First State to form BMCs

The government has formally declared the constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees in all the 978 grama panchayats, 60 municipalities, and the five Corporations in Kerala, signalling the shift to a broad-based system for the conservation of biological resources.

Addressing the media after a Cabinet meeting here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Kerala had become the first State to have completed the formation of BMCs in all local-self government institutions

It was under pressure to complete the ratification process.

Institutionalised mechanism forbenefit sharing mooted

As India gets ready to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) arising from utilisation of genetic resources, scientists and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) experts point to the dangers of opening up the country’s rich biodiversity for exploitation by foreign powers without a domestic regulatory framework in place. The first meeting of the signatories to the protocol is being held in connection with the 11{+t}{+h}Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity which began in Hyderabad on Monday.

Pending ratification of the Nagoya Supplementary Protocol, non-government organisations (NGOs) are demanding that the Indian government enact a domestic legislation for liabilities and redress of living-modified organisms (LMOs).

The Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on liability and redress to the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety closed for signature in March 2012 with a total of 51 signatories, including India. The Supplementary Protocol dealt with the liability and redress on damage resulting from living modified organisms (LMOs).

As India plays host to the Convention on Biological Diversity's 11th Conference of the Parties in Hyderabad in October 2012, this article takes a closer look at the country's legislation on the subject - the Biological Diversity Act (2002).

Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department of the State Government has formulated the Sikkim Biodiversity Action Plan with the objective of preserving the State’s natural and cultural heritage.

Traditional rice varieties of Kerala appeared to be vanishing as a study has found as many 55 species of paddy seeds extinct in Wayanad district in northern part of the state due to various reasons

Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Union government on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging notification giving Pune bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) jurisdiction for cases from the state of Gujarat.

A division bench of acting chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala also issued notice to the NGT and has scheduled next hearing after a fortnight.

The National Green Tribunal has sought the reply of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on a plea against grant of any clearance to any new project in ecologically sensitive Western Ghats.

The Tribunal also issued notices to the state governments of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu seeking their replies on the plea for implementation of the report by Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) on the protection and preservation of Western Ghats.

AHMEDABAD: Forests and other departments in Gujarat have been very proactive in carrying out biodiversity conservation measures, significant among them being those related to whale shark, sea turtle, restoration of mangroves etc., Dr. A P Singh, member secretary, Gujarat Biodiversity Board, said.

Gujarat Biodiversity Board too has launched several measures for the conservation and development of biological diversity, including marine, he said, adding that Government of India had enacted the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 for the conservation, development and regulation of biodiversity. The main objective of the Act is conservation of biodiversity and sustainable utilization of biological resources.