UNDP and partners discussed Role of Women in the Conservation of Genetic Resources for Sustainable Development

July 5, 2019

Dushanbe: On 04 July 2019 United Nations Development Programme conducted National workshop on gender aspects and development of added value chain based on genetic resources in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol and the principles of access and benefit-sharing (ABS). Representatives of governmental and scientific institutions, including the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of Tajikistan, National Biodiversity and Biosafety Center, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, Pharmaceutical Center of the Academy of Medical Sciences and public organizations gathered to discuss challenges and opportunities of increasing women’s participation in the conservation of genetic resources in the country.

Although the territory of Tajikistan is small, its biological composition is extremely diverse. There are 9 000 species of wild plants. Many plants growing in the country are used for pharmaceutical purposes. Until very recently, due to limited knowledge and demand and a lack of technology, indigenous communities have limited their practices to supporting growth of medicinal plants without pursuing any real processing and production.

Women’s participation in the collection, storage and sale of genetic resources remains very low and was highlighted during the workshop (survey results on conducted gender analysis were presented to workshop participants). 

Dr. Tojinisso Zubaydova, Head of the Department of Experimental Pharmacology and Biotechnology of the Pharmaceutical Centre of the Academy of Medicine Sciences presented best practices and her recent biodiscovery work on application of traditional knowledge that resulted in the development of the pharmaceutical product “Ferubet” (a glucose-lowering medicine).

UNDP national and international technical experts provided practical recommendations for mainstreaming gender into access and benefit sharing value chains to introduce innovative methods in the process of collection, processing and marketing of genetic resources as well as create opportunities for working with Ferula in the region.

UNDP/GEF «Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks, and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol» project aims at assisting 24 countries in the development and strengthening of their national access and benefit-sharing (ABS) frameworks, human resources, and administrative capabilities to implement the Nagoya Protocol. In Tajikistan, the National project partner is the National Biodiversity and Biosafety Center, a state institution established to coordinate the implementation of the activities under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.