Accessing Genetic Resources in Canada
What Are Genetic Resources:
Most people know about natural, biological, resources like the timber we get from trees or the grain we get from crops. A lot of people are unaware of another kind of valuable resource we get from the natural world, genetic resources. Genetic resources are described as any plant, animal, or microbial material that contains functioning genes that could be of actual or potential value. Genetic resources can be found in nature or in collections, botanical gardens, etc. One way to think about a genetic resource is that it is different than a biological resource because of they way you use it. If you use the genes then you are using a genetic resource.
Research using genetic resources gives rise to a range of benefits, such as increased knowledge of our plants, animals and other organisms and a better understanding of how to use and conserve our biological diversity. In some instances, research on genetic resources also gives rise to important economic and social benefits - for example, in the breeding of crop plants to face new environmental challenges or the development of new drugs and medicines. It is important to understand that the benefits which come from the use of genetic resources are broad, and can include monetary payments as well as non-monetary benefits such as sharing new knowledge, scientific research and technologies.
- What is Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)?
- Purpose of this paper
- Glossary and key concepts
- Issue 1: Developing ABS policy in Canada
- Issue 2: Implementing ABS policy in Canada
- Issue 3: Traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources
- Incorporating your responses into the decision making processes
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