Sem­i­nar on tra­di­tional knowl­edge as­so­ci­ated with ge­netic re­sources

Bhutan Times - - Home - Deki Lha­zoom

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.

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