Nine nature-based products were launched in Thimphu on 5 April to support sustainable rural livelihoods and contribute to the conservation of bio-diversity, Kuensel reports.
The products include anti-wrinkle cream, balm, liniment oil, massage oil, perfume, soaps, and hand sanitizers developed from herbs such as Zingiber cassumunar, Phyllanthus emblica, Rhododendron anthopogon and Sapindus rarak among others.
The nine products were developed after the formalization of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) agreement between community members and stakeholders.
To develop nature-based products in line with the ABS framework, the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), Menjong Sorig Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (MSBCL), and Bio Bhutan in collaboration with the UNDP implemented the project in Loggchina gewog in Chhukha, Langthel in Trongsa and Lingshi and Dagala in Thimphu.
The Project manager, Chencho Dorji said that the project helped benefit four communities in the country.
“Apart from the monetary benefit of getting the products at a premium price, the capacity of the communities was strengthened through training such as sustainable harvesting.”
Chencho Dorji said that unlike regular trade where only raw materials are bought from the communities, the project looks into the additional benefits to the community.
He said that the ABS framework and Biodiversity Act are important legislations that ensure the sustainable utilization of the country’s rich biological resources while protecting the local and indigenous communities.
“To us, this means that growth and development are inclusive and sustainable. It means incorporating productive capacities that create employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded people of Bhutan,” he said.
It was learnt that the first component of the project is to facilitate an operational national regulatory and institutional framework.
The second component focuses on the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions and procurement of research and development equipment to implement the ABS framework.
The third demonstrates best practice of the ABS framework through the development of nature-based products involving the local community directly.