Main Issue

Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make new products. It has been around for thousands of years. Farmers, for example, have used selective breeding to improve crop production.

In modern times, scientists have altered the very DNA of living organisms to create products in fields ranging from agriculture to health care. Some crops, for example, have been genetically modified to strengthen nutrition or build resistance against pests. But for all the benefits of genetic manipulation, there may also be risks. Read more+

What We Do

The GEF provides funding to build country capacity to implement the Cartagena Protocol. As a first step, we help countries take stock of their capacity to implement the protocol and develop a national approach. This can include elements such as raising awareness about biosafety, promoting access to information and engaging the public in designing a strategy.

Through regional or sub-regional projects, we also help countries share resources and coordinate the development of National Biosafety Frameworks (NBFs). In particular, we support thematic projects at a regional or subregional level that build on common capacity building challenges countries face in making the protocol operational.


The GEF has supported the development of National Biosafety Frameworks in 126 countries, and their subsequent implementation under the Cartagena Protocol. Read more+