ABS Biodiscovery Case in Bhutan
Developing sustainable products guided by ABS principles and traditional knowledge of mountain plants.
In the South West region of Bhutan is located the mountainous Dzedokha village, a small and rural community with a relatively fertile soil for growing cash crops such as cardamom and mandarine oranges, and a special plant utilized in traditional medicine, the Mountain Ginger. Nevertheless, due to the volatile market and poor road conditions, commerce has always been a challenge for the local farmers.
To support sustainable livelihoods of the Dzedokha village and other rural communities, the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) in partnership with UNDP Bhutan, financed by the UNDP-GEF ABS Project, developed nature based massage balm and a liniment oil from the traditional knowledge of using Mountain Ginger for relieving joint pain.
The project, that also included other nature based products such as anti-wrinkle cream, perfume, soaps, and hand sanitizer, had the technical collaboration of Herbanext Laboratory Inc. for the research work, following all the ABS national processes.
The implementation of the Nagoya Protocol compliant ABS agreements generated employment for women and men and supported the strengthening of the National ABS Policy and Regulatory Frameworks to help in the guidance and regulating the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity, as well as the creation of an ABS Fund as a plough-back mechanism to support and sustain biodiversity conservation efforts in Bhutan.
Read more about this biodiscovery case and how it contributes to Sustainable Development Goals here.