UNEP says Africa could benefit from UN forum's resolution on gene sequencing

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-02 02:17:40|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- African countries could reap benefits if delegates attending the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Egypt later this month back a resolution on gene sequencing, a UN Environment official said on Thursday.

Levis Kavagi, head of biodiversity unit at the UN Environment, said that an approval for gene sequencing at the meeting will help African countries reclaim their rich biological diversity.

"African countries have been pushing for the acknowledgement of digital sequestration information to enable communities recover biological resources that were shipped elsewhere," Kavagi told reporters in Nairobi.

Digital sequestration information (DSI) is the use of sequence information that can lead to benefits which must be shared by area residents.

The process allows biological origin containing functional units of heredity with genes recognized as the basic units of heredity to be taken back to its country of origin.

Kavagi said that the increasing use of digital sequestration information to advance the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity stands to benefit local communities across Africa.

"The use of digital sequence information is not covered by the term utilization of genetic resources of art, and however makes a significant contribution to achieving the objectives of the convention on biological diversity," said Kavagi.

The process was established to facilitate consideration of DSI during the 2017-2018 inter-sessional periods.

Following the decision by delegates at the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13), governments, indigenous peoples and local communities have submitted their views.

The UN official noted that bush meat, marine life, climate change and biodiversity are set to form part of the discussion during the upcoming conference in Egypt.

He said that the delegates will develop an action plan and look for interventions to restore land and other vital ecosystems.