An awareness seminar on “National biodiversity conservation and sustainable program with special focus on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal” was held at the Gaeddu College of Business Studies (GCBS), Gedu, Chhukha on 10th November 2016. The seminar was mainly aimed at creating awareness on the biodiversity conservation and its importance targeting students and faculties of the business college. Thus, expanding the awareness and disseminating information to wider audience not just focusing on environmental related agencies and institutions. The awareness seminar is a part of seminar series which is conducted throughout the country by prioritizing relevant and important institutions.
The seminar covered various biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilisation initiatives in the country, an overview of the national and international conventions, protocols and legal framework on biodiversity such as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, Access and Benefit Sharing Policy of Bhutan 2015 and the Access and Benefit Sharing regime adopted in the country.
Participants were also briefed on the different programs and activities carried out by the National Biodiversity Centre and other relevant agencies and, the existence and the importance of Bhutan Biodiversity Portal (www.biodiversity.bt). Bhutan Biodiversity Portal acts as an online biodiversity repository contributed by the biodiversity enthusiasts and citizen participations and it is also an online platform which is available to all interested national and international users.
With this kind of awareness programs, it is hoped that the students (future generations) will be more aware of their surrounding biodiversity and develop interest in conservation activities. In addition, the management of Gaeddu College expressed their interest to conduct such seminars to the new batch of students annually.
The seminar was organized by the National Biodiversity Centre and was attended by the faculty members and about 500 students of the Gaeddu College of Business Studies. The seminar was supported by Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund implemented by the National Biodiversity Centre in collaboration with UNDP Bhutan.