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Why is Access and Benefit-Sharing from the Use of DSI Important?

Effective international coordination to ensure access to DSI and robust benefit-sharing from its use has the potential to help address some of the world’s greatest challenges, including biodiversity loss, food security, and global health. For instance, the use of DSI has enabled recent technological and scientific breakthroughs such as the SARS-COV-2 vaccine and the development of stress-resistant crops. Ever greater innovation is likely as the number of digital records expands and technology for utilizing DSI continues to evolve.

The current landscape of international instruments governing DSI is highly complex and the lack of a coherent, transparent, and equitable system for DSI access and benefit-sharing (ABS) threatens to impede scientific innovation and undermine the sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources. Decision 15/9 at the CBD in 2022 established a multilateral ABS mechanism that includes a global fund. The fund could potentially be populated through permanent, self-sustaining contributions from the largest private sector users of DSIthe pharmaceutical, biotech, and food and agriculture sectors.

Monetary benefit-sharing from the use of DSI could contribute to meeting the overall funding goals of the Global Biodiversity Framework, which outlines an ambitious plan to achieve a global vision of a world living in harmony with nature by 2050