More and more often, research and development projects emphasize the need to adopt appropriate practices when accessing and using crop germplasm and related information. However, scientists do not always have the tools that can facilitate a transparent communication with providers and further users of genetic resources and associated information, and which can guarantee the sharing of benefits between all of them in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
With the aim of addressing this gap, Bioversity has recently published a book of guidelines called Guidelines: Access and Benefit Sharing in Research Projects. This publication is based on the experience gained during the implementation of the Project “In situ/On farm Conservation and Use of Agricultural Biodiversity (Horticultural Crops and Wild Fruit Species) in Central Asia”, funded by UNEP-GEF and coordinated by Bioversity International.
These guidelines describe the type of agreements that can be used in different contexts and the most relevant provisions to be included in such agreements. They also provide models of agreements that can be adapted to particular situations. Their primary audience are scientists working with crop genetic resources and related traditional knowledge in research organizations, but they can also be useful for authorities involved in legislative processes on the matter, and for local populations who participate in research and development projects dealing with the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity.
We would like to request followers of this blog who collect, use and exchange crop germplasm and related information to send us their feedback on the usefulness of the guidelines, as well as their suggestions on how to improve them.