Introduction of Biodiversity

Introduction of Biodiversity

Biodiversity encompasses the variety of all life on earth. India is one of the 12-mega diverse countries of the world. With only 2.5% of the land area, India already accounts for 7.8% of the global recorded species. India is also rich in traditional and indigenous knowledge, both coded and informal.

India is a Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992).Recognizing the sovereign rights of States to use their own biological resources, the Convention expects the parties to facilitate access to genetic resources by other Parties subject to national legislation and on mutually agreed upon terms (Article 3 and 15 of CBD). Article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity recognizes contributions of local and indigenous communities to the conservation and sustainable utilization of biological resources through traditional knowledge, practices and innovations and provides for equitable sharing of benefits with such people arising from the utilization of their knowledge, practices and innovations.

Biodiversity is a multi-disciplinary subject involving diverse activities and actions. The stakeholders in biological diversity include the Central Government, State Governments, institutions of local self-governmental organizations, industry, etc. One of the major challenges before India lies in adopting an instrument ,which helps realise the objectives of equitable sharing of benefits enshrined in the Convention on Biological Diversity.

 After an extensive and intensive consultation process involving the stakeholders, the Central Government has brought Biological Diversity Act,2002 with the following salient features:-

  1. To regulate access to biological resources of the country with the purpose of securing equitable share in benefits arising out of the use of biological resources; and associated knowledge relating to biological resources;
  2.  to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity;
  3.  to respect and protect knowledge of local communities related to biodiversity;
  4.  to secure sharing of benefits with local people as conservers of biological resources and holders of knowledge and information relating to the use of biological resources;
  5. conservation and development of areas of importance from the standpoint of biological diversity by declaring them as biological diversity heritage sites;
  6. protection and rehabilitation of threatened species;
  7. involvement of institutions of state governments in the broad scheme of the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act through constitution of committees.  

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