The U.S. Culture Collection Network held a meeting to share information about how culture collections are responding to the requirements of the recently enacted Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The meeting included representatives of many culture collections and other biological collections, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretariat of the CBD, interested scientific societies, and collection groups, including Scientific Collections International and the Global Genome Biodiversity Network. The participants learned about the policies of the United States and other countries regarding access to genetic resources, the definition of genetic resources, and the status of historical materials and genetic sequence information. Key topics included what constitutes access and how the CBD Access and Benefit- Sharing Clearing-House can help guide researchers through the process of obtaining Prior Informed Consent on Mutually Agreed Terms. U.S. scientists and their international collaborators are required to follow the regulations of other countries when working with microbes originally isolated outside the United States, and the local regulations required by the Nagoya Protocol vary by the country of origin of the genetic resource. Managers of diverse living collections in the United States described their holdings and their efforts to provide access to genetic resources. This meeting laid the foundation for cooperation in establishing a set of standard operating procedures for U.S. and international culture collections in response to the Nagoya Protocol.
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