PharmaSea at the UN Headquarters
From left: Petra ten Hoopen (EMBL-EBI), Thomas Vanagt (eCOAST), Thomas Greiber (IUCN-ELC), Kjersti Lie Gabrielsen (MarBank) and Marcel Jaspars (University of Aberdeen and PharmaSea Project Leader)
PharmaSea recently participated in a side event at a meeting of the "United Nations Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group" to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. The meeting took place in New York at the UN Headquarters from the 16th to 20th June 2014. The side event – organised by PharmaSea WP6 partners; IUCN-ELC, eCOAST and University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with MarBank and MicroB3 partner EMBL-EBI – was entitled, Research and Development on Marine Genetic Resources – Current Practices within the Marine Scientific Community.
Marcel Jaspars, PharmaSea Project Leader, presented an overview of the marine biodiscovery pipeline from cruise to commercialisation. Kjersti Lie Gabrielsen (MarBank) discussed biorepositories of marine organisms and Petra ten Hoopen from EMBL-EBI presented the data-sharing & integration work of the MicroB3 project in relation to their Ocean Sampling Day.
The decision to stage the side event was taken following a recent workshop organised within the scope of PharmaSea Work Package 6 (WP6). The well attended event was staged to inform delegates about current practices relevant to sampling and utilizing MGR for basic and applied research. The timing of the event was important because before the end of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in 2015, states shall take a decision on whether to start the negotiation of an international instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in ABNJ. The marine scientific community will need to engage in this process at an early stage to help ensure that any future governance measures with respect to marine biodiversity in ABNJ enable, rather than impede, marine scientific research. PharmaSea will continue to contribute to this process via WP6.