- Category: Our History
- Published: 19 November 2015
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The establishment of the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (formerly International Biosafety Working Group) was initiated in the fall of 2001 in response to the identification of a need for an international forum to discuss a wide range of important biosafety issues. We met for the first time immediately prior to the American Biological Safety's (ABSA) 44th Annual Biological Safety Conference in New Orleans, October 21, 2001. Since that time, the IFBA has grown into a thriving global community promoting high standards in the safe and secure handling of biological materials.
1st Meeting of IFBA, 2001
1st International IFBA Conference
In February 2011, over 160 representatives from the global biosafety and biosecurity community gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to participate in the IFBA’s 1st International Conference, Global Biosafety and Biosecurity: Taking Action. The conference sought to identify urgent gaps and priorities and recommend action to advance biosafety and biosecurity with particular attention to building sustainable capacity where it is most needed. Participants drew attention to the serious dangers that can arise from the failure to implement effective biosafety and biosecurity and, importantly and highlighted the significant benefits offered by the implementation of sound biosafety and biosecurity practices including:
• Minimising the socio-economic impact of human and animal disease outbreaks and better protection of laboratory staff, the wider community and the environment.
• Contributing to better biosecurity through control of access to dangerous pathogens and tracking their use and improving reporting of incidents.
David Heymann addressing delegates at 1st IFBA Conference, 2011
Download a copy of the IFBA Bangkok Declaration on Advancing Global Biosafety & Biosecurity here
2nd International IFBA Conference
IFBA’s 2nd International Conference, Biosafety and Biosecurity: Building Sustainable Capacity, was held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 28 and 29 June, 2012. Building on the Bangkok Declaration, this 2nd conference sought to identify innovative approaches to biosafety and biosecurity that are affordable, practical and sustainable; to raise awareness and highlight the significant benefits of sound practices; to advocate strategies to collectively address urgent gaps and priorities in under-addressed regions of the world; and, to facilitate collaboration among the African and international biosafety communities. The conference was co-hosted by the African Biological Safety Association and was attended by 130 dignitaries from 47 countries representing regional and national biosafety associations, international organizations, governments, academia, civil society and the broader public & animal health and security communities. Stephen Lewis, Co-Director AIDS-Free World, delivered the keynote address and reminded delegates of the vital value of the work that is done in laboratories worldwide. He stressed the centrality of biosafety to global public health and called for increased attention and resources to be paid to this indispensable issue.
2nd IFBA Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2012
Download a copy of the 2012 Conference Outcomes here