Seminar on the utilization of genetic resources within the framework of the Nagoya Protocol and the regulations for its implementation

Next May 28, 2021, it will be organized a seminar on the utilization of genetic resources within the framework of the Nagoya Protocol and the regulations for its implementation. This event is co-organized by the Spanish Bank of Algae of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, an entity managed by the Fundación Canaria Parque Científico Tecnológico, together with the Society for the Economic Promotion of Gran Canaria (SPEGC), the TFC Herbarium (SEGAI) of the University of La Laguna Tenerife (ULL), the Museum of Natural Sciences of Tenerife (MUNA), the Canarian Institute of Agricultural Research (ICIA), the Canarian Botanical Garden ‘Viera y Clavijo’-CSIC Associated Unit, Cabildo de Gran Canaria and the Herbarium of Marine Sciences (BCM-ULPGC).

This initiative´s objective is linked to the promotion of cooperative relationships between companies and entities that are part of the blue biotechnology platform. Specifically, this seminar aims to provide a better understanding of the Nagoya Protocol and the European and Spanish Access Benefits Sharing regulations, informing on when it is applied and resolving the doubts that academia and industrial sectors may have about its application.

The day will be divided into a first block dedicated to the Nagoya Protocol and the legislation on access and utilization of genetic resources in research and industry, where you can learn more about its application and its application in the Canary Islands. The second block will focus on deepening the knowledge of the Biological Collections of the Canary Islands, as agents of ex-situ conservation of biodiversity and suppliers of genetic resources to the industry. You can check here the agenda of the event.

The event will be free of charge and broadcasted via zoom. Registration is required and can be done here.

Workshop on reproductive biotechnology and cryobanking in aquatic species

On April 2021, from 7th to 9th, the UAlg team organized a workshop entitled “Workshop on reproductive biotechnology and cryobanking in aquatic species”. It was hold in Faro, Portugal, where several ponents from diverse institutions gave very interesting lectures about reproductive and cryopreservation techniques via zoom platform. Dr. Elsa Cabrita and her team were in charge of moderating the event and also conducted the practical sessions.

Among the invited speakers there were several researchers involved in EBB. Dr. Ibon Cancio, from PiE-UPV/EHU, gave a talk entitled “Biobanking and marine culture collections: access and benefit sharing obligations in the utilisation of genetic resources”. In it he explained the main aspects of ABS regulations and how these can affect access to marine biological resources. And, Dr. Estefanía Paredes, from the CIM-UVigo, gave a talk entitled “Cryopreservation in molluscs & echinoderms”, in which she explained the main aspects of the conservation of these organisms. In addition, Dr. Paredes presented the “Video-Session V: Laser techniques for thawing embryos”, where the latest techniques for the recovery of frozen samples were shown in a visual way.

Apart from this, the day 9th was the practical training day of the workshop where a total of 20 people attended these training classes, which consisted on a visit to zebrafish facilities, sperm collection from seabream and Portuguese oyster, and cryopreservation of these samples using several methods. Besides, testicular dissection and spermatogonia collection were performed including cryopreservation of these cells for conducting transplantations in the future.

Overall, this workshop helped to disseminate some of main aspects of the project and contributed to the capitalization of the project.

EBB creates a centralized integrated biobank database and improves operational standards

The (bio)diversity of culture collections and biobanks regarding different types of organisms is of great value, specially in the pursuit of new biological products for the development of the blue bioeconomy, which makes these biobanks (most of them part of EMBRC), a very sought-after asset in applied research.

However, the organizational complexity of these culture collections and biobanks makes very difficult to navigate through them, as one may have to search through different libraries or databases, since each biobank has its own database. This is not only troublesome for anyone who wishes to find the right organism for its research, but it also brings problems from the point of view of traceability of Marine Biological Resources (MBR), a key aspect of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) regulations.

EBB´s consortium involves marine culture collections and biobanks belonging to ten European institutions and, led by Dr. Ian Probert, manager of Roscoff Culture Collection at Station Biologique de Roscoff (Sorbonne Université), EBB has developed two management tools: TRACK and TRACE.

TRACK has born out of the need of homogenizing the database organization of all the culture collections and the biobanks that are part of EBB. It is an e-tool designed to manage and provide access to data pertaining to sampling and maintenance of marine biological resources (collected in the wild, in sample collections or cultured) from biobanks.

TRACE is an online database that will serve as a common access system to marine biological resources collections. This searchable catalogue groups the full range of marine biological resources that can be provided by the marine stations of EBB, constituting the European Blue Biobank.

Both tools will be part of the legacy that our project will leave to the EMBRC community and to the marine research and science.

 

EBB project presented in their final event its main outcomes for the integrated management of European marine biobanks

After more than three years of work, the project celebrated, this last Tuesday, March 23, its closing event: the “Symposium on Biobanking and Marine Diversity”. The event gathered around 100 people from all over the world interested in EBB results and main outcomes.

The Director of the Marine Research Center (CIM) of the University of Vigo, Daniel Rey, opened the symposium and showcased the importance of the European Blue Biobank project for the European marine stations and for the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) community. The CIM’s Director also complimented EBB partners for all the effort made during the project implementation, highlighting that this effort was recognized by the Atlantic Area Awards during the 5ª Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference, held in 2018.

Then, Jesús Souza Troncoso, EBB project’s leader at University of Vigo, gave special thanks to all the people involved in the project from its drafting to the present time.

The presentations sessions started with Fiz da Costa, project manager of EBB project, who focused on the legacy that the project leaves to the EMBRC community and to the entire marine science community. He showed, in a schematic way, the main results obtained in this project that will remain operational over time and will serve to improve the quality of marine stations, biobanks, culture collections and marine science researchers. His speech also served as an introduction of the main topics that were presented during the symposium.

The EMBRC Executive Director, Nicolas Pade, followed presenting EMBRC-ERIC and showing the main goals of this research infrastructure with special focus on the services provided. He also explained the important role of EMBRC (and its biological resources centers) in helping research to carry out their “due diligence” regarding Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) legislation.

This last point served as a springboard for one of the project’s main achievements: the creation of a best practices manual to comply with the ABS by EBB project, that has been also endorsed by EMBRC. This manual, entitled “The EMBRC guide to ABS compliance. Recommendations to marine biological resources collections’ and users’ institutions”, was presented by Anne Emmanuelle Kervella and Heidi Tillin from CNRS-Station Biologique de Roscoff and Marine Biological Association, respectively. Anne-Emmanuelle made a presentation introducing the main aspects of ABS regulations and the Nagoya Protocol. Then, Heidi Tillin, presented the structure of the EMBRC guide and focused on one of the technical annexes.

Heidi Tillin also presented the practical guide for users “Seek, keep & transfer: A step-by-step guide to ABS compliance when utilizing marine genetic resources”. This useful document provides end-users with the necessary information and steps for ABS compliance in their access to genetic resources.

After, Amber Scholz, from the DMSZ German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, explained to the audience the advantages and drawbacks for DMSZ collection of registering in the European register of collections.

The last talk was given by Ian Probert, manager of the Roscoff Culture Collecion, who presented the management tools TRACK and TRACE. TRACK is a web-based database tool to manage data pertaining to marine biological resources provided from biobanks. TRACE, on the other hand, is a common online catalogue of marine biological resources available from EBB partners, which includes resources from culture collections, cultured macroorganisms, sample collections and wild-collected resources.

The event finished with Fiz  thanking all EBB members for their contribution during the years to the success of the project, the participants to the event for attending and the organization.

The recording of the event is now available on the UvigoTV channel.

Workshop on Reproductive Biotechnology and Cryobanking in Aquatic Species

The 4th edition of the Workshop on Reproductive Biotechnology and Cryobanking in Aquatic Species, within the framework of the project EBB (European Blue Biobank) is going to be held. The Workshop is aimed towards young and professional researchers, as well as representatives from industry. The course will be focused on techniques for germline cryobanking integrating aspects of different expertise. The covered topics are in the attached poster.

The Workshop will highlight the most recent developments in each topic, promoting a strong interaction between the attendees and the experienced researchers and private companies working in different techniques for germline cryobanking.

This year, the 4th edition will take place online, via ZOOM platform, between 7-9th April 2021. The last day, consist of practical sessions that will take place at the facilities of the University of Algarve. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, priority will be given to local students and sessions will be limited to 20 participants. The selected participants for the practical sessions will be contacted by the organizing committee by email.

Participation is FREE, upon registration here, available until 2nd April.

 

 

ABS compliance for collections and fundamental research using MBRs

Providing access to marine genetic resources is one of EMBRC’s primary services. The EMBRC is committed to facilitating access to and supply of marine biological and genetic material to users in compliance with international, European and national legal frameworks regarding Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). In order to support implementation of ABS regulations in EBB’s biobanks and culture collections, EBB project carried out two internal audits of the ABS status of the resources held in collection. In the Deliverable 5.3: Updated EBB Inventory of Marine Biological Resources are described the main results obtained after the two audits.  

For read the deliverable, please click below.

The practical guide for users “Seek, keep & transfer: A step-by-step guide to ABS compliance when utilizing marine genetic resources”

EBB project main goal is to facilitate sustainable access to marine biodiversity, its associated data, and extractable products for local and international academia and industry users, and to incentivize biodiversity conservation in coastal ecosystems by promoting compliance with Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) regulations derived from the Nagoya Protocol. There are concerns that the added bureaucracy in relation to ABS regulations may be detrimental to Research, Development and innovation activities. In order to promote R&D+I on marine bioresources, the EBB has produced the step-by-step guide “Seek, keep & transfer: A step-by-step guide to ABS compliance when utilizing marine genetic resources”. This guide is a practical to-do-list for individual scientists from academia or private sector conducting research on “marine genetic resources”. This document recommends users to follow a 6-step iterative process by answering some questions in an iterative way. The guide presents action and provides tips for each of the 6 steps.

The guide was developed as the Deliverable 3.4 “Best Practice Guidelines (BPGs) on Accessing MBRs for commercial research in compliance with ABS Regulations”. This guide is delivered by the EBB project with support of the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC-ERIC) ABS Working-Group.

The EMBRC guide to ABS compliance. Recommendations to marine biological resources collections’ and users’ institutions

Providing access to marine genetic resources is one of EMBRC’s primary services. The EMBRC is committed to facilitating access to and supply of marine biological and genetic material to users in compliance with international, European and national legal frameworks regarding Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). The European Blue Biobank (EBB) project, under the umbrella of EMBRC, supports this aspiration by promoting compliance with ABS regulations derived from the Nagoya Protocol and implemented in Europe through the EU ABS Regulation that came into force in 2014 as well as Member State’s access legislations, where applicable. This regulatory framework, although effective in protecting the rights of the provider country, puts burden on the user to demonstrate lawful utilization. In this context, research infrastructures, facilities, biobanks and collections may play a role by facilitating legal compliance and lawful use of the genetic resources they provide.

EBB project has produced the “Deliverable 5.1. Handbook on implementation of EBB Best Practices and Sample Identification System”. This handbook of best practices was endorsed by EMBRC and has become “The EMBRC guide to ABS compliance. Recommendations to marine biological resources collections’ and users’ institutions”.

DISCLAIMER

On 14 December 2020, the European Commission adopted Guidance document C(2020)8759 on the scope of application and core obligations of Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 (EU ABS Regulation) which incorporates and complements the previously adopted guidance document of 2016.

The EBB guide to ABS compliance was delivered and endorsed by EMBRC before said Guidance document was published. Although still valid, its recommendations may not encompass up-to-date inclusive information on the EU ABS Regulation.

The guide will shortly be completed by EMBRC to take the new EU ABS Regulation Guidance document into consideration. It will include a new section on obligations for services provided on marine genetic resources (obligations of service requester and of service provider).

The EMBRC guide to ABS compliance. Recommendations to marine biological resources collections’ and users’ institutions

Register for the “Symposium on Biobanks and Marine Diversity” – EBB project FINAL EVENT

The “Symposium on Biobanks and Marine Diversity” is coming!

After more than 3 years of hard work, the EBB project is coming to an end. During the duration of the project, EBB partners have worked to achieve the main EBB project objective: to facilitate sustainable access to marine biodiversity, its associated data, and extractable products for local and international academia and industry users, and to incentivize biodiversity conservation in coastal ecosystems by promoting compliance with Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) regulations derived from the Nagoya Protocol.

We would like to invite you to participate in the “Symposium on Biobanks and Marine Diversity” which will take place online on 23rd March 2021 from 09:30 to 12:30 (CET). In this event the main EBB project outputs will be presented.

The draft agenda is available here.

We strongly encourage you to follow the event and please feel free to spread the word among your circles. This is an opportunity for biobanks, culture collections, researchers, academia, industry and policy makers, to be connected and a chance to learn about the management tools that EBB project has developed.

The registration is NOW CLOSED.

The event will be also live streamed at this link.

EBB FINAL EVENT: “Symposium on Biobanking and Marine Diversity”

The EBB project is coming to an end. As the final event of the project, a virtual symposium will be held on March 23rd (09:30-12:30 CET) on Biobanking and Marine Diversity.

The main goal of the EBB project is to facilitate sustainable access to marine biodiversity, its associated data, and extractable products for local and international academia and industry users, and to incentivise biodiversity conservation in coastal ecosystems by promoting compliance with Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) regulations derived from the Nagoya Protocol.

The symposium is aimed to present the main outputs (management TOOLS) produced in the framework of EBB project during the last 4 years and initiate the spread of outcomes specially among EMBRC members, as well as other biobanks, culture collections and stakeholders.

The main results that will be presented are:

EBB TRACE database: a searchable catalogue of the full range of marine biological resources that could be provided by the EBB Biobank.

EBB TRACK tool: instrument for the provision of macroorganisms in culture collections service supply and biobank management.

“The EBB / EMBRC guide to ABS compliance. Recommendations to marine biological resources collections’ and users’ institutions”.

The practical guide for users “Seek, keep & transfer: A step-by-step guide to ABS compliance when utilizing marine genetic resources”.

The training webinars on key aspects of ABS.