Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology
The ISAAA Knowledge Center initiative arose in response to a request from senior policy makers and national program leaders in Southeast Asia. The principal goal is to share knowledge on all aspects of crop biotechnology for all stakeholders, including consumers, farmers, policy makers, scientists, and the media in developing countries. The initiative also aims to build capacity in national programs by establishing a network of Biotechnology Information Centers (BICs) to facilitate sound decision-making in all aspects relating to the safe use of these crops and their potential contribution to food security, poverty reduction, and environmental conservation.
The principal thrust of the initiative is the establishment of a Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology to collect and distribute an authoritative and well-documented information and knowledge base on all aspects of crop biotechnology. The Knowledge Center (KC) was established in late 2000 and is co-located with ISAAA’s SEAsiaCenter in the Philippines. The Knowledge Center is specifically tailored to meet the needs of developing countries, and supports a Global Information Network with nodes (BICs) at several national biotechnology information centers in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
ISAAA’s commitment to sharing knowledge is evidenced in its well-received series of ISAAA Briefs and Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops conducted by ISAAA annually since 1996. The latter has become accepted internationally as the authoritative reference on the global deployment of commercialized genetically modified (GM) crops, and these valuable reviews will continue to be published and widely distributed by ISAAA to monitor the global deployment of GM crops in the first decade of the 21st century.
The network uses a modality of communication strategies (publications, websites, videos, stakeholder workshops, and study tours) to help provide an enabling environment for the safe application of crop biotechnology, and promote the public understanding of crop biotechnology. While the core KC addresses the concerns of a global community, the BICs are at the forefront of local initiatives to advance a broader understanding of crop biotechnology, such as information needed by policy makers and scientists in deciding on regulatory options for example. All BICs uphold the mission of disseminating factual and accurate information based on scientific principles.