8th June, 2018: The National Biodiversity Center (NBC) along with the NPIF project implementing partners, Menjong Sorig Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (MSPCL) and Bio Bhutan organized a daylong seminar on “sharing of experiences on the implementation of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) regime in Bhutan” at Norkhil Boutique Hotel and Spa, Thimphu.
The seminar was focused on the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity which is an international agreement which aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.
Bhutan ratified the Nagoya protocol in 2012 and initiated the operationalization of the ABS regime in the Country. Subsequently, the ABS Policy of Bhutan was endorsed as the National Policy and the institutional mechanism for implementing ABS in the country was established. In 2014, NBC in partnership with UNDP CO secured an ABS project from Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund. As a part of the project, the Center piloted ABS projects in collaboration with MSPCL, Bio Bhutan and local communities of Loggchina Gewog in Chukkha, Langthel in Trongsa and Dagala Gewog in Thimphu. During the course of its implementation over the last four years, many experiences and knowledge were generated by the implementing partners which was being disseminated to the relevant stakeholders through this seminar.
The seminar constituted of series of presentations/talks on the Convention on Biological Diversity and ABS from NBC followed by experiences sharing by Bio Bhutan, Dagala Community representatives MSPCL and NBC including discussions and question/answer session. The seminar also provided a platform for the participants to foster partnership/build network amongst the stakeholders (local communities, private sectors, researchers and the ABS authorities) involved in access and utilization of the biological resources and its associated traditional knowledge.
The seminar was attended by 27 officials; Representatives from United Nation Development Programme, Department of Agriculture, Department of Livestock, Agriculture Research Development Center, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, private entrepreneurs (Dragon herbs, Mountain Mist Soaps, Bhutan Cordyceps, Bhutan Organics, Norbu Healing) and Thimphu TechPark along with implementing agencies (NBC, Bio Bhutan and MSPCL).
The seminar was funded by UNDP-GEF through the NPIF Project.