Scroll Top

LAW RELATING TO BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

INTRODUCTION

The term ‘Biological Diversity’ refers to the diversity of all living things. This encompasses diversity within species, across species, and among habitats, such as marine, terrestrial, and other aquatic ecosystems. Biological diversity is a word for the aquatic ecosystem. Biological diversity is a word that is frequently used to explain the quantity and variety of living things on earth.

The biological resources of the planet are essential to human growth on both an economic and social level. As a result, it is widely acknowledged that biological diversity is an enormously valuable global asset for both current and future generations. Additionally, the ecology is increasingly under threat. The rate of species extinction brought on by human activity is worrying.

CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (1992)

The convention of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits resulting from the use of genetic resources, including appropriate access to genetic resources and appropriate use of genetic resources, is the main objectives of the convention. Transfer of important technology with adequate finance, while also honouring all ownership rights to such technologies and resources.

The convention is the first comprehensive worldwide accord to address biological variety in terms of species, genetic resources, and ecosystems. The preservation of biological diversity plays a crucial role in the development process and is “a common” concern of humanity. One of the most important recent developments in international law, international relations, and the domains of environment and development is the conservation of biological diversity.

THE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ACT, 2002

All forms of life on earth are included in biodiversity. India is one of the twelve nations with the greatest biodiversity in the world. Only 2.5 percent of the world’s land area is in India, yet is home to serve to eight percent of all known species. Both traditional and indigenous knowledge is abundant in India.

India is a signatory to the convention of biological diversity, which was ratified on December 29, 1993, after being signed in Rio de Janeiro on June 5, 1992. The convention’s goals include the preservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its parts, and the equitable distribution of the advantages of harnessing genetic resources. The convention on biological diversity’s Article 8(j) acknowledges the contribution made by indigenous communities to the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity through traditional knowledge Innovations and practices. It also provides for an equitable distribution of the benefits accruing from the use of these resources with the general populace.

THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY AUTHORITY

To control the national transfer and use of biodiversity resources, the central government formed the national biodiversity authority. Chennai will serve as the authority’s headquarters. Eight ex-officio members, five non-official members, and a chairperson make up the authority. The chairperson must be a notable figure in the preservation and ethical distribution of benefits, as well as the sustainable utilization of biological variety. The ex- Officio members are involved in tribal affairs, Indian medical systems, homoeopathy, agricultural research and education, ocean development, and agriculture. Experts and researchers in the field of biological diversity, business representatives, people who are knowledgeable in conserving biological resources, and others make up the non-official members. (Section 8)

FUNCTION

  • For Surveys Bioutilization or the transmission of research findings about such biological resources, the National biodiversity authority has the authority to provide permission to individuals. The authority is also capable of approving those submitting requests for linked patents involving international biological research. The National Biological Authority may take the appropriate actions to oppose the granting of intellectual property rights on any biological material obtained from India or any nation outside of India(section 18)
  • After receiving a request for undertaking activities, the national biodiversity authority must assess the situation and decide whether to accept it will condition or deny it with justification (section 19). The people who received authorizations from the authority for the third transfer of parties. (section 20)

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

  • The offenses under this Act shall be cognizable and non-bailable. (section 58)
  • No offense under this act or the rules and regulations adopted there under shall be brought before a court except upon a complaint from the national biodiversity authority or state biodiversity board, as the case may be.(section-61)
  • Neither the federal government nor the state government, nor any office thereof, nor any member, office, or employee of the national biodiversity authority or the state biodiversity board, shall be subject to any civil action, prosecution, or other legal procedure for whatever reason anything that is done or intended to be following this Act or the rules or regulations adopted there under in good faith. (section-54)
  • Despite any provisions that are irreconcilable with those of this Act in any other currently in force laws, this Act’s provisions shall apply. (section 59)

The following offenses are punishable by a maximum five-year prison sentence, a maximum ten-lakh rupee fine, or both.     

  • A non-citizen and an Indian who is a body corporate with non-Indian participation engage in biodiversity-related activities without first receiving authorization from the national biodiversity authority, he must stop. (Contravention of the provision of section 3)
  • Any person, Indian citizen or not, is permitted to sell the findings of any research on biological resources to someone who is not an Indian citizen. (Contravention of the provisions of section 6)

The following offenses are punishable by a period of imprisonment that may last up to three years, a fine that may amount to five lakh rupees or both.

  • Any Indian person who acquires any biological resources for commercial use or bio survey without first noticing the state biodiversity board, except voids and Hakims who practice indigenous medicines. (contravention of the provisions of section 7)
  • If a person violates a rule or instruction issued by the federal government, a state government the national biodiversity authority or the state biodiversity board for which there is no specific penalty specified in this Act they shall be charged a fee that is equal to up to one lakh rupees in fines based on the severity of the infraction and up to two lakh rupees in fines for a second or subsequent offence. A further fine of up to two lakh rupees may be imposed if the breach continues each day that it continues. (Section 56)

CONCLUSION

Biodiversity stands to be the pillar supporting the coexistence of all sorts of living species from numerous sources, including the terrestrial, marine, and all aquatic ecosystems, and represents in the true essence, the nourishment of all life on earth. Consequently, biodiversity decline would have detrimental effects on all species now living on earth and lead to an imbalance in the destruction of the natural ecosystem. As a result, it is crucial that both the government and each endeavour to make the act effective in achieving the desired outcomes.

Author(s) Name: Bharti Kumari (Chotanagpur Law College, Ranchi University, Jharkhand)