The rapid development of biotechnology, such as microbiology and parasitology, food and plant materials, organism modification, genetic modification, and chemical modification, has broad implications. Besides supporting national economic growth, industrial development, and improving public health status, advanced biotechnology can also have negative implications if the technology misuse prevention is not taken into account. The development of laboratory technology allows laboratory personnel to explore more deeply into their research fields, including biological agents such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Therefore, biosafety and biosecurity standards are needed, as well as determination of biological agents that require special monitoring regulation to prevent health threats to humans, animals, and the environment.
As part of the initiation of policy development related to Laboratory Network and Laboratory Biorisk Management System (SMBL) Implementation, Indonesia One Health University Network (INDOHUN) through the One Health Laboratory Network (OHLN) program in collaboration with Health Security Partners (HSP) with the support of the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP) initiated the development of a list and and regulation framework of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA) in Indonesia. For this reason, on 14-15 March 2023 at The Grove Suites by Grand Aston, INDOHUN-OHLN held a Multisectoral Meeting to discuss the List of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA) and the potential regulation in Indonesia.
This meeting aims to review, discuss and agree on the list of SSBA in Indonesia and discuss the framework for SSBA policy development in Indonesia. This meeting was attended by 38 participants from various ministries / institutions, namely the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemenko PMK RI), the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemenko Polhukam RI), the Cabinet Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia (Setkab RI), the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemenkes RI), Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia (Kementan RI), Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemendikbudristek RI), Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Biopharmaceutical Product Translational Development Division, PT Bio Farma, as well as representatives of the expert team, namely Prof. Dr. dr. Amin Soebandrio W. Kusumo, PhD, SpMK (K) and Major General TNI (Ret.) dr. Daniel Tjen, Sp.S.
The first day’s activities were opened with an introductory session by Prof. dr. Agus Suwandono, MPH, Dr.PH (INDOHUN Coordinator), followed remarks by Dr. Julia Scordo of the Biosecurity Engagement Program of the U.S. Department of State (BEP/DOS), followed remarks by Mrs. Wahyuni Kamah as Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP) Manager, United States Embassy – Jakarta, and finally remarks by Dr. Prasad Kuduvalli as Director of Scientific Programs, Health Security Partners (HSP).
There will be 5 presentations in the next session:
- SSBA List and Biosecurity Regulation Initiation – A Project Overview was delivered by Dr. drh. Joko Pamungkas, M.Sc
- Key Considerations for the SSBA List and National Framework for Biosecurity was delivered by Dr. Prasad Kuduvalli
- Current Regulatory Framework: National Regulation on Microbial Repositories and Transfers was delivered by Dr. Atit Kanti
- Malaysia’s Experience on Establishing a Priority List of Biological Agents & Toxins for Biosecurity was delivered by Dr. Zalini Yunus
- Draft of the Proposed SSBA List was delivered by dr. Ni Ketut Susilarini, MS
The first day’s activities ended with a group discussion agenda that focused on reviewing the criteria of laboratory activities on SSBA. The agenda then continued to the second day that opened with a report of the result discussion from the first day’s group discussion. The discussion divided into two groups, the first group reviewed the criteria and requirements for laboratories activity on SSBA. The second group identified the main institutions for SSBA supervision and communication and coordination mechanisms between agencies, and discussed the development of SSBA regulations in Indonesia. After that, the open discussion was held to obtain recommendations for the next steps in finalizing the SSBA list and developing the regulations. The two-day discussion of the SSBA List in Indonesia in the multi-sectoral meeting was closed by Prof. dr. Agus Suwandono, MPH, Dr.PH as coordinator of INDOHUN.