Biological Diversity Act 2002 | UPSC – The act was enacted in 2002, it aims at the conservation of biological resources, managing its sustainable use, and enabling fair and equitable sharing benefits arising out of the use and knowledge of biological resources with the local communities.
What Is Biological Diversity Act 2002 ?
The act was enacted in 2002
Aim of The Act :
It aims at the conservation of biological resources, managing its sustainable use, and enabling fair and equitable sharing benefits arising out of the use and knowledge of biological resources with the local communities.
Objectives of the Act
Conservation of biological diversity
Sustainable use of its components
Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resource
Any person or organisation (either based in India or not) obtaining any biological resource occurring in India for its research or commercial utilisation.
The transfer of the results of any research relating to any biological resources occurring in, or obtained from, India.
The claim of any intellectual property rights on any invention based on the research made on the biological resources obtained from India.
Three-tier structure to regulate
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA)
The State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs)
The Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) (at local level)
Special funds and a Separate Budget
The Act provides these authorities with special funds and a separate budget in order to carry out any research project dealing with the biological natural resources of the country.
It shall supervise any use of biological resources and the sustainable use of them and shall take control over the financial investments and their return and dispose of those capitals as correct.
Exemptions from the Act
The Act excludes Indian biological resources that are normally traded as commodities.
Such exemption holds only so far the biological resources are used as commodities and for no other purpose
National Biodiversity Authority
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) has been set up in October, 2003
It Is located Chennai.
The NBA consists of a Chairperson
Ten ex-officio members to be appointed by the Central Government to represent various Ministries
Vision of NBA
Conservation and sustainable use of India’s rich biodiversity and associated knowledge with people’s participation
Ensuring the process of benefit sharing for well-being of present and future generations.
Mission of NBA
To ensure effective implementation of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the Biological Diversity Rules 2004 for conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of utilization of genetic resources
Powers and Functions of NBA
It shall be the duty of the National Biodiversity Authority to regulate activities and by regulations issue guidelines for access to biological resources and for fair and equitable benefit sharing.
The National Biodiversity Authority may grant approval for undertaking any activity.
The National Biodiversity Authority may advise the Central Government on matters relating to the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of biological resources.
The National Biodiversity Authority may advise the State Governments in the selection of areas of biodiversity importance to be notified as heritage sites and measures for the management of such heritage sites.
The National Biodiversity Authority may perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
The National Biodiversity Authority may, on behalf of the Central Government, take any measures necessary to oppose the grant of intellectual property rights in any country outside India on any biological resource obtained from India or knowledge associated with such biological resource which is derived from India.
National Biodiversity Fund
Any grants and loans made to the National Biodiversity Authority.
All charges and royalties received by the National Biodiversity Authority.
All sums received by the National Biodiversity Authority from such other sources as may be decided upon by the Central Government.
State Biodiversity Boards
The State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) constituted by the State Governments deal with all matters relating to access by Indians for commercial purposes.
The State Biodiversity Boards (SBB’S) have the function of advising the State Government on matters of biodiversity and its equitable distribution
To the guidelines of the Central Government but more importantly to regulate granting of approvals or requests for commercial utilization of biological resources.
The State Boards require a prior intimation for obtaining biological resources only from Indian citizens or corporate associations or organizations registered in India.
This power of the State Biodiversity Boards which is applicable only on Indian citizens or organizations can be easily exploited by vested interests of commercial giants which have substantial overseas shareholders.
State Biodiversity Board
The Biodiversity Act provides for payment of a prescribed fee to the Biodiversity Management Committees established at the Municipal or Panchayat level under “Access and Benefit Sharing “by companies who are using biological resources or use traditionally available knowledge which is often a bone of contention between companies and these Boards as they possess the power to grant them access to bio-resources of the State.
Since the grant of approval by the State Boards is only restricted to Indian companies and organizations the tactic of employing commission agents to get this approval is widely used for commercial exploitation as approval from the National Biodiversity Authority implies a cumbersome process requiring strict adherence to established regulations.
State Biodiversity Fund
Constitution of State Biodiversity Fund:
There shall be constituted a Fund to be called the State Biodiversity Fund and there shall be credited to-
Any grants or loans made by the National Biodiversity Authority;
All sums received by the State Biodiversity Board from such other sources as may be decided upon by the State Government.
Biodiversity Management Committee
The local bodies are required to set up Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in their respective areas for conservation, sustainable use, documentation of biodiversity and chronicling of knowledge related to biodiversity.
The BMC will be constituted by :
members of the Participatory forest/natural resources management committees’ members,
members of horticulture/foot botanists/tribal heads, etc., based on the local conditions.
Functions of BMCs
Conservation and sustainable utilization of biological resources.
Eco‐restoration of the local biodiversity.
Proper feedback to the SBB in the matter of IPR, Traditional Knowledge and local Biodiversity issues, wherever feasible and essential feedback to be provided to the NBA.
Management of Heritage Sites including Heritage Trees, Animals/ Microorganisms etc., and Sacred Groves and Sacred Water bodies.
Regulation of access to the biological resources and/ or associated Traditional Knowledge, for commercial and research purposes.
Sharing of usufructs arising out of commercial use of bio‐resources.
Conservation of traditional varieties/breeds of economically important plants/animals.
Biodiversity Education and Awareness building.
Documentation, enable procedure to develop bio‐cultural protocols.
Sustainable Use and Benefit Sharing.
Protection of Traditional Knowledge.
People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR)
This shall contain comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use or any other traditional knowledge associated with them.
Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS)
Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify the areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites.
The Biodiversity Heritage Sites are the well defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the following components:
Richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories
Presence of rare and threatened species
Species of evolutionary significance
Wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties
Past preeminence of biological components represented by fossil beds
Having significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values; important for the maintenance of cultural diversity (with or without a long history of human association with them)
Areas having any of the following characteristics may qualify for inclusion as BHS.
Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS)
Nallur Tamarind Grove
University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru
Glory of Allapalli
Tonglu BHS and Dhotrey BHS under the Darjeeling Forest Division