On 25 March 2019, the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in the framework of the UNDP-GEF International Technical Assistance Project “Strengthening of human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol in the Republic of Belarus” of March 30, 2018 No. 2/1/000874 in collaboration with the Centre for the Belarusian Culture, Language and Literature Research, NAS of Belarus, hosted the Workshop “Man and nature: local knowledge of plants in the traditional culture of Belarusians”.
Mr Zachary Taylor, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., and Mr A.N. Korbut, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus, delivered welcoming remarks.
The national Executing Entity of the UNDP-GEF International Technical Assistance Project “Strengthening of human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol in the Republic of Belarus” is the State Scientific Institution “Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus”. The Head of the National Coordination Centre on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit- sharing, E. Makeyeva, PhD, Associate Professor, informed on the project progress.
45 people took part in the workshop. According to the topics discussed, the event was attended by practicing herbalists from 3 Regions of Belarus, representatives of state bodies and non-governmental organizations, experts in law, culture, economy, ethnography and folklore, linguistics, genetics, biodiversity conservation and business.
The reports emphasized the importance of safeguarding of the traditional knowledge of Belarusians with regard to the use of genetic resources as intangible cultural heritage and the ensured legal regulation of access to this knowledge based on the Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to this Convention, as well as to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Information on foreign experience in that area was shared.
The workshop participants noted the importance of the ongoing International Technical Assistance project, which provided an opportunity to create a group of experts to prepare proposals for introducing changes in and additions to existing legislation related to culture and safeguarding of folk traditions and crafts in order to harmonize it with the Provisions of the above Conventions and the Nagoya Protocol.