A beaten path

suresh prabhu , the Union minister for environment and forests, has declared that his ministry is all set to enact the National Biodiversity Act. "It is now imperative to do so because India has signed the International Biodiversity Convention and outsiders cannot be denied access to the wealth of India's biological resources,' he is quoted as saying in a recent press statement. Perhaps to prove that he and his colleagues at the Ministry of Environment and Forests ( mef) are in right earnest, Prabhu has mentioned that a "draft of the proposed Biodiversity Act is being circulated among academicians, non-governmental organisations and practitioners so that it can take care of the interests of all the stakeholders.'

Prabhu obviously has not been properly briefed by his advisers at Paryavaran Bhavan. He is not aware that India initiated the global treaty on biodiversity in June, 1992 and, since then, all his predecessors