan on October 31 and November 1, 2007, for sharing of thoughts on the biosafety education and agricultural biotechnology development. This is an independent and informal initiative following up on the SECOND INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN BIOSAFETY EDUCATION AND TRAINING (UNEP/CBD/BS/CM-ET/2/4 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 18th June 2007 co-hosted by the University of Malaya).

The world is differentiating towards two alternative directions on agricultural biotechnology;
1) regulation-oriented without broad and fair recognition of the technology with non-scientific rationale and considerations, or;
2) demand-oriented approach to meet domestic and international needs and trends to alleviate the food security concerns and to improve livelihood.

Whatever policy, economic and social implications that arise as the end-point of the biotechnology applications, technology per se is a neutral and an independent entity. Human conduct dictates the consequences of biotechnology use. As educators, it is our mission to provide and promote unbiased scientific understanding of biotechnology and products thereof, in order to develop human resources that are able to make appropriate end-point decisions for the well-being and prosperity of mankind. We shall also focus on the needs for education on ELSI (ethics, legal and social implication) associated with the technology. Stakeholders will then be able to have multidisciplinary and participatory discussions towards common understanding but without compulsory consensus.

R & D on biotechnology should not be restricted as a means for seeking options for future generations. Enhancing knowledge-based human capacity on technology development should be emphasized for its use, safety and to alleviate concerns.

We have agreed to cooperate to support human resource development, education and research opportunities for development of proprietary biotechnology and its products taking into account ELSI components.

To accomplish this mandate we hereby announce the establishment of “Asian Biosafety Education Network” (ABEN) with the presence of scientists and academicians from public sector of China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

We have proactively participated in: CAPACITY-BUILDING: REPORT OF THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN BIOSAFETY EDUCATION AND TRAINING (February 15 – 17, 2010 at Tsukuba, Japan Document: UNEP/CBD/BS/COP-MOP/5/INF/7 , July 20, 2010), and now we are forming an implementation consortium for the education collaboration, besides bilateral activities which we have implemented among East and Southeast Asian countries.

We invite institutions / societies interested in biosafety education to join us.

<Starting members>

Dayuan Xue, Prof. Dr.,
College of Life and Environmental Science, Central University for Natioanalities, PeoplesRepublic of China

Behzad Ghareyazie, Prof. Dr.,
President, Biosafety Society of Iran, and Head, New Technologies Division, Center for Strategic Research, Iran

Kazuo Watanabe, Prof. Dr., Organizer
Plant Genetic Diversity, Environmental Biosafety and Bioethics Division of Bioindustrial Sciences, Gene Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Rofina Yasmin Othman, Prof. Dr.,
Center for Research in Biotechnology and Agriculture, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Halijah Ibrahim, Prof. Dr.,,
Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Myint Thein, Dr., President,
Myanmar Academy of Agricultural, Forestry, Livestock and Fishery Sciences (MAAFLFS), Myanmar

Ye Tint Tun, Dr., Manager,
Myanmar Agriculture Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar

Desiree Menancio Hautea Prof. Dr.,
University of The Philippines Los Banos, Institute of Plant Breeding, UPLB College, Philippines

Nguyen Thi Quynh, Prof. Dr.,
Institute of Tropical Biology, Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam

Sudip K. Rakshit, Prof. Dr.,
Vice President-Research Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

A.H. Zakri Prof. Dr., Director,
Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University, Yokohama, Japan

B. Pisupati, DR.
UNEP and Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University, Yokohama, Japan

For Further information, please contact with:
Prof. Dr. B. Ghareyazie (Tehran, or
Prof. Dr. K. N. Watanabe (Tsukuba, )

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