21st April 2023: The first-ever sensitization workshop on Biodiversity Rules and Regulations 2023 of the Biodiversity Act of Bhutan 2022 was held in Thimphu for relevant stakeholders with a special focus on the roles and responsibilities of enforcement agencies and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Checkpoints. The sensitization workshop is held jointly by the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) and the Legal Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MoAL) to the enforcement agencies and ABS checkpoints mainly to explain roles and responsibilities in terms of implementation of the Act and its Rules and Regulations. The Biodiversity Act of Bhutan and its Rules and Regulations designated the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP), the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS), the Bhutan Food and Drug Regulatory Authority (BFDA) and the National Biodiversity Centre as the enforcement agencies. Further, the Department of Media, Creative Industry & Intellectual Property and the Department of Revenue and Customs along with the enforcement agencies are identified as a ABS checkpoint to help the enforcement agencies in the implementation of the Act and its Rules and Regulations.
The sensitization workshop was attended by the representatives from Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS), Bhutan Food and Drug Authority (BFDA), Department of Revenue Customs, Department of Immigration, the Department of Media, Creative and Industry and Intellectual Property and Bhutan Airlines.
The Biodiversity Act of Bhutan 2022 was adopted by the 7th Session of the 3rd Parliament of Bhutan and subsequently received Royal Assent on 15th July 2022 and as mandated by the Act, the Competent National Authority approved the Rules and Regulations in 13th February, 2023 and subsequently the Rules and Regulations came into force from 16th February, 2023.
Similar workshops will be conducted in Paro, Phuntsholing, Samtse, Nganglam,Gelephu, Samdrupjongkhar and Paro in the coming days for the enforcement officers and ABS checkpoints.
The workshop is financially supported by the Evolutionary Plant Breeding Project funded by the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD) through Bioversity International which is implemented by the National Biodiversity Centre.