Equipping Bhutan to sustainably use genetic resources under Nagoya Protocol

Aug 10, 2016

Sherub Tenzin, the head of MSP demonstrating the equipment.

To further enhance sustainable use of genetic resources in the country, UNDP Bhutan handed over equipment to Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals (MSP) under the Department of Traditional Medicine Services (DTMS), earlier today. The support is part of the Nagoya Protocol implementation’s Access Benefit Sharing programme.

Bhutan’s rich biodiversity includes some 200 species of medicinal plants and the intricate linkages between the rich cultural and natural heritage has created a strong tradition of using genetic resources that store vast traditional knowledge held by local communities.

During the equipment handover, Yangchen Chhoeden, the officiating Director General of MSP said that such support would help the organization’s plans to further diversify its mandate and bring out a number of cosmetic and spa products.

According to her, the project has also helped develop research and development and quality control and production capacity. “This will mark the real beginning for research and development of products as well as enhance the vast traditional knowledge on genetic resources”, said Yangchen.   

UNDP Bhutan Deputy Resident Representative Niamh Collier-Smith said that the project, “Has not only benefitted in terms of providing primary health care to the rural populace but also helped farmers through income generating activities.”

Ms. Niamh Collier-Smith added that UNDP’s support for the project does recognize the challenges that MSP faces due to lack of access to technology and capacity for research and development. “With the involvement of the community, Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals will take us to a new level of access and benefit sharing (ABS) in line with the Nagoya Protocols requirements”, she added.  

Meanwhile, a two-day training will be conducted on the maintenance and operation of the equipment facilitated by Asim Khatiwada, Service Engineer from Prudent Meditech International, Nepal.  

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UNDP Bhutan’s partnership with Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals through Access and Benefit Sharing Project will advance Bhutan on SDG 1 on poverty, SDG 3 good health and well-being, SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production and SDG 15 on life on land.

For more information, contact;

jigme.dorji@undp.org 

pushkar.chhetri@undp.org