Translating DSMZ science for CBD policymakers

As a large biological resource center, the DSMZ receives deposits into the collection from dozens of countries and sends biological material out to nearly a hundred countries. In addition, many of our on-going research projects involve international collaborations. As a result, over the last ten or more years, we have worked hard to ensure compliance with international legal frameworks that govern use and transfer of biological material, in particular, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and, more recently, the Nagoya Protocol. In particular, we were the first registered collection in the EU under EU-implementing legislation, EU 511/2014.

This has led in recent years to an increased involvement with national and international policymakers in these processes. We recently led a study on sequence data (known in policy circles as „digital sequence information“ or DSI) and sequence databases and traceability. The study was prepared for the CBD Secretariat upon request of the Parties and presented at the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group in March 2020. This study and other coordinated activities within the Leibniz Association led to the BMBF-funded WiLDSI project which attempts to identify open-access-based policy options for DSI.

We are also active in supporting the scientific community with the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. In the Horizon 2020 project, the European Virus Archive, we lead Work Package 7, which is responsible for Nagoya Protocol implementation across the consortium as well as regulatory affairs. Together with the German natural history research museums (DNFS), the Association for Life Sciences (VBIO), and the Leibniz Resarch Alliance for Biodiversity (LVB), we are leading the German Nagoya Protocol
, a project funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation which supports the academic community with understanding the obligations arising from the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.
Together, these extramurally-funded projects enable us to connect and translate our research and collection activities to a broader social and policy context. 


Selected publications:

  1. Rohden, F., Huang, S., Dröge, G., and Scholz, A., (2020) Combined Study on Digital Sequence Information (DSI) in Public and Private Databases and Traceability. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Montreal, Canada. DSI CBD study
  2. Karger, EJ, Hartman Scholz A. (2020) DSI, the Nagoya Protocol, and Stakeholders’ Concerns. Trends Biotechnol. 2020 Oct 19; S0167-7799(20)30245-6,
  3. Overmann J, Hartman Scholz A. (2017) Microbiological Research Under the Nagoya Protocol: Facts and Fiction. Trends in Microbiology 25(2): 85-88.
  4. Verkley G, Perrone G, Piña M, Hartman Scholz A, Overmann J, Zuzuarregui A, Perugini I, Turchetti B, Hendrickx M, Stacey G, Law S, Russell J, Smith D, Lima N. (2020) New ECCO model documents for Material Deposit and Transfer Agreements in compliance with the Nagoya Protocol. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 367 (5),
  5. Yurkov, A., Püschner, HM, Scholz, AH. Sept. 2019. DSMZ: the European Union’s first Registered Collection under the Nagoya Protocol. Microbiology Australia 40(3) 108-113,