The 10th edition of Business2Sea organized by CETMAR Foundation and Fórum Oceano was held from the 16th to 20th of November 2020 in virtual format. The European Blue Biobank (EBB) project contributed to this event with an awareness workshop entitled “Do not be a biopirate: the European Blue biobank can help you use marine genetic resources legally”. Belén Martín Míguez, EBB coordinator, animated the workshop and Dr. Ibon Cancio from UPV/EHU (Spain) gave a first clarifying talk about how the importance of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) framework and Nagoya protocol for the conservation of global biodiversity, and the procedures that a user of marine genetic resources have to undertake for accessing them legally. Since regulations can differ between countries, Dr. Cancio showed in his presentation the central role of the Access and Benefit Sharing Clearing House (ABS-CH), a repository that facilitates the contact with the national focal points as well as pointing to the legal texts applicable in each country. Next, Fiz da Costa (CIM/UVigo, Spain), project manager of EBB project explained how the project had assisted more than 30 users to access marine genetic resources legally. Each use case has had its particularities: different provider country, different national regulations, different purpose of the experiments… Dr. da Costa finished his talk explaining the main lessons learnt from these use cases. A round table closed the workshop with users of genetic resources from different countries (Portugal, France and Spain) sharing their experiences in accessing and utilizing marine genetic resources. They highlighted some of the difficulties encountered and acknowledged EBB project contribution in helping them.
According to the polls launched during the workshop, half of the audience belonged to clusters/private sector and the other half to academic sector. The majority of the audience was not familiarized with all the steps needed for ABS compliance.
The presentations and videos of the workshop can be found here.