Launch of ABS Products

The Prime Minister of Bhutan launches nature-based products

The Honourable Prime Minister, Lyonchen Dasho Tshering Tobgay launched nine nature-based products today at the Taj Tashi, Thimphu. The products were anti-wrinkle cream, massage balm, liniment, massage oil, perfume, soaps, and hand sanitizer to support sustainable rural livelihoods.

Speaking at the launch, the Honourable Prime Minister said, “the nature-based products represent the biodiversity hotspot” that Bhutan is known for globally. “These are the pristine products from a pristine environment, representing what Bhutan is all about.” However, he cautioned that Bhutan should use its genetic resources sustainably and we must protect the associated traditional knowledge in using these biological resources.

Mr. Gerald Daly, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bhutan, stressed on various threats to biodiversity that Bhutan faces. However, he added that Bhutan has in place various strategies supported both by policy and legal instruments.

“The access to genetic resources and benefit mechanism (ABS) supported through this project is just one example of innovative approaches to compliment the ongoing efforts of the government,” said Gerald Daly. “The ABS mechanism puts ‘people’ at the center of conservation efforts by ensuring economic benefits.”

The products were a joint effort by various organizations like the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), MoAF, Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals Corporation Limited and Bio Bhutan in collaboration with the UNDP.

The ABS project is supporting collaborations among the government agencies and a private entity by engaging the local communities to support their livelihoods and promote conservation of biological diversity. As the benefits are beginning to manifest in the form of business, employment, research, technology transfer, and capacity development opportunities, the project will go a long way in promoting conservation of biodiversity, sustainable livelihoods and income generating opportunities for the communities.

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