The Young, infiltrated
On December 2016, a group of international young science students was invited to attend the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancun, Mexico as members of the Public Research and Regulation Initiative delegation (PRRI).
Mexico hosted the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13), the eighth COP-MOP of the Cartagena Protocol (COP-MOP 8) and the second COP-MOP of the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP 2). PRRI, in collaboration with the ISAAA delegation, invited students from different parts of the world to introduce them to the importance of the scientific community to get involved in effective science communication and regulation events.
All of these students were interested in biotechnology, genetic engineering, synthetic biology and emerging technologies that hold the potential to solve environmental problems, health menaces or help understand life mechanisms. Some of them, who were previous iGEM participants, presented their works during an event hosted by the delegation.
The group witnessed a lack of participation from the scientific community and the young people in the regulation processes that were taking place. Considering this situation a problem with possible negative consequences for the development of emerging technologies, something had to be done; the creation of a youth community focused on science communication and development was proposed.
It was then when we decided to create Youth Biotech, an international association that focuses on science communication, science regulation and science development. Under the science development track we founded the PHAgave project and we have been carrying out our public engagement activities through this platform since then.
The Conference of the Parties “ is the highest governing body of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It brings together representatives of the countries party managers and key players to promote the implementation of the Convention” (COP13, 2016).
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is the international agreement that seeks to ensure the safe handling, transportation and use of living modified organisms resulting from the application of modern technology and which may have adverse effects on biodiversity (COP-MOP8, 2016).
The Nagoya Protocol is an international agreement on the access to genetic resources and fair and equitable participation of benefits arising from their use (COP-MOP2, 2016).
Youth Biotech is an international group of young people, from different disciplines, who share a common interest: science. It focuses on science development and communication, as well as on the inclusion of young people in the creation of regulatory frameworks for biotechnology.
Conference of the parties. (2016). http://cop13.mx/en/cop-13/
COP-MOP8 of the Cartagena Protocol. (2016). http://cop13.mx/cop-mop-8-del-protocolo-de-cartagena/
COP-MOP2 of the Nagoya Protocol. (2016). http://cop13.mx/en/cop-mop-2-nagoya-protocol/