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Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap sustainably cultivates traditional medicinal plants from the mountainous Sa Pa region. These plants are used to develop high value-added products such as essential oils and balms, the manufacturing and sales of which improve the livelihoods of ethnic minority communities.

The northern mountain region of Sa Pa, one of the poorest regions in Vietnam, is at the same time rich in biodiversity and an acknowledged national centre of expertise in the use of traditional medicinal plants. However, over-exploitation of these medicinal species and the forests they grow in currently endangers both the medicinal species and the integrity of their ecosystems as a whole. Local, traditional knowledge, combined with scientific testing have been used to identify the bioactive properties of some key plant species and create marketable products based on essential oils.

Bridging the Gap generates income for ethnic minority communities by developing an equitable and participatory business chain to market domestically and internationally the high-value plant-products derived from local, sustainable cultivation of traditional medicinal plants . The partnership’s comprehensive and participatory approach contributes both to biodiversity conservation and to improving the livelihoods of the ethnic minority groups which form a large part of the local population.

Main activities:

  • developing high value products from traditional medicinal plant species
  • using scientific analyses of bioactive properties to corroborate traditional knowledge
  • protecting the intellectual property rights of the ethnic minority groups
  • building local capacity.
  • Expand the product range and production facility
  • Secure national legal registration and fair-trade certification
  • Increase the number of species and communities involved

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