Genetic Resources for Sustainable Development

Content Manager • 9 January 2019

          The power of innovation, derived from traditional knowledge, science and technology, has transformed genetic resources into medicines, food, beverages and many other products which are indispensable for human existence on this planet. In fact, it can be argued that both genetic resources and innovation underpin sustainable development.

           For millennia indigenous peoples and local communities have managed genetic resources and today, they continue to be essential to sustain the livelihoods of communities. About 75% of the world’s population relies upon – largely plant-based – traditional treatments for primary healthcare. Old and new agricultural varieties that can anticipate the impacts of climate change need to be maintained to sustain a growing population. The biotechnology industry is constantly harnessing living organisms to develop pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and crop protection agents that can be used as substitutes for harmful chemicals that pollute rivers and oceans. The energy and manufacturing sectors are also using microorganisms to degrade pollutants and clean up polluted sites, to provide energy, and to help make paper and detergents.

          The below publication “ABS is Genetic Resources for Sustainable Development” unveils the potential of genetic resources to develop novel products for the agriculture, crop protection, pharmaceutical, personal care and food/ beverage industries. The collection of chapters from 27 countries provides a glimpse into the intricacies of biodiscovery stories, their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the role of local stakeholders in the development of national laws and policies that facilitate access to genetic resources and ensure that benefits are shared between the users and providers of these resources.

For more information, please see the attached report