Field Visit to natural product development sites of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Schemes by Project Steering Committee members of the NPIF Project

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October 13, Thimphu: The Project Management Unit of Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF) Project in partnership with BioBhutan, Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals and UNDP CO coordinated a half day field visit of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) Members of the NPIF Project to the natural product development sites at Kawangjangsa and Begana as part of the ongoing GEF funded project “Implementing the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing in Bhutan”.

The field visit was aimed at providing the PSC members with hand-on experiences on natural product development processes as well as to connect and interact with the local communities involved in the value chain. Further, it is also to serve as a platform for the PSC members to monitor and guide the project activities.

The PSC members led by the Chairperson, Dasho Secretary, MoAF were provided with a brief tour of the product manufacturing facilities at Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals, Kawajangsa. The tour also included a short demo on the development of natural products at the laboratory by Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals and National Biodiversity Centre with regard to their respective products under the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) schemes initiated by the project.

At Begana, the team visited the steam distillation facility of Biobhutan and interacted with the Jom Dagam Ngomen Tshogpa of Dagala community who supplies Rhododendron anthopogon to BioBhutan for distillation of its essential oil to develop various natural products under the ABS schemes. The Chairperson of the PSC, also expressed his appreciation to the Jom Dagam Ngomen Tshogpa members for their level of awareness on conservation and sustainable management of biological resources and advised them to continue their strong efforts towards strengthen conservation initiatives of the Ministry.

The visit ended with exhibition of the products developed by BioBhutan with support from the Jom Dagam Ngomen Tshogpa through the ABS initiatives.

Submitted by: National Biodiversity Centre.

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