Capacity building workshop on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge associated with genetic resources: November 30, 2011

The National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized a one day workshop on Intellectual Property (IP), Genetic Resources (GR) and Traditional Knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources.

The workshop was attended by a total of 42 participants from various agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests such as The Wildlife Conservation Division, Nature Recreation and Eco-tourism Division, Council for RNR Research of Bhutan, Medicinal and Aromatic Program, National Organic Program, Market Access and Growth Intensification Program, Agriculture and Food Regularity Authority, RNR-RDC Yusipang and the National Plant Protection Centre. Other participants were from the Intellectual Property Division, Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals, WWF Bhutan, and Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment Conservation, Tarayana Foundation, Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators, Bio Bhutan, and Royal Academy for Performing Arts and representatives from the media such as BBS, Bhutan Times and Kuensel.

The workshop was organized to educate and inform the relevant national stakeholders on issues related to Intellectual property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge associated with genetic resources in the global context as well as the existing national mechanisms. The one day workshop covered the history, trends and practices related to Intellectual property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge presented by the WIPO visiting experts and the initiatives and challenges on IP in Bhutan presented by NBC and IPD. The afternoon saw an introduction of the Traditional Knowledge Documentation Toolkit by WIPO and also training on its use.

The workshop is a part of a series of workshops that NBC will organize to strengthen national awareness and education on Intellectual property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge associated with genetic resources to promote preservation and protection of traditional knowledge and reduce the risk of misappropriation and bio-piracy.

As the National Focal agency on the inventory and documentation of Traditional Knowledge associated with biological resources, NBC has developed a Traditional Knowledge Database System to document and preserve the traditional knowledge associated with biological resources in the country based on the prior informed consent of the holder(s) of the traditional knowledge.

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