Stakeholders in Biotechnology and Biosafety in Swaziland.
The Swaziland-Biosafety Clearing House (SW-BCH) seeks to ensure availability of information on LMOs and applications of modern biotechnology to all stakeholders as appropriate. Information will be made available in English and in siSwati in order to contribute to public awareness and public participation in decision-making. The information contained in the Biosafety Clearing House and the SW-BCH targets the following user groups in the Swaziland Biosafety regulatory context:
- Regulatory and enforcement authorities: Regulatory authorities who are concerned with import (and export) of LMOs, their release into the environment, placing on the market and other activities involving them. This includes among others:
- Customs and border officials
- Environmental health inspectors at ports of entry and inland
- The Swaziland Standards Association
- Trade officials
- Swaziland Umbutfo Defence Force
- Royal Swaziland Police.
- Research and academic institutions: Research institutions who have an interest in conducting laboratory and field research as well as in training in biotechnology related areas.
- Food and feed processors: Food and feed processors have an interest in cross border trade in commodities such as maize, soy and others that are often genetically modified.
- Grain traders and millers: This group has interests in ensuring an adequate supply of maize and other grain to meet national needs. In the light of persistent shortages, these are increasingly being met from transnational trade.
- Retailers: Retailers trade in a range of goods and commodities that may be genetically modified or be products of GMOs or their derivatives.
- Civil society: The interests of civil society range from environmental and food safety concerns to those that see the technology as having some potential benefits for their target populations and are thus keen to promote its use.
- Farmers: Farmers will either have an interest in growing LMO varieties where they perceive a benefit or if they are involved in organic farming or use traditional varieties they may have concerns about the potential impact on their crops.
- Media: Media houses are an important partners for dissemination of information on biotechnology as well as facilitating processes towards public participation in biosafety decision making.
- Consumers and the general populace: This group of stakeholders may be interested in what LMOs and LMO products they may be consuming and thus need access to information.
- Commodity Boards/ Associations: Commodity Boards and Associations have an interest in biotechnology developments that may offer solutions to key production challenges as well as safety concerns and other considerations pertinent to adoption of biotechnology products in their value chains.