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Biodiversity & Environment

Biodiversity Management Committees

  • 22 Dec 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The National Green Tribunal has extended the time limit for the constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) and preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Points

  • Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC)
    • As per the Biological Diversity Act 2002, BMCs are created for “promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity” by local bodies across the country.
    • Composition:
      • It shall consist of a chair person and not more than six persons nominated by the local body, of whom not less than one third should be women and not less than 18% should belong to the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes.
      • The main function of the BMC is to prepare People’s Biodiversity Register in consultation with the local people.
  • People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR):
    • The Registers entail a complete documentation of biodiversity in the area plants, food sources, wildlife, medicinal sources, etc.
    • Advantages of PBR:
      • A good PBR will aid in tracing how habitats are changing, and to understand and estimate parts of our forests.
      • Prevent Biopiracy:
        • The indigenous and local community are a repository of traditional knowledge and their knowledge and practices help in conservation and sustainable development of biodiversity.
      • Being a bottom-up exercise, it is also a means of understanding the overlap of cultural and natural biodiversity.
      • It envisages a decentralised way through an inclusive approach.

Biodiversity Governance in India

  • India’s Biological Diversity Act 2002 (BD Act), is in close synergy with the Nagoya Protocol and aims to implement provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
    • The Nagoya Protocol sought to ensure commercial and research utilisation of genetic resources led to sharing its benefits with the government and the community that conserved such resources.
  • The BD Act was hailed as an important step towards preserving India’s vast biodiversity, as it recognised the sovereign right of countries over its natural resources.
  • The BD Act seeks to address issues of managing bio-resources in the most decentralised manner possible.
  • The BD Act envisages three layered structures:
    • The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) at the national level.
    • The State Biodiversity Boards (SSBs) at the state level
    • Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at the local level.
  • The act also strengthens the country’s stand with respect to anyone claiming an intellectual property right over biodiversity-related knowledge.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • A legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity has been in force since 1993. It has 3 main objectives:
    • The conservation of biological diversity.
    • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.
    • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.


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