The National Biodiversity Centre, MoAF, Serbithang organized a one-day regional consultation workshop on the draft Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Policy of Bhutan on 3rd April, 2012 at Hotel Tropical, Gelephu. The workshop was organized to familiarize the regional stakeholders on the policy and to generate feedbacks for its improvement.
The Policy once approved will guide access to Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge (TK) associated with biological resources when used for research and commercial purposes and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its utilization.
The Consultation workshop was attended by 40 participants comprising Chief Forest Officers, Dzongkhag RNR Sector Heads, Dzongkhag Environmental Officers, Researchers, DYT Chairman, local healers and representatives of Community Forest and Non-wood Forest Product groups of Dagana, Tsirang, Sarpang and Samtse dzongkhags.
The workshop was facilitated by Bioprospecting and ABS Division (NBC) and three international legal experts from Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway and Natural Justice-Lawyers for Communities and the Environment, South Africa.
The participants supported the draft policy and said it was very timely. They provided major comments on benefit sharing mechanism and development of community protocols on access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Similar consultation workshops will be organized in other regions of the country.