Title : BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ACT 2002
Date : Dec 21, 2021
Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 18th December 2021 on Page Number 10
Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper III)
- The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 was passed by the Indian Parliament in order to preserve biological diversity in the country.
- It establishes a system for equitable sharing of benefits emerging from the utilisation of traditional biological resources and knowledge.
- Because India is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Act was adopted to meet the convention's commitments.
The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 is summarised here:
- The Act's principal goal is to ensure that biological diversity is conserved, that its components are used sustainably, and that its resources are used fairly, in order to avoid misuse or eventual extinction of biodiversity.
- This act is necessary to safeguard India's biological legacy, as it is one of the world's most biologically varied countries.
The following are the key components of the Biological Diversity Act:
- Access to the country's biological resources is regulated.
- Biological diversity conservation and long-term viability
- Local communities' biodiversity knowledge should be preserved.
- As stewards of biological resources and custodians of knowledge and information about their utilisation, ensure that local people share in the advantages.
- Threatened species protection and rehabilitation
- The establishment of dedicated committees to involve state government entities in the overall plan of the Biological Diversity Act's implementation.
- Any offence under this Act is not punishable by a fine and is punishable by imprisonment.
The act envisioned a three-tiered system for regulating biological resource access:
- The National Biodiversity Authority is in charge of preserving biodiversity in the United States (NBA)
- The Biodiversity Boards of State (SBBs)
- The Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) are groups of people who work together to manage biodiversity (at local level)
- The Act establishes special funds and a separate budget for these bodies to carry out any research project involving the country's biological natural resources.
- It will oversee any use of biological resources and ensure that they are used sustainably, as well as keep track of financial investments and returns, and dispose of those funds correctly.
- The Central Government, in cooperation with the NBA, is required to: Notify threatened species and prohibit or control their collection, rehabilitation, and conservation under this legislation.
- Establish institutes as biological resource repositories for various types of biological resources.
- All offences under the legislation are defined as cognizable and non-bailable.
- Any complaints about the National Biodiversity Authority's or a State Biodiversity Board's determination of benefit sharing or orders made under this Act must be filed with the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The Act's Exemptions:
- Indian biological resources that are regularly traded as commodities are not covered by the Act.
- This exception only applies in the case where biological resources are employed solely as commodities.
- Traditional uses of Indian biological resources and associated knowledge, as well as when they are employed in joint research initiatives between Indian and international universities with the agreement of the central government, are also exempt from the act.
- Cultivators and breeds, such as farmers, livestock keepers, and beekeepers, as well as traditional healers, such as vaids and hakims, are excluded.
About the National Biodiversity Authority:
- In order to carry out the terms of the act, the Government of India established the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) under the Ministry of Environments and Forest in 2003 to implement India's Biological Diversity Act (2002).
- The NBA is a formal, self-governing organisation based in Chennai.
- State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) and biological management committees for each local body were also established in the 29 states.
- The National Biodiversity Authority's functions are as follows:
- Actions forbidden by the Act are monitored and prevented.
- Advising the government on the best ways to maintain India's biodiversity.
- Prepare a report on the government's ability to choose biological heritage locations.
- Take concrete actions to avoid the issuance of intellectual property rights to locally exploited biological resources or related traditional knowledge.
The NBA's functions include:
- Creating an enabling environment, if needed, to support biodiversity conservation and sustainable usage.
- In compliance with the Biological Diversity Act of 2002, advising the central government, regulating activities, and creating guidelines for access to biological resources and fair and equitable benefit sharing.
- Taking the necessary steps to prevent the unauthorised grant of intellectual property rights to any biological resource obtained from India or information related with such biological resources in any country outside of India.
- Advising state governments on whether places of biodiversity importance should be designated as heritage sites and what management measures should be taken.
Tags : bio diversity, ecology