From 10 and 12 December, Brazilian and European officials and experts discussed, in Brasilia, the use of digital genetic resources and the practical implications of accessing this information from databases. The workshop on “In silico Genetic Resources in ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing) Legislations” was held by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC) and is part of the projects approved under the 10th European Union - Brazil Sector Dialogue's Call.
During the two and a half days of workshop, government, academia and private sector representatives addressed conceptual, legal and practical aspects to improve the understanding of Brazilian and European rules on access and benefit sharing from using digital in silico genetic resources. As a result of the discussions, technical guidelines will be issued in order to promote research and scientific development in the use of digital genetic resources in Brazil and the European Union.
At the opening of the event, MCTIC Director of Scientific Development Programs, Fábio Larotonda, highlighted that the debate encourages a great deal of scientific and technological exchange between Brazil and Europe. "Our goal with this workshop is to promote greater interest and investments in knowledge building and legal exploitation of Brazil's biodiversity, contributing to its conservation and sustainable use.”
Access and benefit sharing when using genetic resources and biodiversity has been the subject of two other projects under the EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues organized by the Ministry of Environment (MMA), responsible for coordinating discussions on the topic in Brazil. This time, however, as debates were around a specific aspect, access to digital genetic resources, the MCTIC took the leadership. Brazilian law considers digital information a part of genetic resources and, therefore, subject to access and benefit sharing rules.
Rui Ludovino, counsellor of the EU Delegation to Brazil, stressed how important the Sector Dialogues Support Facility has been to the countries since its creation in 2008. Over the years, more than 30 political and technical topics covering areas such as the environment, human rights, energy and transportation have been discussed. “This joint work is important. This instrument allows close contact between experts from both sides to promote cooperation and make progress in different areas."
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