What is the German Nagoya Protocol HuB?
The German Nagoya Protocol HuB, or GNP HuB for short, is a project financed by the German government.
Why “HuB”? HuB stands for “Hilfe und Beratung” (“help and guidance” in English). The project aims to help academic researchers in Germany with understanding Nagoya Protocol compliance.
We provide information about:
- access and benefit-sharing (ABS) in countries that provide biological material (“genetic resources”) for research; and
- the EU ABS Regulation, Implementing Regulation, and corresponding German law.
Who’s implementing the project?
Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH
The GNP HuB project is being led and managed by the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH (DSMZ). DSMZ is a member of the Leibniz Association and the Leibniz Research Alliance Biodiversity (LVB). It is the most diverse biological resource center in the world with more than 79,000 items, including bacterial strains, human and animal cell lines, plant viruses and antisera, bacteriophages, and different types of bacterial genomic DNA. It holds 80% of all known bacterial type strains and has one of the highest numbers of microbial patent deposits in Europe and the world.
DSMZ supplies biological resources for science, diagnostic laboratories, national reference centers, and industrial partners, sending out material to nearly a hundred countries. It receives deposits from researchers from around the world. DSMZ’s researchers conduct basic and applied research, with much of this work involving international collaboration.
As registered collection of genetic resources recognized under the European Union’s ABS Regulation, DSMZ ensures that all of the biological material it holds is compliant with the Nagoya Protocol, requiring depositors to provide any related documentation on ABS when depositing material. Any recipients of the material also receive this documentation.
DSMZ is actively involved in issues relating to the Nagoya Protocol and ABS, participating in various projects and studies as well as bringing the perspective of the science community into relevant policy discussions.
The contact persons at DSMZ are Elizabeth Karger and Amber Scholz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DSMZ is partnering with the Consortium of German Natural Science Collections (DNFS), the German Life Sciences Association (VBIO), and the Leibniz Research Alliance for Biodiversity (LVB) on the GNP HuB.
The Consortium of German Natural Science Collections
The Consortium of German Natural Science Collections (DNFS) is an association of natural history collections and the associated research laboratories and museums in Germany. With more than 140 million objects in these collections, the DNFS is one of the world’s largest networks of collections. Further information about the members can be found on DNFS’s website.
Natural history collections are essential research infrastructure and the DNFS represents the interests of these institutions at the national level in Germany.
Since the establishment of its own Access & Benefit-sharing (ABS) working group in 2012, DNFS has been intensively engaged in issues related to ABS, the Nagoya Protocol, and its implementation in the European Union (EU) and Germany. The members of the ABS working group also contributed to the development of the CETAF Code of Conduct, which was the first best practice on ABS to be recognised by the EU Commission. It contains a set of workflows that facilitate legally compliant research and promote the expansion of natural history museum collections. The members of the ABS working group also conduct training courses on ABS for DNFS’s member institutions.
DNFS provides advice on and support for the implementation of the GNP HuB project. Our project partner at DNFS is Dirk Neumann.
Leibniz Research Network Biodiversity
There are 96 independent research institutions in Germany that form part of the Leibniz Association. Their work covers the natural, engineering and environmental sciences through to the social sciences, economics, spatial sciences and the humanities.
The Leibniz Research Network Biodiversity (LFN BioDiv) brings together the complementary expertise of 18 Leibniz institutions, whose research relates to biodiversity, providing a platform for networking across Germany and for setting strategic priorities for research and cooperation within the Leibniz Association. LFN BioDiv also serves as contact point for questions on biodiversity and related research, providing information for policy makers, business, funding agencies, the media and civil society.
Through their interdisciplinary research, the LFN BioDiv members explore the biological diversity of life, providing insight into issues such as biodiversity loss and the impacts of climate change. ABS and the Nagoya Protocol are highly relevant for a number of these institutions as they use biological material for basic research.
Our project partner at LFN BioDiv, Dr. Nike Sommerwerk, is based at the Natural History Museum Berlin (MfN). She raises awareness about the project among LFN BioDiv members and other Leibniz institutions and provides input to and support for the project coordination.
German Life Sciences Association
The German Life Sciences Association (VBIO) has around 30,000 members in Germany, including individuals, life science organizations, companies and other institutions, which represent the entire spectrum of the life sciences.
VBIO is committed to promoting education, training and careers in biology as well as improving research conditions. It brings the concerns of bioscientists into consultation processes with policy makers and society, and it promotes dialogue between science and the public with the aim of improving understanding of the life sciences. Further information is available at www.vbio.de.
ABS is highly relevant for many members of VBIO. VBIO therefore follows the political discussions on the Nagoya Protocol and ABS at the national, EU and international levels as well as actively participating in the relevant processes, for example, by making submissions. VBIO has also been actively engaged in raising awareness on ABS among its members.
VBIO’s main goal in the GNP HuB project is to reach researchers at universities across Germany who urgently need support on ABS and Nagoya Protocol issues. VBIO provides advice to the GNP HuB project and plays a key role with respect to communication.
Our project partner at VBIO, Kerstin Elbing, is based at VBIO’s Berlin office.
The German Nagoya Protocol HuB is funded through the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN) with funds from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The funding period is from October 2019 to September 2022.
The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
The BfN is the German Government’s scientific authority for national and international nature conservation. It provides BMU with technical and scientific support, conducts its own scientific research, implements various funding programs and ensures compliance with certain laws.
The BfN is the competent authority in Germany responsible for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, the EU ABS Regulation and the German national law.
With respect to genetic resources for food and agriculture, decisions relating to implementation are made in agreement with the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food. For genetic resources that are human pathogens, implementation decisions are made in agreement with the Robert Koch Institute.
Our contact person at the BfN is the head of Division I 1.5 Competent National Authority for the Nagoya Protocol, Thomas Greiber.
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
The BMU is the Ministry responsible for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol in Germany. It reports to the Secretariat of the CBD on Germany’s progress with the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol and is responsible for Germany’s obligations under EU Regulation No 511/2014.
Germany’s National Focal Point for the Nagoya Protocol, Mr. Stefan Lütkes, is at the BMU.