G-BiKE: New European Network working on Genomic Biodiversity for Resilient Ecosystems


From September 4th to 6th, 2019, the Society for Genetic Conservation of B&H endemic and autochthonous resources „Genofond“ and the University of Sarajevo-Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology will host a series of events within the new COST project Genomic BIodiversity Knowledge for Resilient Ecosystems (G-Bike, CA18134).

Project an interesting acronym - G-BIKE is a research network within Horizon 2020 COST Programme that will link scientists and practitioners across the EU and beyond, highlighting the importance of genetic and genomic tools in biodiversity conservation.

The main challenge is to establish the use of genomic data as a standard tool for monitoring and managing plants and animal species in order to ensure their persistence, and the continued supply of nature-based ecosystem services.

G-BIKEAs the acronym itself refers to a bicycle, the basic idea of a project is to link two „wheels“, one that represents scientists and the other made of all those who directly implement ecosystem protection programs. 

The project started at G-BiKE’s Kick-Off meeting in Brussels on 8th March 2019, with the participation of 45 scientists from 27 European countries. Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this project are Emina Šunje, MA (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, UNSA), Adi Habul, MSc (Environmental Fund of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Belma Kalamujić Stroil, Ph.D. (Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, UNSA) and Branislav Cvjetković, Ph.D. (Faculty of Forestry, University of Banja Luka).

The action program is divided into five thematic units that are operationally organized as working groups. The team from Bosnia and Herzegovina will participate in the work of the group whose main focus is the dissemination of knowledge on genetic diversity and adaptive ecosystem capacities in the wider European public, beyond the typical communities of scientists and practitioners. The activities of this group include the organization of educational events in zoological and botanical gardens, development of citizen-scientist concept, creation of online educational material (videos, webinars, animated films), promotion of multidisciplinary approach to environmental issues through involvement of artists and journalists and communication with EU and national bodies responsible for environmental issues.

The Chair and Scientific Representative of G-BiKE was elected as Dr. Cristiano Vernesi from Fondazione Edmund Mach (Italy), while the representative of B&H, Belma Kalamujić Stroil was appointed as the leader of the working group 5 “Knowledge Sharing”.

The project currently includes 32 countries from Europe and will run until May 2023.