Seminar on traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources
Bhutan held the first ever International Seminar on traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources on 29th March at Namgay Heritage Hotel in Thimphu. The event was graced by the Secretary of Forests and Agriculture. Over 40 participants from different institutions around the country and eight international delegates attended the seminar.
The key objective of the seminar was to create awareness on traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources focusing on its documentation, protection and preservation, ownership and prevention of misappropriation.
Traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources means the knowledge, innovations and practices of communities or individuals relating to the use, properties, values and processes of any biological and genetic resources or any part thereof.
According to National Biodiversity Centre ( NBC) in Serbithang , traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is considered important for communities to rely on genetic resources and have helped preserve, protect and conserve biodiversity over the centuries.
Mr. Chencho Dorji from NBC said that traditional knowledge related to genetic resources can be an important source of information for identifying new uses og genetic resources.
‘’ The leads provided by traditional knowledge in identifying the proper- ties of genetic resources have enabled industries to develop new products and have helped scientists understand biodiversity,’’ said Mr. Chencho.
Traditional knowledge is expected to alleviate poverty for it increase and enhance rural livelihood. For a small country like Bhutan drug exploration based on the use of traditional knowledge may be cost effective than attempting random sampling techniques as it save time, money and investment, said an NBC official.
Looking at the current status and threats on traditional knowledge it is becoming increasingly important to document the inherited traditional knowledge of people from different corners of the country so that it is preserved before it is lost.
The two day seminar was organized by the National Biodiversity Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest through funding support from the GEF-funded Nagoya Protocol Implementation project.