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S.

SYLVESTER DARVIN (12-PZO-09)

The National Biodiversity Authority


The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established in 2003 Indias Biological Diversity Act (2002). The NBA is Autonomous body and facilitative, regulatory and advisory function for Government of India Conservation, sustainable use of biological resource and fair equitable sharing use. to implement that performs on issue of of benefits of

The Biological diversity Act (2002) mandates implementation of the act through decentralized system with the NBA focusing on advice 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; advice the State Government in the selection of areas of biodiversity importance to be notified under subsection (1) of section 37 as heritage sites and measures for the management of such heritage sites; The state Biodiversity Board (SBBs) focusing on advice the State Government, subject to any guidelines issued by the Central Government, on matters relating to the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of biological resources; Regulate by granting of approvals or otherwise request for commercial utilization or bio-survey and bio-utilization of any biological resource by Indians; and Local Level Biodiversity Management committees (BMCs) responsible for promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivators, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and microorganisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity. The NBA with its Headquarters in Chennai, India delivers its mandate through a structure that comprises of the Authority, secretariat, SBBs, BMCs and Expert Committees.

The National Biodiversity Authority Acts and Rules


Salient Features of the Biological Diversity Act - 2002:
After an extensive and intensive consultation process involving the stakeholders, the Govt. of India has brought Biological Diversity Act, 2002. To regulate access to biological resources of the country equitable share in benefits arising out of the use of biological resources. To conserve and sustainable use of biological diversity. Setting up of National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Board (SBB) an d Biodiversity Management Committees. (BMCs).

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NBA and SBB are required to consult BMCs in decisions relating to bio resource / related knowledge within their Jurisdiction. To respect and protect knowledge of local communities traditional knowledge 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. All foreign nationals / organizations require prior approval of NBA for obtaining biological resources and / or associated knowledge for use. Indian scientists / individuals require approval of NBA for transferring results of research to foreign nationals / organizations. Conservation and development of areas of importance from the standpoint of biological diversity by declaring them as biological diversity heritage sites. Protection and rehabilitation of threatened species. Involvement of institutions of State Government in the broad scheme of the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act through constitution of committees. Protect Indias rich biodiversity and associated knowledge against their use by foreign individuals and organizations without sharing benefits arising out of such use and check Biopiracy. Indian Industry needs prior intimation to SBB to obtain bioresource. SBB has right to restrict if found to violate conservation and sustainable use and benefit sharing. Provisions for notifying heritage sites by State Government in consultation with local body. Creation of National, State and Local Biodiversity Fund and its use for conservation of biodiversity. Prior approval is needed from NBA for IPRs in any invention in India or outside India on Bioresource

Summary of Biological Diversity Act, 2002:


12 Chapters 65 Sections and many subsections Notified Notifications and Rules Chapter I : Preliminary Terminologies and Definitions Chapter II : Regulations of access to Biological Diversity (3) Certain persons not to undertake Biodiversity related activities without the approval of NBA (3) Results of research not to be transferred to certain persons without the approval of NBA (4)
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Section 3 and 4 not to apply to certain Collaborative Projects (5) Application for IPR rights not to be made without approval of NBA (6) Prior intimation to State Biodiversity Board for obtaining biological resource for by Indian citizen or a body corporate for the utilization of bioresources for commercial purpose (7) Chapter III : Establishment of National Biodiversity Authority Chapter IV: Functions and Powers of National Biodiversity Authority Chapter V: Approval by the National Biodiversity Authority for understanding certain activities ie Transfer of biological resource or associated knowledge. Chapter VI : Establishment of State Biodiversity Board Chapter VII : Finance, Accounts and Audit of National Biodiversity Authority Chapter VIII : Finance, Accounts and Audit of State Biodiversity Authority Chapter IX : Duties of the Central and State Governments Central Govt to develop strategic plan for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and bioresources (36) Declaration of Biodiversity heritage sites by the State Government to protect the unique Biodiversity areas. (37) Power of Central Government to notify threatened / endangered species. (38) Power of Central Government to designate repositories (39) Power of Central Government to exempt Normally Traded Commodities (40) Chapter X : Constitution of State Biodiversity Management Committees Chapter XI : Local Biodiversity Fund Chapter XII : Miscellaneous National Biodiversity Authority to be bound by policy directions as the Central Government may give in writing to it from time to time (48). Power of State Government to give policy directions to the State Biodiversity Boards. (49) Settlement of dispute between National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards (50) Penalities (55) Whoever contravenes or attempts to contravene the provisions of section 3 or section 4 or section (6) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may EXTENDS TO FIVE YEARS or with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and where
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the damage caused exceeds TEN LAKH RUPEES such FINE MAY COMMENSURATE WITH THE DAMAGE CAUSED OR WITH BOTH [55(1)] Whoever contravenes or attempts to contravene the provisions of section 7 or any order made under subsection (2) of section 24 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which MAY EXTEND TO THREE YEARS or WITH FINE WHICH MAY EXTEND TO FIVE LAKH RUPEES OR WITH BOTH

Rules
1. Short title and commencement These rules may be called the Biological Diversity Rules, 2004. Thus shall come into force on 15th April, 2004. 2. Definitions In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires, "Act" means the Biological Diversity Act 2002 ( 18 of 2003); "Authority" means the National Biodiversity Authority established under sub- section (1) of Section 8, "Biodiversity Management Committee" means a Biodiversity Management Committee established by a local body under sub-section (1) of Section 41; "Chairperson" means the chairperson of the National Biodiversity Authority or as the case may be, of the State Biodiversity Board. "fee" means any fee stipulated in the Schedule; "Form" means form annexed to these rules; "Member" means a member of the National Biodiversity Authority or a State Biodiversity Board and includes the chairperson as the case may be; "section" means a section of the Act; "Secretary" means the full time Secretary of the Authority. Words and expressions used but not defined in these rules and defined in the Act shall have the meaning respectively assigned to them in the Act.

Functions and Powers of NBA:


Regulate activities, approve and advice the government of India on research, commercial, bio-survey and bio-utilization. Grant approval to Section 3,4 and 6. Certain persons not to undertake Biodiversity related activities without approval of National Biodiversity Authority (Section 3).

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S.SYLVESTER DARVIN (12-PZO-09)

Results of research not to be transferred to certain persons without approval of National Biodiversity Authority (Section 4). Application for IPR rights not to be made without approval of National Biodiversity Authority (Section 6). Perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.

Biological Diversity Act, Access and Benefit sharing


The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 India, primarily addresses the issues concerning access to genetic resources and associated knowledge by foreign individuals, institutions or companies, and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of these resources and associated knowledge by the country and its people.6 The Act governs Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) through a three tier system, National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Board (SBB) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC). The NBA deals with matters relating to requests for access to bioresources and associated traditional knowledge by foreign individuals, institutions or companies, and all matters relating to transfer of results of research to any foreigner; imposition of terms and conditions to secure equitable sharing of benefits, establish sovereign rights over the bioresources of India and approval for seeking any form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in or outside India for an invention based on research or information pertaining to a biological resource and associated traditional knowledge obtained from India. SBBs deal with matters relating to access to bioresources by Indians for commercial purposes and restrict any activity which violates the objectives of conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits. The mandate of the BMCs is conservation, sustainable use, documentation of biodiversity and chronicling of knowledge relating to biodiversity. BMCs shall be consulted by the National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards on matters relating to use of biological resources and associated knowledge within their jurisdiction. In order to safeguard the interests of the local people and to allow research by Indian citizens within the country, free access to biological resources for use within India for any purpose other than commercial use for Indian people has been given to vaid and hakims (= traditional physicians) and other citizens. Provisions for setting up of Biodiversity Funds at Central, State and Local levels are provided (Sections 27, 32 and 42) in the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The monetary benefits, received as fees and royalties for approvals by National Biodiversity Authority is deposited in National Biodiversity Fund and used for conservation and development of areas from where resources have been accessed.

Access to Biological Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge under the National Biodiversity Act
The Act stipulates norms for access to biological resources and traditional knowledge based on three ways: (i) Access to biological resources and traditional knowledge to foreign citizens, companies and NRIs based on prior approval of NBA (Section 3, 4, 6 of the Act and Rule 14-20).
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(ii) Access permits to Indian citizens, companies, associations and other organizations registered in India on the basis of prior intimation to the State Biodiversity Board concerned (Section 7 of the Act). (iii) Exemption of prior approval or intimation for local people and communities, including growers and cultivators of biodiversity, and vaids and hakims, practicing indigenous medicines (Section 7 of the Act). The key procedures to be followed for access to biological resources and traditional knowledge are dealt with under Rule 14 of the Biodiversity Rules 2004. These provisions are laid down to ensure effective, efficient and transparent access procedures through written agreements and applications in prescribed formats. Applicants seeking access to biological resources and traditional knowledge are required to submit an application in FORM I7 along with an application fee of INR 10,000/-.8 Once the application is approved for access, an agreement has to be signed by the applicant for access of bioresources. The NBA through appropriate consultation mechanisms, approve the applications and communicates its decision to grant access or otherwise to the applicant within a period of six months from the date of receipt of the application. The Authority is required to communicate the grant of access to the applicant in the form of a written agreement duly signed by an authorized official of the Authority and the applicant. The rule 14 also stipulates the Authority to provide reasons in writing in cases of rejection of an application and give reasonable opportunity to the applicant to appeal. The Authority shall publicise the approval granted through print or electronic media and also shall monitor the compliance of the conditions agreed to at the time of accordance of approval of grant for access, by the applicant.9 The access procedures are only regulatory in nature, not prohibitive in any manner to any applicant irrespective of their nationality, affiliations, origin, etc. Since inception, NBA has received more than 260+ applications for access, transfer of bioresources and patent protection. Fee has been paid to National Biodiversity Fund as per the BD Rule 2004 depending upon the type of applications.

Conclusions
Indias National Biodiversity Act and Rules form the core of Indias commitment to implementing the CBD. Focus of the Act is broader than presented in this article. However, implementation of the Act requires human resource, institutional, financial capacities that still need to be strengthened along with much needed increase in awareness of public at local level in order to make the Act relevant and useful for conservation and development. Efforts are underway to ensure the experience of Indias implementation can be adequately reflected in the global negotiations on development of the international regime. In this regard, we welcome opportunities to share our experiences on development and implementation of the Act and Rules to all those interested. While national actions are based on national priorities, global influences they can make are enormous.

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Reference
1 Venkataraman (2006). 2 Botanical Survey of India, http://envfor.nic.in/bsi/flora.html. 3 http://envfor.nic.in/ 4 Vavilov (1926). 5 http://envfor.nic.in/ 6 http://www.nbaindia.org/act/act_english.htm 7 http://www.nbaindia.org/applications/ ruleform14.htm 8 http://www.nbaindia.org/applications/ application.htm 9 http://www.nbaindia.org/approvals.htm 10 http://www.nbaindia. org/approvals/status_approvals.htm 11 http://www.nbaindia.org/rules.htm 12 http://www.nbaindia.org/rules.htm 13 http://www.nbaindia.org/applications/ruleform17.htm 14 http://www.nbaindia.org/applications/ruleform18.htm 15 http://www.nbaindia.org/applications/ ruleform19.htm

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S.Darvin

12-PZO-09

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