Conservation & Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Eastern Himalayas

Project location: Bhutan, Eastern Himalayas
Project start date: November 2003 - Project end date: November 2005
Project number: 2003-31
Beneficiary: World Foundation for Environment and Development

Access & Benefit-Sharing in the Kingdom of Bhutan

Bhutan is recognized as one of the world's most important areas for biodiversity conservation because of the great diversity and concentration of plants, animals, and habitats protected there. Bhutan also has one of the world's most important intact traditions concerning medicinal plant uses. This special combination offers Bhutan a rare opportunity to manage access and use of its valuable biological resources in ways that create incentives for environmental conservation and economic development while protecting traditional knowledge and promoting human health.

The Nando Peretti Foundation is funding a project carried out by WFED (World Foundation for Environment and Development), supported by Bhutan's Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, that proposes to start implementation of a biodiversity prospecting access and benefit-sharing management plan in order to improve conservation and sustainable use of Bhutan's valuable biological resources and related traditional knowledge of medicinal plants.

The plan outlines a series of actions relating to:

  • a careful and systematic review of Bhutan's laws, regulations and institutional arrangements relating to potential bioprospecting activities;
  • development and implementation of proposals to revise such laws and regulations where necessary and appropriate;
  • development and implementation of equitable and efficient systems for permitting access to biodiversity in Bhutan and strategies that generate benefit from intellectual property rights systems and various other approaches for management of benefits resulting from research use of Bhutan's biological resources.

The beautiful landscape of Bhutan

World Foundation for Environment and Development
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