The ABS legislation in both Brazil and the EU has recently changed. In this new regulatory environment researchers, regulators and business need to obtain certainty over legal requirements. Moreover, understanding of what the regulations require and what might have to be managed by other means, such as contractual agreements and best practices needs to be shared between all actors, both in Brazil and the EU. One possibility raised is to develop tracing and tracking methods, so that Brazil can follow GR once they have left the country, and users can easily discover the history and legal background of GR they wish to use. Some elements of a system are in place, such as the ABS Clearing House, but is it practical and desirable to develop further systems? The EU-Brazil Dialogue project in 2016, which involved specialists from Kew and NHM, as well as from other partners such as CABI, held a workshop in June 2016 enabled participants to discuss and explore these questions and improve cooperation and benefit-sharing. It followed a similar workshop in Brazil, and included presentations from the European Commission and representatives from Brazil. Particular aims of the meeting were to:
1. Inform EU representatives of new legislation in Brazil;
2. Inform Brazilian representatives of EU legislation and its implications for ABS compliance in R&D in the EU;
3. Identify issues of tracking and tracing GR originating in Brazil and being used in the EU;
4. Ensure expectations and understanding associated with legal and contractual obligations are understood by delegates, noting any differences in expectations between different stakeholder groups ;
5. Identify areas of concern for further action, proposing solutions where possible.
The EU-Brazil dialogue in 2016: How can countries ensure that they benefit from the use of their genetic resources by others? No benefits from use can arise if no use is made, but history tends to show that benefits do not necessarily flow from users to providers without prompts, incentives, checks and penalties.
The final report of the London Workshop can be found here.