People’s Biodiversity Registers

Conserving, using sustainably and sharing equitably in the benefits flowing from biodiversity resources have emerged as important human concerns in recent decades. This has prompted a number of international as well as national initiatives. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in force since 1993, is the most significant of the pertinent international agreements. India is one of the 180-odd nations that are a party to the CBD. As a follow-up to this Convention, India has enacted the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, which received the assent of the President on the 5th February, 2003. The rules promulgated under this Act, in force as of 15th April, 2004, include the following provisions:

22. Constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees

(1) Every local body (i.e. Panchayat, Municipality etc.) shall constitute a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) within its area of jurisdiction.

(6) The main function of the BMC is to prepare People’s Biodiversity Register in consultation with local people. The Register shall contain comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use or any other traditional knowledge associated with them.

(7) The other functions of the BMC are to advise on any matter referred to it by the State Biodiversity Board or Authority for granting approval, to maintain data about the local vaids and practitioners using the biological resources.

(8) The National Biodiversity Authority shall take steps to specify the form of the People’s Biodiversity Registers, and the particulars it shall contain and the format for electronic database.

(9) The Authority and the State Biodiversity Boards shall provide guidance and technical support to the Biodiversity Management Committees for preparing People’s Biodiversity Registers.

(10) The People’s Biodiversity Registers shall be maintained and validated by the Biodiversity Management Committees. The Committee shall also maintain a Register giving information about the details of the access to biological resources and traditional knowledge granted, details of the collection fee imposed and details of the benefits derived and the mode of their sharing.

The rules further stipulate that the National Biodiversity Authority shall take steps to specify the form of the People’s Biodiversity Registers, and the particulars it shall contain and the format for electronic database; and that the National Biodiversity Authority and the State Biodiversity Boards shall provide guidance and technical support to the Biodiversity Management Committees for preparing People’s Biodiversity Registers. Preparation of the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR) is a novel activity that will involve people at the grass-roots in a scientific enterprise. The Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) at the Indian Institute of Science, a Center of Excellence of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, has had the privilege of being extensively involved in the formulation of this programme. At the instance of the Ministry, CES has conducted pilot exercises of preparation of PBRs in a number of Gram Panchayats in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Furthermore, CES was asked to conduct five Regional Workshops at Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, Bhuvaneshwar and Guwahati during 2003 to discuss the methodology of PBR preparation with a range of stake-holders including technical experts from Universities, research institutions, Botanical and Zoological Surveys, Forest and other Government Departments, school and college teachers, workers from NGOs, and members and office-bearers from Panchayat bodies. These five Workshops, each lasting 3 days, and involving a total of around 500 people, provided an excellent opportunity to discuss all pertinent issues in depth and obtain very substantive feedback. Assimilating all this experience, CES has attempted to formulate an appropriate methodology and design a database. This Manual outlines this material. It is hoped that this will serve as a useful input to the National Biodiversity Authority and the State Biodiversity Boards in their task to provide guidance and technical support to the Biodiversity Management Committees for preparing People’s Biodiversity Registers.

PBR Reports

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This page was last modified on 22-Mar-2006 9:33 AM