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Bullet policy, statements · Mar 21, 2022

Societies, Scientists Join Call for Community Self-Governance on Digital Sequence Information Sharing

An international coalition of 26 scientific societies and organizations and 122 scientific researchers and professionals, led by AIBS, is calling for continued open access to digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources.

In a letter to National Focal Points to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the coalition shared recommendations to inform ongoing policy negotiations about the treatment of DSI, such as genetic sequence data, under the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol (NP)—multilateral agreements aimed at conserving biodiversity, promoting sustainable use of biological components, and facilitating the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from genetic resources.

These recommendations emerged from an international workshop series organized by AIBS in partnership with 18 other scientific societies and are captured in recent a Viewpoint article published in BioScience. The letter encourages negotiators to “mobilize the global scientific community to provide input to ensure that policies being considered will be implementable without restricting open DSI.”

“As policy options are considered, we also strongly encourage negotiators to make sure that the CBD Secretariat supports a detailed analysis of each policy option being considered for expanding ABS to address DSI, in consultation with broad stakeholders that include scientists, public databases, and professional societies,” urge the signatories. “In particular, it is important to explore how each policy option would be implemented to avoid unanticipated impacts on scientific research and society.”

Read the letter.

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