“The rich biodiversity may have a unique role to play at the global level in maintaining the genetic material required to guarantee food supplies for a growing world population as well as in the development of new pharmaceutical products. Our rich biodiversity may confer upon us a distinct comparative advantage in the development of new and clean industries based upon bio-prospecting and genetic engineering industries that could help to place Bhutan in the vanguard of scientific advance for the benefit of humankind”. – (Bhutan 2020)

 

Under the directive of the Ministry, the Bio-prospecting Division was established at NBC in 2009. The Division consists of Traditional Documentation Unit, Bio-Exploration Unit and Research Unit.

The primary functions of the division are to:

  • Develop policies and protocols on conservation and sustainable use of biological resources and associated Traditional Knowledge(TK).
  • Coordinate implementaion of National Access and Benefit Sharing Policy and Biodiversity Act of Bhutan 2003.
  • Serve as the national focal agency to regulate access to biological resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits rising from its utilization.
  • Document, protect and appropriately utilize TK associated with biological resources.
  • Conduct exploartion and research on biological resources of the country for natural product development and bio-discovery.
  • Promote regional and international linkages for collaborative work in the field of bioprospecting and access and benefit sharing.

Mandates :

  1. Implementation of National Access and Benefit Sharing Policy and Legislations.
  2. Document, protect and appropriately utilize TK associated with biological resources.
  3. Conduct exploration and research on biological resources of the country for natural product development and bio-discovery.
  4. Promote innovative measures to encourage people’s leadership and participation in conservation (e.g Bhutan ABS Fund, Community natural resource management initiatives, etc).
  5. Provide technical inputs for developing policies and protocols on conservation and sustainable use of biological resources and associated TK.
  6. Provide technical input for the execution of contract agreements, MTA, awareness raising programs, etc.
  7. Promote regional and international linkages for collaborative work in the field of bioprospecting and access and benefit sharing.
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