The Guide of Good Practices in Laboratory Management on Genetic Resources in COMIFAC countries available soon - COMIFAC

Kigali, Rwanda, February 12-14, 2020- The workshop for the finalization of the Guide of Good Practices for the Management of Laboratories on Genetic Resources in COMIFAC Countries took place at Kim Hotel.

Organised thanks to the technical and financial support of the JICA Support Project for COMIFAC, the workshop brought together about twenty participants including researchers, two (02) from each COMIFAC member country who had already taken part in the training sessions organised by the JICA Project and who are members of the network of sub-regional researchers, representatives of the Executive Secretariat of COMIFAC, of the COMIFAC National Coordination of Rwanda, of JICA and the team of the JICA Support Project for COMIFAC.

The overall objective of this workshop was to finalize the Guide of Good Practices in the Management of Genetic Resources Laboratories in COMIFAC countries, and the main aim was to review and enrich the draft version of the guide.

A key objective of this workshop was also to facilitate discussion on the functioning of the platform of researchers from the sub-region and to continue the reflection in view of the organization of the Researchers' Conference on ABS in November 2020.

The workshop was opened by the representative of the COMIFAC National Coordinator for Rwanda, Mr. Dismas Bakundukize in the presence of the Executive Secretary of COMIFAC, Mr. Raymond Ndomba Ngoye and the representative of JICA, Mr. Nagase Tomonori.

Through constructive debates, group activities and plenary discussions, a draft document was produced. This document sets out the rules to be followed by genetic resources laboratories in order to ensure the reliability of test results, as well as their cost-effectiveness while securing the safety of personnel and the protection of the environment.

The closing ceremony was chaired by the JICA Resident Representative in Rwanda, Mr. Maruo Shin, who congratulated the participants for the work done and expressed the hope that the guide will be the unique reference in Central Africa for all public and private research stakeholders.

Pending the validation of the manual in April 2020, Mr. Raymond Ndomba Ngoye, Executive Secretary of COMIFAC thanked the Rwandan government for the welcome extended to participants and researchers for their availability and full involvement. He reassured them of COMIFAC's support and urged them to strive to produce a quality final document.

As a reminder, the Nagoya Protocol establishes the principle of access and benefit sharing (ABS) and aims to regulate the relationship between a provider of genetic resources and a user under research and development activities. It applies to academic research or research and development activities of both public and private institutions, when this research concerns the genetic and/or biochemical composition of genetic resources.

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