The Leibniz Institute DSMZ is the first biological resource center ever to be entered in the European register of collections, that meet the requirements of the Nagoya Protocol. Customers who order a bacterial strain, fungus, or other microorganism from the DSMZ can be assured they have met the due diligence requirements of the Nagoya Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol has made it considerably more difficult for science to work with biological resources. Many underestimate the additional effort of obtaining Nagoya-related permissions. The DSMZ now relieves its customers of precisely that additional effort.
The Leibniz Institute DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH) is the first biological resource center ever to be entered in the European register of collections. This means that the DSMZ now officially meets the requirements of the Nagoya Protocol, by taking care of two essential tasks for customers: 1) reviewing whether a biological resource falls within the scope of the Nagoya Protocol, and 2) checking if all required documents and approvals are on hand.
“Anyone who orders a bacterial strain, fungus, or other microorganism from the DSMZ can be assured they have met the due diligence requirements of the Nagoya Protocol with that purchase,” explains Professor Jörg Overmann, Managing Director of the DSMZ.
The Nagoya Protocol is a binding treaty under international law, regulating the implementation of the objectives of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD makes biological diversity, including genetic resources, the property of the country of origin. This applies for organisms of all kinds and their components; plants and animals as well as fungi and bacteria or even just DNA. The collection, dissemination, or use of these resources may, in turn, be restricted by the country of origin and require corresponding approval. Scientific research on an organism also constitutes a “use” under the Nagoya Protocol.
104 countries have ratified the Nagoya Protocol to date. The extent to which they have restricted access to their biological resources varies. Accordingly, the respective regulations and responsibilities vary considerably between individual countries.
“In principle, every scientist is obligated to personally determine what applies in a country and which permits need to be obtained,” Overmann says. “The Nagoya Protocol has made it considerably more difficult for science to work with bacteria or fungi cultures, which are among the most utilizable resources in the life sciences. Many underestimate the additional effort of obtaining Nagoya-related permission.”
As a Registered Collection, the DSMZ now can offer customers pre-screened, pre-approved resources with the accompanying documentation with no additional effort for the customers. “We are offering a unique service to the scientific community,” Overmann explains. “We have reduced the bureaucratic hurdles considerably so that scientists can once again focus on research.”
With the exception of a few plant cell lines the “registered” status applies to all of the more than 40,000 microorganisms, cultures, and DNA listed by the DSMZ in its official catalog that fall under the regulations of the Nagoya Protocol. Over the last few months, the DSMZ reviewed all of its resources, updated its entire catalogue, and adapted its ordering processes and quality control in order to comply with the requirements of EU Directive 511/2014 for acceptance into the register. The application was reviewed and approved by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Germany’s enforcement authority for the Nagoya Protocol.
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About Leibniz Institute DSMZ
The Leibniz Institute DSMZ – German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH is a Leibniz Association institution. Offering comprehensive scientific services and a wide range of biological materials it has been a partner for research and industry organizations worldwide for decades. DSMZ is one of the largest biological resource centers of its kind to be compliant with the internationally recognized quality norm ISO 9001:2008. As a patent depository, DSMZ currently offers the only option in Germany of accepting biological materials according to the requirements of the Budapest Treaty. The second major function of DSMZ, in addition to its scientific services, is its collection-related research. The Brunswick (Braunschweig), Germany, based collection has existed for 42 years and holds more than 52,000 cultures and biomaterials. DSMZ is the most diverse collection worldwide: In addition to fungi, yeasts, bacteria, and archea, it is home to human and animal cell cultures, plant viruses, and plan cell cultures that are archived and studied there. http://www.dsmz.de
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