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National Node of the BCH

The BCH

The BCH assists Parties to the Protocol and other stakeholders in different ways in the implementation of the Protocol. It functions like a central information marketplace, where the producers and users of biosafety information interact and exchange that information in a transparent manner. The BCH is the key for governments to access information they need to make and share informed decisions regarding the import or release of living modified organisms (LMOs). The BCH contains information that Parties have to provide (such as national contacts, relevant laws and regulations, and decisions on release and import) as well as other information and resources relevant to implementing the Protocol, such as information on capacity-building, access to experts, links to biosafety resources, organisations, academic courses and other informationexchange mechanism. For industry, researchers and other stakeholders the BCH allows easy access to information vital to their activities, including details of the national contacts, relevant legislation and agreements, and the decisions and declarations that govern LMO activities and movements.

Eight stakeholder groups are targeted through the BCH:

• BCH National Focal Points, National Authorised Users and other people responsible for making national information available through the BCH;

• Decision-Makers and members of national government organisations that will regularly use information in the BCH and generate information to be made available to it (e.g. Competent National Authorities; BCH Task Force; risk assessors);

• Non-government organizations and civil society representatives who may participate in decision-making processes and use the BCH to network and share information;

• Industry groups needing to access information to apply for import and export of LMOs;

• Scientists, researchers, academic institutions and other biosafety organizations who need to share scientific, technical and capacity-building information;

• Customs officers and enforcement officials using the BCH to find data relating to border control;

• Media representatives using the BCH as a research tool;

• Members of the public who want to use the BCH to find information related to biosafety.