One way to protect biodiversity and ecosystems is to find symbiotic solutions that work for people and for the planet.
An exemplar of such a win-win solution is found in Long Kerebangan, located in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Here indigenous communities are harvesting a local plant, Litsea cubeba for its essential oil to make a locally produced soap.
Harnessing traditional knowledge, this soap is improving indigenous communities' livelihood through partnerships – and improving health and hygiene.
Since 1992, with the signing of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), countries have taken efforts to document and protect traditional knowledge in order to achieve the triple objective of:
- Conserving biological diversity,
- Using natural resources sustainably, and
- Fairly and equitably sharing the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.