International cooperation is necessary for data sharing as is transfer of technology and capacity building of science and technology in developing countries, agreed the representatives of countries participating in the Roundtable on Knowledge, Innovation and Benefit Sharing at the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, on October 13.

The participants said knowledge and innovation provide strong technological support for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. To achieve the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its protocols, there is an urgent need to promote cooperation in technological development and innovation related to biodiversity conservation.

Researchers from the South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences on a field trip in Ecuador and Colombia in September 2019 [IAMGE: SCBG]

Chinese and Latin American scientists have carried out cooperation and exchanges in biodiversity conservation for many years.

Rivas, a teacher in the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of San Marcos in Peru, for example, came to Guangzhou in September 2019, where she used the molecular data research method to complete experiments for her doctoral dissertation under the guidance of Ge Xuejun, research fellow at the South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

“It hasn’t been long since the molecular data research method was applied to botanical research. However, in China, large-scale molecular data is already being used at the genome level,” she said.

Eight years ago, Rivas participated in an international training course on biodiversity conservation and management organized by CAS’s SCBG, benefiting a lot from the experience of learning from so many experts. When she encountered difficulties writing her doctoral dissertation, the first thing she thought of was to return to China to tackle the problem.

“China has advanced technology in the use of molecular means to analyze the genetic structure of plants. We hope to formulate protection strategies for different species through gene sequencing methods and to provide help in biodiversity conservation for Latin American countries,” Ge said.

In December 2008, scientists from CAS’s SCBG went to Peru for a biodiversity survey and signed a cooperation agreement with La Molina National University of Agriculture. The researchers inspected the vegetation in the Amazon tropical rain forest and the middle section of the Andes, covering a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers.

Ren Hai, director of CAS’s SCBG, said this was the first time that Chinese botanists had conducted a systematic survey of plant resources of the Amazon River Basin in Peru. Over the past decade, China and Peru have carried out joint scientific expeditions several times and discovered some new species, which boosted the scientific research of both countries.

In 2015, the SCBG and the National University of San Marcos jointly established a molecular system and evolution lab in Peru.

“This joint laboratory is bearing fruit and providing a lot of support for Peruvian researchers,” Rivas said.

We will establish a Chile-centered comprehensive international cooperation center to increase cooperation with Latin American countries, said Ren. Systematic studies on the Andes Mountains and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau will be conducted, exploring the issues such as plant diversity protection, climate change, and sustainable development.

“We hope more plant conservationists and regulators from developing countries, especially countries along the Belt and Road, will come to China, and we would like to share our knowledge and experience and work together for the conservation of biodiversity,” Ren said.

Source: Xinhua

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