India's Biological Diversity Act plays a very important role when it comes to
preserve the biological diversity of our nation. The Act creates a regulatory
body National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) which takes are of sustainable use of
biological diversity and the issue of benefit sharing .To guarantee
decentralised decision-making and involvement in biodiversity conservation
activities, the Biological Diversity Act of 2002 also mandates the establishment
of state biodiversity boards and biodiversity management committees at the
The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 also requires the establishment of local
biodiversity management committees and state biodiversity boards to facilitate
decentralised decision-making and involvement in biodiversity protection
initiatives.In order to advance the preservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity in each region, the Biological Diversity Act of 2002 also mandates
the creation of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at the local level.
The Act is crucial for safeguarding India's biodiversity, yet questions remain
concerning its implementation and effectiveness. Some claim that because the
Act's requirements are not sufficiently explicit, individuals become confused
and fail to adhere to them. Others contend that the NBA has not been successful
in encouraging benefit sharing or controlling access to biological resources.
Concerns have also been raised over the local communities' lack of involvement
in the BMCs and PBRs.
Since its implementation in 2002, the Biological Diversity Act of India (BDA)
has provided a legislative framework for the preservation and sustainable
exploitation of India's abundant biodiversity. However, the legislation has come
under fire for a number of shortcomings, including a lack of effective
protection for traditional knowledge and gaps in the access and benefit-sharing
Additionally, the legislation does not clearly outline how to ensure that
individuals that utilise India's biological resources and the local people that
produce them with fair and equitable benefit-sharing.Due to these restrictions,
the legislation has been difficult to execute, leading to insufficient
conservation efforts and an uneven distribution of benefits. To guarantee that
the BDA properly safeguards India's biodiversity while encouraging sustainable
usage and equitable benefit sharing, the Indian government must address these
Novartis vs. India
over patenting a cancer medication produced from an Indian
plant. Novartis said the substance was a novel and unique innovation, while the
Indian government claimed it was based on a traditional Indian medication and so
ineligible for BDA patent protection. In 2013, the Indian Supreme Court affirmed
a lower court's decision to refuse Novartis a patent on the medicine, stating it
was not a legitimate innovation and that the corporation had not proved that it
was much superior than alternative therapies.
This case created a precedent for
other pharmaceutical firms attempting to patent traditional medicines and was a
triumph for India's efforts to preserve its traditional expertise from foreign
businesses. Critics said the verdict might deter foreign investment in India's
pharmaceutical industry and stifle innovation.
The Delhi High Court accepted the geographical indicator (GI) status of Basmati
rice, a kind of rice that is native to the Indian subcontinent, in the case of
Basmati Rice Export Development Foundation v. Krishi Utpadan Mandi Samiti
(2005). This case served as a reminder of the value of acknowledging and
safeguarding traditional knowledge and genetic resources, as well as the
possibility for financial gain from the just and equal distribution of the
advantages resulting from their utilisation. This situation serves as an
illustration of how legal actions may safeguard genetic resources and
traditional knowledge while simultaneously fostering economic gains via their
just and equitable use. It shows how environmental rules have the power to
promote sustainable development in addition to resource conservation.
The National Biological Diversity Act And The Convention On Biological Diversity Overview
An international agreement known as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
was signed during the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. Its objective is to
encourage the preservation of biodiversity, the responsible use of its
components, and the just and equal distribution of the advantages associated
with the utilisation of genetic resources.
To fulfil its obligations under the convention, each nation that is a member of
the CBD must develop its own national biodiversity strategy and action plans (NBSAPs).
In order to achieve this, several nations have established their own Biological
Diversity Acts (BDAs) that serve as a legal foundation for the preservation and
sustainable use of biodiversity inside their borders. The protection of
biodiversity, responsible use of its components, and equitable distribution of
the benefits of genetic resource usage are the fundamental objectives of the CBD.
The CBD's objectives are carried out through National Biodiversity Strategies
and Action Plans (NBSAPs), which are necessary for each member state.
For instance, the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) is created under India's
Biological Diversity Act (BDA) of 2002 to encourage benefit-sharing with local
populations and govern access to biological resources and traditional knowledge.
The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), which will coordinate
research and track the status of biodiversity, was established under the
Biodiversity Act of 2004 to manage and conserve the nation's rich biodiversity.
(Republic of South Africa, 2004). In a similar vein, the animal Resources
Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 of the Philippines seeks to preserve and
safeguard animal species and their ecosystems, control the taking and sale of
wildlife, and foster global cooperation for wildlife conservation (Philippines
Government, 2001). Due to scarce resources, weak institutional capability, and a
lack of political will, the execution of these rules and regulations is still
To ensure that these legal frameworks are properly implemented and biodiversity
protection is emphasised, there is a need for ongoing lobbying and
awareness-raising. In order to encourage sustainable use of natural resources
and enhance enforcement mechanisms, efforts to solve these difficulties include
building cooperation between government agencies, civil society groups, and
Additionally, cutting-edge strategies like ecosystem service
payments and community-based conservation efforts have demonstrated potential in
advancing biodiversity protection while simultaneously bringing economic
advantages to nearby communities.
The CBD and national BDAs share several elements, including the requirement to
create NBSAPs, national biodiversity agencies, and laws governing access to
genetic resources. The varied ecological, social, economic, and political
contexts in which international and national instruments are implemented,
however, also result in variations between them. Finding gaps and weaknesses in
the CBD and national BDAs can assist clarify their legal implications and
examine the clauses relating to access and benefit-sharing in connection to
intellectual property rights.
Evaluation Of The National Biodiversity Acts Adherence Cbd's Goals And Tenets
It is crucial to examine how the National Biodiversity Act implements these aims
in order to determine if the CBD's objectives and guiding principles are being
fulfilled. For instance, the CBD lists the preservation of biological variety as
one of its main goals. Analysis of the clauses pertaining to the creation and
maintenance of protected areas, the control of the wildlife trade, and the
preservation of endangered species is required to determine how effectively the
National Biodiversity Acts adhere to this purpose. The sustainable utilisation
of biological resources is one of the CBD's key goals.
Analysis of the clauses governing access to genetic resources, the encouragement
of benefit-sharing systems, and the inclusion of biodiversity concerns in
sectoral and cross-sectoral planning are all required to determine whether this
aim is being met.This evaluation can be aided by case studies of nations putting
their national biodiversity acts into practise.
According to a study of India's Biological Diversity legislation, access to
genetic resources and the preservation of traditional knowledge are both
problematic even if the legislation has been effective in encouraging the
protection of biological resources and the fair distribution of benefits.
Similar to this, a review of South Africa's Biodiversity Act revealed that,
although being effective in creating a legislative framework for biodiversity
protection, the act is challenging to implement locally and ensure that local
communities are included in decision-making.
A case study on the effectiveness of Costa Rica's national biodiversity policy
was conducted by Richards and Satterfield in 2019.There are several ways to
strengthen the CBD and National Biodiversity Acts in order to close the gaps and
address the issues outlined in the previous section. Because there have been
worries that the present arrangements are not efficient or equitable,
strengthening the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) procedures is one of the most
crucial methods to improve things.
This might entail the creation of more precise rules and standards for benefit
sharing as well as the improvement of monitoring and enforcement systems.
Another option is to promote local communities and indigenous peoples'
participation in decision-making processes while increasing financing for
conservation activities. Partnerships between private sector and civil society
groups, as well as the development of financial incentives for firms that
support biodiversity and sustainable land use, can be used to accomplish
this.Including more local communities and Indigenous peoples in conservation
initiatives is another area that may be improved. Effective conservation
initiatives can greatly benefit from their knowledge and perspectives.
This might entail improving the manner in which traditional knowledge and the
rights of Indigenous people are acknowledged and protected, as well as promoting
more community participation in planning and making choices on biodiversity
conservation. It's also critical to appreciate how social and economic growth
and biodiversity protection are intertwined. Conservation activities can help to
reduce poverty and advance social justice by fostering sustainable livelihoods
and empowering local populations. This necessitates an integrated strategy that
takes into account the requirements and goals of all concerned parties.
Essential legal frameworks for advancing biodiversity conservation and the wise
use of genetic resources include the Convention on Biological Diversity and
national Biodiversity Acts. The two documents were critically evaluated in this
dissertation with an emphasis on their legal ramifications, access and
benefit-sharing clauses, and difficulties and flaws in their execution. improved
capacity building and awareness among stakeholders to guarantee effective
execution of the requirements. The efficiency of these legal frameworks in
encouraging biodiversity conservation and sustainable usage can also be improved
by incorporating traditional knowledge and practises.
While the CBD and National Biodiversity Acts have made great strides in
resolving the concerns of access and benefit-sharing, the study has revealed
that there are still a number of gaps and difficulties that need to be
addressed. A number of legal issues have emerged in the interplay between the
CBD and National Biodiversity Acts, particularly with regard to the legal
implications of intellectual property rights in fostering benefit-sharing and
safeguarding traditional knowledge.
Therefore, it is crucial that decision-makers and other interested parties keep
looking for answers to these problems and make sure that holders of traditional
knowledge are fairly acknowledged and recognised for their efforts. To improve
traditional knowledge holders' and other relevant stakeholders' grasp of legal
frameworks, capacity-building initiatives should also be stepped up.
Based on the research, the dissertation has suggested a number of ways to fill
up the gaps and improve the Indian Biological Diversity Act, as well as the CBD
and National Biodiversity Act's ABS provisions. These include strengthening
enforcement systems, enhancing legal frameworks for the protection of
traditional knowledge, and encouraging greater stakeholder involvement in the
In addition, it's critical to make sure that those who possess conventional
knowledge are fairly paid for the contributions they made to the creation of
cutting-edge goods and technology. This may be accomplished by establishing
benefit-sharing arrangements that are just and reasonable that take into
consideration the cultural and monetary worth of traditional knowledge. In the
end, these initiatives will support sustainable development and safeguard
indigenous populations' rights.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Raisha Rout
Authentication No: MY313706878065-17-0523