Biodiversity – the diversity of life on Earth – underpins human wellbeing, livelihood and sustainable development. Yet, it is declining at an unprecedented rate. Globally, land-use change, resource use and exploitation, climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species are the direct drivers contributing to deterioration and loss of biodiversity. Transformative actions are required at local, national and global levels to reverse this trend taking into account the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. If we are to achieve CBD objectives and the 2030 agendas for sustainable development, we must find better ways to manage human’s footprints on Earth and hence manage biodiversity for the current and future generations.
Biodiversity, both plant as well as animal, is a resource for sustainable use and development. Plants are recognized as a vital component of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. They provide food, fiber, fuel, shelter, medicine and a range of ecosystem services. The potentiality of biodiversity can be tapped through bioprospecting – an exploration of biodiversity for new resources of social and commercial values, has multiple goals including conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for commercial purposes like medicinal drugs, biochemical, cosmetics. Bioprospecting has huge potential for conservation, sustainable use and the welfare of the society and humankind.
In the arena of biodiversity and bioprospecting, several scientific findings and innovations have been described and implemented in the recent years. In addition, local communities and indigenous people have biodiversity related rich traditional knowledge. Ethnobotany has evolved and contributed to advance our understanding of people-plant interactions. Medicinal plants play an important role in curing various diseases and has immense value for economy. Sharing the existing research findings, innovations and experiences and exploring new opportunities on biodiversity and bioprospecting is important for a prosperous future. In this backdrop, an “International Conference on Biodiversity and Bioprospecting” is planned under the leadership of the Department of Plant Resources (DPR) of the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE), Government of Nepal in collaboration with Universities and prominent national and international organizations.
Aim and Objectives
The conference aims to bring together academicians, scientists, researchers, experts, managers and policy makers to share and discuss existing problems, latest innovations, emerging opportunities and future priorities in the field of biodiversity and bioprospecting. It aims to open an avenue for enhancing understanding of different aspects of conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity. The main objectives of the conference are as follows:
• Share and exchange research findings, knowledge and experiences on biodiversity and bioprospecting among wider stakeholders;
• Encourage scientists and researchers by providing platform to present research findings to strengthen capacity in plant and allied science;
• Develop strategic direction for future research and development in the field of biodiversity and bioprospecting.