Department of State (DOS)

DOS Comment Deadline: The Use of Digital Sequence Information of Genetic Resources

The Department of State (DOS) is seeking comments from the public, academia, industry, and other stakeholders to inform US Government policy and international engagement for an ongoing process under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) concerning the use of “digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources,” also known as genetic sequence data (GSD).

The Secretariat of the CBD released three studies on “Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources” that examine scope, present use, traceability, access, and current benefit-sharing schemes. These studies were commissioned to inform decisions by the Parties to the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol at the 2020 Conference of Parties to the CBD and the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol.

DOS seeks comments on the CBD studies cited above, and also request information on practices regarding the collection, management and use of DSI or GSD; and regarding experiences with access and benefit-sharing approaches or requirements related to DSI/GSD. DOS welcomes specific examples of the actual, and potential, impacts that could occur if tracking and benefit sharing for the utilization of DSI were required by domestic legislation, and encouraged under the Nagoya Protocol or other international ABS instruments, such as the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework. DOS is, likewise, interested in effects on research collaborations, international sample sharing, academic and commercial research, pandemic and epidemic preparedness and response, food security, and other aspects. DOS would also welcome views on what organizations can do to effectively protect the scientific process in the context of national-level ABS approaches potentially requiring tracking and benefit sharing for the utilization of DSI/GSD.

DOS also welcomes examples of:

  1. Issues and/or examples related to the items described above or other items that could affect the scientific process;
  2. Monetary or non-monetary benefits that are facilitated by international sharing of DSI or GSD;
  3. Non-ABS challenges and barriers to sharing DSI or GSD that have significant implications for global research efforts that might merit additional attention or analysis.

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.