Biorisk Management Forum kicks off in the Philippines

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum on Biorisk Management began this week in Makati City, Philippines.

The ASEAN Regional Forum will focus on how to implement procedures and policies that limit that chances of a dangerous animal or human pathogen being released, either accidentally or on purpose. The meeting is a follow up to the ASEAN Regional Forum hosted by the Philippines and the United States earlier this month, according to

The workshop promotes the exchange of information and experience among ASEAN member states and include ways of increasing non-governmental sector participation.

"Biosafety and biosecurity have attained an increased level of attention in recent years, in light of concerns about new global security threats, arising from terrorism, emerging infectious diseases and the rapid expansion of dual-use biological materials, technology, and expertise," Generoso Cologne, a senior special assistant in the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and a co-chair of the workshop, said, according to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs.

The conference will also examine how modern technology and management systems can actually increase the threat of a deadly bioagent release.

"This scenario of evolving biological risks is further complicated by a rapidly expanding bioscience sector and high containment laboratory infrastructure, resulting in greater potential for accidental release or intentional misuse of dangerous pathogens," United States Department of State Director and a co-chair of the meeting Sharon White said in her opening remarks, according to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs.