Monday, January 29, 2018

Access and benefit-sharing for DNA barcoders

Globalization and the advent of bioinformatics are rapidly changing the landscape of international scientific collaborations, which now often span multiple jurisdictions and increase the volume of international data exchange and transactions of biological materials. At the same time, researchers engaging in such partnerships are often unaware of the complex policy frameworks governing such transactions, which may carry reputational and even legal liabilities.

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and its supplementary agreement, the Nagoya Protocol (ratified in 2014), are the most prominent international treaties designed to provide a legal framework for ensuring the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from research activities involving genetic resources. Although often challenging and, at times, frustrating, it is important for researchers to understand the ramifications of these international agreements, to ensure that their scientific reputations are not tainted with allegations of unfair or unethical practices.

A new book by Kate Davis, and my colleague Alex Borisenko, provides insights into the ramifications of the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol on molecular biodiversity research. Access and Benefit-Sharing clearly explained from a DNA barcoding point of view and open access - what more do you want?

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