ABS Biodiscovery case in Botswana
Local communities organize to create products based on traditional uses of the Mongongo plant.
The fruits obtained from the Mongongo species (Schinziophyton rautanenii, euphorbiaceae) have been used for centuries by many communities in Botswana. Its oil, for example, is used as a body rub to cleanse and moisturize the skin, and both the edible flesh part of the fruit and the oil are an important part of the primary diet of local communities.
Women of the village of Shakawe saw potential in the resources that they have been using as part of their childhood to earn a livelihood. They formed the Matute-a-Mongongo group and organized to harvest fruits and use them for developing several products, such as juice, oil, and soap.
The production is undertaken by local women with the support of Dikgosi or Village Chiefs, the Department of Forestry and Range Resources, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Project in Ngamiland and the UNDP-GEF Global ABs Project.
The UNDP-GEF Global ABs Project has supported the development of a Biocultural Community Protocol and other tools to enable fair and equitable sharing of benefits from bioprospecting of the genetic resources that come from the Mongongo tree communities in and around Shakawe.
The development of the Biocultural Community Protocol enables the ascertainment of women’s right to access and utilization of the Mongongo resources and their effective involvement in the various phases of product development. Therefore, this biodiscovery project contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (Gender Equality). Additionally, this biodiscovery case helps to improve livelihood for the communities, promoting SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
Read more about this biodiscovery case here.
Learn more about biodiversity in Botswana and the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol here.