S4.1 The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Standards and Policies for Molecular Collections (Closed)


Ms Gabriele Droege1, Ms. Katharine Barker2

1Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 2National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, US

GGBN ( is based on a Memorandum of Understanding and is an unincorporated, international network of member organizations sharing the aim of making high-quality, well-documented, and vouchered genomic samples of the Earth’s biodiversity discoverable for research. GGBN fosters collaborations among biodiversity repositories in order to comply with quality standards, policies, best practices, interoperability, and exchange of material in accordance with national and international legislation and conventions, thereby benefiting society through increased research contributing to development and biodiversity conservation. The GGBN Data Standard provides a platform based on a documented agreement to promote the efficient sharing and usage of genomic samples and associated specimen information in a consistent way. It builds upon existing community standards, extending them with the capability to exchange data on tissue, environmental and DNA samples as well as sequences. Recently, the GGBN Data Standard has been extended to support environmental DNA and High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) library samples.

While respecting national law, GGBN requires that its members comply with the provisions of the Nagoya protocol ( Thus researchers, sample holding institutions (e.g., natural history museums, culture collections, zoos, herbaria), and networks should adopt a common best practice to manage Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), as has been developed by GGBN in collaboration with CETAF. Best Practices for ABS implementation and management of genetic collections, such as standard Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) and mandatory and recommended data fields in collection databases, are tools to aid compliance.

This session comprises updates on the GGBN Data Standard, the GGBN Data Portal, and GGBN’s best practices for compliance with the Nagoya Protocol. It will provide examples of their use and applicability for information sharing across data aggregators and portals. Special emphasis will be given on different loaning policies of molecular collections and approaches on new user communities.

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