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Acta Biológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-548X


NEMOGA SOTO, GABRIEL RICARDO  and  ROJAS DIAZ, DALÍ ALEIXANDRA. Some lessons about Access to Genetic Resources in Colombia. Two case studies. Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.2, pp.137-160. ISSN 0120-548X.

Access to genetic resources (AGR) with scientific or commercial purposes is regulated in Colombia by Decision 391/96 of the Andean Community of Nations and its prescribed norms. During the first years of the implementation of these norms, their effectiveness was almost null as a result of institutional deficiencies and the lack of information and interest of researchers and research institutions. With the purpose to extract lessons from the processes of access applications and to promote an appropriate answer from the environmental authorities, two case studies are examined. The data was taken from public files N.º 2571 and RGE0018, at the Ministry of Environment, House and Land Development (MAVDT). The application of the Biotechnology Institute of the National University of Colombia, has last for 7 years for the authorization of an ARG without success; unexpectedly the MAVDT has initiated a sanction process on grounds of illegal access. The application presented by the 'Temporary Union Colombian Center for Bioinformatic and Genomics on Extreme Environments -GeBix' the ARG was granted and signed after 406 days of proceeding. In the end, the application and negotiation of a contract for ARG, requires researcher’s knowledge regarding the ARG procedure and appropriate implementation of the access legislation by the MAVDT. Although the application process is less troublesome for the researcher at the moment, institutional and regulatory adjustments are still required in order to establish an ARG procedure that facilitates, instead of preventing, the scientific research.

Keywords : Access to genetic resources; bioprospection; biological research; Decision 391 of 1996; Colombia.

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