The Region’s first ever Bioprospecting Samples Database launched: A success for GEF Nagoya ABS Project stakeholders
Permanent Secretary for Environment Mr Joshua Wycliffe, UNDP Environment Leader Dr Winifereti Nainoca, Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua and the Institute of Applied Sciences Director Dr Johann Poinapen together launch the Bioprospecting Samples DatabaseSource: Fiji Village.com
The South Pacific Region’s first ever Bioprospecting Samples Database (BSD) was launched on the 20th of July 2018 at the Pearl Resort. Created by the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS), the BSD was jointly launched by the Chief Guests UNDP Environment Team Leader Dr Winifereti Nainoca, Permanent Secretary for Environment Mr Josuha Wycliffe, the Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Mr Naipote Katonitabua and the IAS Director, Dr Johann Poinapen. The BSD was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) – Nagoya Protocol Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) project, implemented in Fiji by UNDP with project partners Ministry of Environment (MoE), the Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs (MTA) and the Institute of Applied Sciences.
The GEF Nagoya ABS project brings more focus to the value of genetic resources that are accommodated in Fiji’s biodiverse areas. It also elucidates the means by which benefits for ecosystem services could be used to stimulate conservation at the local level, while providing avenues for improved livelihoods. This project assists in addressing gaps and barriers to scientific research, particularly the lack of bioprospecting policy and guidelines, and technological and human capacity development in Fiji. It also addresses the limited national capacity to implement, institutionalise and operationalise ABS agreements and the Nagoya Protocol which was signed by Fiji in 2014.
As a result of this joint collaboration between project stakeholders, international partners and the communities of Yasawa, Beqa and Kadavu, IAS through its Pacific Natural Products Research Centre has with the permission of the landowners collected a wide variety of marine samples that have been sorted, analysed and recorded into the Bioprospecting Samples Database. This database is a momentous achievement for bioprospecting research as it is the first of its kind in the Pacific.
The database houses biodiversity and screening information about marine samples collected in Fiji. Specific information include preliminary taxonomic details, location where samples were collected, scientific results and information such as DNA and voucher collections.