How to deal with access to and benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information (DSI)? Important decisions on this topic will probably be taken in August-September 2022. You are invited to share your views on DSI and proposed policy options, so that these can be taken aboard by the EU in the preparations for the upcoming meetings.
DSI discussions during the Geneva meeting in March 2022
From 14-29 March 2022, various previously postponed meetings in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol were held in Geneva, Switzerland. The meetings included the resumed session of the Third Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (OEWG-3), in which further discussions took place on how to deal with access to and benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information (DSI).
It was agreed that an independent assessment will be made of the consequences of the proposed policy options, using a range of formulated criteria. It was also agreed that representatives from databases, the scientific research community, the private sector and civil society organizations would be included in the Informal Advisory Group which has been discussing DSI.
As for the follow-up steps, it was agreed that updates on the independent assessment of the policy options and the work of the Informal Advisory Group will be given during an additional meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (OEWG-4), to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21-26 June 2022. The final results of both processes will be reported in the Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP-15), which will probably take place in August-September 2022. It is expected that important decisions on DSI will be taken be taken during COP-15.
Concerning DSI, the following policy options are currently under consideration, also keeping open the possibility to combine various options (e.g. Option 4 with another option).
- Option 0: Status Quo.
- Option 1: DSI on genetic resources fully integrated into domestic ABS measures.
Option 2: Standard mutually agreed terms (MAT).
- 2.1: Standard MAT/licence at the national level.
- 2.2: Standard MAT/licence at the international level.
Option 3: No prior informed consent (PIC), no mutually agreed terms (MAT).
- 3.1: Payment for access to DSI on genetic resources.
- 3.2: Other payments and contribution.
- Option 4: Enhanced technical and scientific capacity and cooperation.
- Option 5: No benefit-sharing from digital sequence information on genetic resources.
- Option 6: 1 per cent levy on retail sales of genetic resources.
For more information, see the previous articles Policy options for Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) and Digital Sequence Information, Progress on Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and CBD meetings (including on DSI) to be held in March.
Assessment of policy options
To assess the different policy options, a multi-criteria framework has been developed, with the criteria focusing on effectiveness, efficiency, good governance and coherence. A performance matrix was developed to assess to what extent the policy options fulfill the criteria. More information can be found in this CBD document, with its annex I describing the policy options, its annex II mentioning the criteria and subcriteria to assess these options, and its annex III presenting the performance matrix. An assessment of the consequences of the proposed policy options, using the multi-criteria framework, will be made by an independent consultant.
Your input is useful!
As it is expected that important decisions will be taken be taken during COP-15 in August-September, and the EU position will be discussed during the coming months, now is the time to make your views known to the Dutch ABS Competent National Authority (Ms Kim van Seeters; email@example.com). It would be very helpful if you could share your assessment of the policy options, especially by filling in the performance matrix in annex III of the above-mentioned CBD document. Thank you in advance for your contribution.