Asian Consortium for Conservation and Utilization of
Microbial Resources (ACM): current activities and the perspective

Ken-ichiro Suzuki
NITE Biological Resource Center (NBRC),
National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)
Kisarazu 292-0818 Chiba, Japan

ACM has established in 2004 at the occasion of ICCC10 at Tsukuba by representatives of twelve Asian countries. In the recent CBD era, countries with rich natural resources are interested in utilization of the biological resources in the countries. However, there are few schemes ensuring the transparency for biologists to make international cooperative studies using such biological resources. ACM is a unique community in the following points: (1) The participating members are both from the developing countries with rich biological resources and from those with potential for commercialization with high-tech companies, (2) The members includes government administrative staffs and culture collection curators as well as researchers on microbiology. The aims of ACM are establishment of framework for international cooperation to enhance cooperative researches for microbiological resources, establishment of standards for international transfer of biological materials, and information networks. “Access and benefit-sharing” is also a common interest among the members. To achieve the above aims, microbial resource centers should play important roles as national focal points.
ACM holds meetings annually to exchange information of the activities of the members of the year concerning biological resources. ACM has three taskforces for (1) biological resource center network, (2) human resource development, and (3) management of material transfer. The integrated database searchable of microbial strains through the culture collections in Asian countries is one of the visible outputs of the activities. It also assists small culture collections to establish and manage their own databases on the common structure to facilitate the integration of the databases.
The members are expecting the expansion of the activities of ACM to encourage Asian microbiologists to study biological diversity to solve the global problems on environments and human welfare.
The author expresses thanks to the members of ACM for giving me this opportunity.