Frequently Asked Questions

1. Passport Data

1.1 What is passport data?

Answer: Pssport data is a data type consisting of collection or field data of an accession. Some of them include: Accession Number, collector, collection date, place (region, locality, wereda, kebele, etc.), longitude, latitude, altitude, soil (type, color, pH, salinity), rainfall, etc.

1.2 How can I get the passport data I want?

Answer: first, you should make sure which data types you are looking for in particular. This could be based on your research type, output, etc. Second, you should have an official letter from your organization stating that you would like to get those passport data with or without the accessions. The letter should be adressed to the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation.

1.3 How many accessions do you have in your database recently?

Answer: Currently, we have more than 64, 000 accessions in our database with relevant passport data. The accessions belong to more than 200 plant species collected all over the country. However, as the database is usually added on, we can not tell you the exact figure.

1.4 What is the maximum number of accessions I can ask for passport data in one request?

Answer: This depends on your project proposal or research. However, be informed that we can not provide the whole database in one request. You can ask for up to two to three species accessions in special cases. The maximum number of accession per species recorded in our database until December 2006 is 14000.

1.5 What shall I do if the accessions I want are not enough or not available in your storage?

Answer: If the accessions in our short term or long term storage are not enough for your purpose you can do the following. First of all, you should bring an official letter from your institution stating that you want to collect more samples from the areas specified by your project proposal. Afterwards, we will provide you a field assistant who will assist you in your collection mission so that you can legally collect what you want. Note that you are expected to cover the daily allowances of the field assistant.

1.6 Can I collect samples from anywhere in Ethiopia without your knowledge?

Answer: Please follow the rules and regulations here. Remember that Ignorance of the law has no excuse!

2. Genetic Material Transfer Permit

2.1 How can I take samples or specimens of organisms out of Ethiopia?

Answer: Previously, students of various educational levels, researchers, explorers, etc. have been taking material legally as well as illegally. However, this rsulted in biopiracy, which lead into the misuse of organisms such as patenting (e.g. Eragrostis teff), etc. For this reason, any body who would like to take genetic material abroad has to sign legal agreements with our institute before further steps. Otherwise, it is prohibited to transfer genetic materials abroad or to third party. Read more on this issue and see samples of agreements here.

2.2 Which species are strictly prohibited from being taken out of Ethiopia?

Answer: Endangered, threatened and nearly extinct species are prohibited from being taken out of Ethiopia, except in the form of conservation in ex-situ sites within the country. You can download the list here.

3. Library

3.1 Can access your Library?

Answer: Intially, our “mini-libarry” was established with the main objective of availing reference materials for our staff. However, with the growing need of external users, we are providing service to universities, research institutes and private individuals. In any case, individuals are required to bring official letter to have access to our library.

3.2 What publications do you have in your Library?

Answer: We have collections of books, journals, magazines, proceedings, etc. mainly dealing with Biodiversity conservation and relevant fields.

3.3 Can I borrow materials from your library?

Recently, we do not have enough copies of publications in our library. Hence, we do not lend materials for external users though you are allowed to read at the library and copy some pages at nearby stationeries.

4. Education and Projects

4.1 Can I work my Educational attachments with you which are relevant to your Institute?

Answer: Absolutely! We are happy to work with you if you identify relevant departments or services. For further information please Click Here.

4.2 Does your organization support projects related to biodiversity conservation?

Answer: Absolutely NOT! We do not provide funds for external researchers as we are governmental institution.

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