The Centre of Drug Discovery & Conservation, Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS), USP presented on the “Melanesian Experience in Marine Drug Discovery” at a Sydney, Australia held 5th Pacific Sub-regional Bioprospecting Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) workshop on Nov 10 – 13. IAS Assistant Project Manager Mr Klaus Feussner discussed the Bioprospecting/biodiversity of Fijian marine algae, invertebrates and actinomycetes at the workshop organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP). Also in attendance were high ranking government representatives from the region, bioprospectors (both academic as well as commercial e.g. Nimura Genetic Solutions) and organizations (ABS initiative, SPC, SPREP, LMMA, UNDP, UNEP, Secretariat Convention of Biological Diversity.
An outcome of the workshop was a draft version of a research collaboration agreement that will be forwarded to the participants as a possible template for bioprospecting research in the USP region. This will place USP IAS CDDC in a prime position in the region in implementing ABS policies under the Nagoya protocol by leading possible bioprospecting projects and also assisting the region in archiving samples or results. A written proposal by IAS, USP to access funding from the Nagoya Fund for ABS work in Fiji has been approved and will be administered through UNDP and the Fiji government.