Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers
(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, enacted in 2006, is a tool to provide occupational and habitat ional rights to the people, thus, incentivising conservation and sustainable use of biological resources by providing access to livelihood enhancing resources to people.
National Biotechnology Development Strategy, 2007
National Biodiversity Action Plan of 2008
developed in consultation with various stakeholders and by taking cognizance of legislative and policy framework is a dynamic matrix for mainstreaming biodiversity concerns in the country.
India has a National Wildlife Action Plan, which envisages 10 per cernt of the geographical area of the country under PA coverage. This is significant, keeping in view that India holds 18 per cent of world’s human population and also 18 per cent of the world’s livestock population in an area, which is only 2.4 per cent of the world’s geographical area.
The CBD is the first comprehensive global agreement addressing all aspects relating to biodiversity. The institutional framework for CBD’s implementation is provided by the Conference of the Parties (COP).
COP 10 was held from 18 to 29 October 2010 at the Nagoya Conference Centre, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The high level segment of the Nagoya Summit was held with the participation of 122 ministers and five Heads of State and Government
India has been a signatory to the Convention since 18th February 1994 and is one of the firs countries to have enacted an appropriate comprehensive legislation to achieve the objective of the convention.
Under the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme out of 16 biospheres in India (70,000 sq. km.), seven are already in UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (World total 503). India has a National Wetland Conservation Programme covering 125 wetlands including 25 Ramsar sites under the Samsar Convention. India accounts for about 5 per cent of the world’s mangroves (including Sunder bans delta the largest mangrove forest in the world) and partners with IUCN’s Mangroves for Future Programme and has established a National Institute of the Mangrove Research at Kolkata.
India has National Lake Conversation Plan covering 42 lakes, which aims at rejuvenation in terms of improvement on water quality and biodiversity.
India has a National River Conversation Plan under implementation in 160 cities covering 34 rivers. National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) is responsible for conserving and sustainable use of the bio-diversity of the river Ganges. Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity have been an integral part of Indian ethos. Sacred groves are thick patches of natural Forests conserved by the local communities as part of socio cultural practices. The Sacred Grove Information System holds information on 3000 such groves in the country out of an estimated 100,000 to 150,000.
Several species specific projects are being implemented for flagship animal species such as Tiger (National Animal), Elephant (National Heritage Animal), Rhinoceros, Gharial, Hangul and snow leopard, birds such as Vulture, Great Indian Bustard, and plants such as Orchids, Rhododendron and citrus.
India has put in place a number of initiatives for promoting conservation of biodiversity, such as, provision of national gene fund, national biodiversity fund, awards etc. Pressure from habitat loss and degradation has been reduced by the system of environment clearances based on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), National A forestation and Eco-development Board (NAEB), National Action Programme to Combat Desertification and Green India Mission.
The Guidelines for International Collaboration Research Project involving transfer or exchange of biological resources or information relating there to between institutions including government sponsored institutions and such institutions in other countries were issued through Gazette. These guidelines are applicable in all the Departments / Ministries of Government of India. The methodology for preparation of Peoples Biodiversity Register was also finalized during the year
Seventeen countries-Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela rich in biological diversity and associated traditional knowledge have formed the Group of Like Minded Mega diverse Countries (LMMC). The LMMC Group holds nearly 70 per cent of the global biodiversity and is duly recognized negotiating forum India has taken over Presidency of the LMMC on February 2004. Indian in its capacity as the Chair of the LMMC had organised an Expert and Ministerial level Meeting of the LMMCs in New Delhi at January 2004 and this meeting has adopted the New Delhi Ministerial Declaration of Like Minded Mega diverse Countries on Access and Benefit Sharing.
the Multi-Year Plan of Action on South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development adopted by the 131 member of the Group of 77 and China was welcomed as an important instrument at the service of the new vision
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Local and Regional Policy Makers report launched at national workshop in New Delhi.
The Aichi Target will be the overarching framework on biodiversity not only for the biodiversity related convention but for the entire United Nations system Partiesa agreed to translate this overarching international framework into national biodiversity strategy and action plans within two years
The Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety, the first international regulatory framework for safe transfer, handling and use of Living Modified Organism (LMOs) was negotiated under the aegis of the convention on Biological Diversity. The Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety, a supplementary treaty to the Convention, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 159 countries and the European Union have ratified the Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal.
Biological Diversity Act-2002
India has been a signatory to the Convention since 18th February 1994, and is one of the first countries to have enacted an appropriate comprehensive legislation ot achieve the objectives of the convention. As of now, 193 countries are party to the CBD. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the nodal agency for implementing provisions of CBD in India, developed a strategy for biodiversity conservation at macro-level in 1999 and enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002 followed by the Rules there under in 2004. In pursuance to Article 6 of the CBD, India within five years of ratifying the Convention, had developed a National Policy and Macro level Action Strategy on Biodiversity in 1999. Thereafter, an externally aided project on national Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) was also implemented in the country during 2000-2004, adopting a highly participatory process involving various stakeholders. Meanwhile, India also enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002, Section 36 of which empowers the Central Government to develop national biodiversity action plan. The Central Government has brought Biological Diversity Act 2002, with the following salient features:
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.
to conserve and sustainable use biological diversity;
to respect and protect knowledge of local communities related to biodiversity;
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;
conservation and development of areas of important from the stand point of biological diversity by declaring them as biological diversity heritage sites;
protection and rehabilitation for threatened species; and
involvement of institutions of state government in the broad scheme of the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act through constitution of committees.
National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) The NBA established in October 2003 pursuant to Section 8 of the BDA. It focuses and advises GOI on conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and securing equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of biological resources. It regulates access to biological resources and associated traditional knowledge for research and / or commercial purposes, bio-survey and bio-utilization as well as transfer of research results, seeking IPR and third party transfer of bio resources.
The GBD recognizes the sovereign rights of States over their natural resources in areas within their jurisdiction. Parties to Convention therefore have the authority to determine access to genetic resources in areas within their jurisdiction.
The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 and Rules 2003 deal primarily with the protection of plant breeders rights over the new varieties developed.
The Geographical Indications of Goods Act, 1999 has been enacted to provide for protection of geographical indications of goods referring to a place of origin of that product and the exclusion of unauthorized persons from misusing geographical indications.
The Biological Diversity Act provides for documentation of coded and oral traditional knowledge associated with bio resources in the form of People’s Biodiversity Register, to ensure effective management, promotion and sustainable uses.
It advises the State Governments in the selection of areas of importance as biodiversity heritage sites and measures for the management of such sites. It has constituted expert committees to perform functions such as laying down the procedure and guidelines to govern the activities such as Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), Prior Informed Consent (PIC), Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT), Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), list of normally traded commodities, establishment of heritage sites and their management, national designated repositories and safeguarding of traditional knowledge respecting the Article 8 (j) of the CBD.
CBD and CoP
The CBD is the first comprehensive global agreement addressing all aspects relating to biodiversity. The institutional framework for CBD’s implementation is provided by the Conference of the Parties (COP). The COP is the governing body of CBD which keeps under review implementation of the Convention, and steers its development COP is the supreme decision making body which has the authority to adopt protocols under the Convention. It also has the authority to amend the Convention itself. To date, ten ordinary meetings of the COP have been held, the first three annually (Nassau, Bahamas in 1994; Jakarta, Indonesia in 1995; and Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1906), and thereafter biennially (Bratislava, Slovak Republic in 1998; nairobi, Kenya in 2000; Hague, the Netherlands in 2002; Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia in 2004, Curitiba, Brazil in 2006, Bonn, Germany in May, 2008).
Nagoya Biodiversity Summit
COP 10 was held from 18 to 29 October 2010 at the Nagoya Conference Centre, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The high-level segment of the Nagoya Summit was held with the participation of 122 ministers and five Heads of State and Government, including the President of Gabon, the President of Guinea-Bissau, the Prime Minister of Yemen representing the Group of 77 and China, as well as Prince Albert of Monaco. The President of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10) was Ryu Massumoto, the Minister of the Environment of Japan. The Nagoya Protocol is expected to enter into force by 2012, with support from the Global Environment Facility of one million United States dollars to support early entry into force.
The summit achieved its three inter-linked goals: (a) adoption of a new ten year Strategic Plan to guide international and national efforts to save biodiversity through enhanced action to meet the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity; (b) a resource mobilization strategy that provides the way forward to a substantial increase to current levels of official development assistance in support of biodiversity; and (c) a new international protocol on access to and sharing of the benefits from the use of the genetic resources of the planet.
The Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity or the “Aichi Target”, adopted by the meeting includes 20 headline targets, organized under five strategic goals that address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, reduce the pressures on biodiversity, safeguard biodiversity at all level,s enhance the benefits provided by biodiversity, and povide for capacity-building. Among the targets, it is important to not that Parties:
National Innovation Foundation (NIF, an autonomous society established in 2000 for recognizing, respecting and rewarding innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge at grassroots, has developed a model for facilitating prior informed consent for local innovators and traditional knowledge holders which provides for NIF mediation.
Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is an effective deterrent to bio-piracy. TKDL is a maiden. Indian effort and is a proprietary and original database TKDL is available in Englihs, Japanese, French, German and Spanish.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has been implementing focused programmes on biodiversity conservation through biotechnological interventions since 1991, inter alias by developing techniques, tools and technologies for ex situ conservation.
- Agreed to at least halve and where feasible bring close to zero the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests;
- Established a target of 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of marine and coastal areas;
- Through conservation and restoration, Governments will restore at least 15 per cent of degraded areas; and
- Will make special efforts to reduce the pressures faced by coral reefs.
Parties also agreed to a substantial increase in the level of financial resources in support of implementation of the Convention.
The “Aichi Target” will be the overarching framework on biodiversity not only ofr the biodiversity-related conventions, but for the entire United Nations system. Parties agreed to translate this overarching international framework into national biodiversity strategy and action plans within two years.
Actions in support will also take place at sub national and local levels. Parties endorsed a plan of action on cities and biodiversity adopted by the Nagoya Biodiversity City summit attended by more 200 majors. 122 legislators from around the world attending the GLOBE meeting on parliamentarians and biodiversity agreed to support the implementation of the new Strategic Plan.
The importance of acting to conserve biodiversity also received support by the donor community.
Representatives of 34 bilateral and multilateral donor agencies agreed to translate the plan into their respective development cooperation priorities.
The Multi-Year Plan of Action on South-south Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development adopted by the 131 members of the Group of 77 and China was welcomed as an important instrument at the service of the new vision.
Finance in support of implementation of the Convention was announced. The Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Naoto Kan, announced 2 billion United States dollars in financing, the Minister of Environment of Japan Biodiversity Fund. Additional financial resources were announced by France, the European Union and Norway. Some 110 million United States dollars were mobilized in support of projects under the CBD life Web Initiative aimed at enhancing the protected area agenda.
Financial support for the Strategic Plan will be provided under the framework of the resource mobilization strategy. Parties will work to define in time for the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2010, the targets and mechanisms through which financial resources can be identified, unleashed and channeled
Parties adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization. The historic agreement creates a framework that balances access to genetic resources on the basis of prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms with the fair and equitable sharing of benefits while taking into account the important role of traditional knowledge. The Protocol also proposes the creation of a global multilateral mechanism that will operate in Tran boundary areas or situations where prior informed consent cannot be obtained. India is going to host the 11th Conference of Parties of CBD in 2012.
India has all along shown deep commitment for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development and has responded effectively to relevant international treaties and conventions.
Indian forests are rich in several types of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) such as honey, bamboo, cane, gums and resign, leaves used for country smoke and plate making, several types of flowers, dye plants, fruits, nuts, seeds and roots.
Remedial actions for restoration of degraded areas have been undertaken through eco restoration programmes by involving local people Special attention has been given to coastal zones through Coastal Zone Regulation. Rules 1994 under the Environment (Protection) Act
- Invasive alien species (obnoxious weeds, fish, pathogens and pests, etc.) pose a serious, threat to native species their habitats and functioning of different ecosystems.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Local and Regional Policy Makers report launched at national workshop in New Delhi. Factoring the planet’s multi-trillion dollar ecosystem services into policy-making can help save cities and regional authorities money while boosting the local economy, enhancing quality of life, securing livelihoods and generating employment.
This is the finding from a major international study, launched in a report by TEEB for Local and Regional Policy Makers, being released in India, Brazil, Belgium, Japan and South Africa on September 9. Various representatives from national governments, state bodies, municipalities, corporations, NGOs, biodiversity boards, environmental organizations, forest departments, academics etc. from across India participated in the New Delhi launch. The event provided the platform for the launch of this significant report, and a workshop for local authorities from across trhe region to explore findings of the report within an Indian context. The event was organized by the TEEB Study, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Green India States Trust (GIST) and ICLEI South Asia.
Negotiation on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS):
The CBD recognizes the sovereign rights of States over their natural resources in areas within their jurisdiction. Parties to the Convention therefore have the authority to determine access to genetic resources in areas within their jurisdiction. Parties also have the obligation to take appropriate measures with the aim of sharing the benefits derived on of farmer’s varieties and creation of national gene fund for promoting conservation of local varieties.
The second and third amendments to the Patent Act, 1970 provide for mandatory disclosure in the patent application, of the source and geographical origin of the biological material used in the invention.
The Geographical Indications of Goods Act, 1999 has been enacted to provide for protection of geographical indications of goods referring to a place of origin of that product and the exclusion of unauthorized persons from misusing geographical indications.
Biodiversity in 2010
India has taken wide range of measures to achieve 2010 target. Some examples include (i) holistic community based sustainable forestry programmes such as JFM is now operational on more than 17 million of land spread all over the country; (ii) National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) that has been engaged in documenting a large number of varieties of crop plants in the country, and National Bureau of Agriculturally. Important Microorganisms (NBAIM) which is acting as a noel centre of the acquisition and management of indigenous and exotic microbial genetic resources for improved utilization in food and agriculture (iii) the Tiger Project that now incorporates 37 tiger reserves in seventeen states (iv) 38 mangrove areas identified for intensive conservation and management; (v) Project Elephant which helps in ensuring long term survival of identified viable elephant populations in their natural habitats and presently India has 26 such reserves; (v) development of TKDL, an easily navigable computerized database of documented information available in published texts of India systems of medicine, with the objective of preventing the grant of patents on no original invention; and (vii) the National Policy on Farmers (2007) which contributes to project and improve land, water, biodiversity and genetic resources essential for sustained increase in productivity, profitability and stability of major farming systems by creating an economic stake in conservation. Like wise, initiative in PAs include an innovative strategy as envisaged in NEP, 2006, to increase forest cover from 23 per cent to 33 per cent of the national territory by 2012 and the goal to establish 163 NPs and 707WIs ensuring appropriate representation across all ecosystems. The monitoring committee of the NWAP periodically monitors the status of establishment and management of PAs.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is one of the management tolls for incorporating environmental concerns in development process and also in improved decision making
Seventeen categories of heavily polluting industries-s have been identified. They are cement, thermal power plant, distilleries, sugar, fertilizer, integrated iron and steel, oil refineries, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, pesticides lanneries, basic drugs and pharmaceuticals, dye and dye intermediates, caustic soda, zinc smelter, copper smelter and aluminum smelter.
The National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) functioning under the Ministry is engaged in implementing the River Action Plans under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). It has 31 rivers under this Programme in action.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), an autonomous body of the Ministry, was set up in September 1974, under the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
There is a provision for benefit sharing of access to biological and or associated knowledge (ABS) in the Biological Diversity Act. Under this Act, 87 benefit sharing agreements have been entered by NBA with applicants in consultation with the stakeholders.
There are seven main statutory Acts that regulate environmental impacts from mining activity as give below:
- Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers
National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous society established in 2000 for recognizing, respecting and rewarding innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge at grassroots, has developed a model for facilitating prior informed consent for local innovators and traditional knowledge holders which provides for NIF mediation
Protection of Tradtional Knowledge: India has strived hard to protect its traditional knowledge and resources. India fought successfully for the revocation of turmeric and basmati patents granted by United States Patent and Trad-mark Office (USPTO) and neemd patent granted by European Patent Office (EPO). As a sequel to this, in 1999, the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddah and Homeopathy (AYUSH) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR) constituted an inter-disciplinary Task Force, for creating an approach paper on establishing a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL).
Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is an effective deterrent to bio-piracy: TKDL is a maiden India-effort and is a proprietary and original database. TKDL is available in English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish. Todya, India through TKDL is capable of protecting about 0.224 million medical formulations. On an average, it takes five to seven years for opposing a granted patent at international level which may cost 0.2-.06 million US$. India has signed TKDL Access Agreements with European, US, Canadian, German, and UK Patent Offices. These agreements are unique in nature and have inbuilt safeguards on nondisclosure to protect India’s interest. Significant impact has already been realized at EPO during the last one year. The access to 2.24 Lakh (0.22 million) medicinal formulations is available to Patent Offices under TKDL. Access Agreements. AS of September 2010, 3 patents have been set aside and 23 patents have been withdrawn based on TKDL database by the EPO.
Bio-sphere Reserves are a special category of protected areas of land and / or coastal environments, wherein people are an integral component of the system. These are representative examples of natural biomes and contain unique biological communities.
A Biosphere Reserve consists of core, butter and transition zones. The natural or core zone comprises an undistributed and legally protected ecosystem. The buffer zone surrounds the core are and is managed to accommodate a greater variety of resources use strategies, and research and educational activities.
- Kachchh (12,454) notified on 29th January, 2008 and it includes parts of Kachchh, Rajkot, Sundernagar and Patan Civil Districts of Gujarat state.