The two-day national meeting of the State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) organised by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) concluded here today. The meet serves as a platform to share the collective experiences on the implementation of the Biodiversity (BD) Act at national, state and local levels and deliberate the way forward to meet the challenges ahead jointly. This is tenth in the series of such a national conclave since the establishment of the NBA in the year 2003.
The wrap-up session was attended by Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar and Mr. Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Representative, UN. The Minister announced the call for nominations for India Biodiversity Awards 2016, which is a collaborative initiative between the Ministry and UNDP-India. The Chairman, NBA informed the Minister about the discussion held on various issues such as formation of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs), documentation of Peoples’ Biodiversity Register (PBRs), implementing Access of Benefit Sharing (ABS) mechanisms, notification of threatened species and updating the State Biodiversity Action Plan.
Recognising the need for continuous engagement and constant dialogue with the SBBs as well as strengthening of institutional framework as an important element in the effective implementation of the BD Act, the meeting reviewed the progress made on the resolutions adopted in the Environment & Forest Ministers’ Conference held in April 2015. It is notable that Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir have notified their state-specific rules as a part of compliance of the resolution made in the April meet.
Many SBBs are proactively taking forward the Access of Benefit Sharing (ABS) Regulations 2014 issued by the National Biodiversity Authority in their respective States. During deliberations, the SBBs like Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal shared their best practices on the above score. The experts who participated in the meeting provided clarity on the queries raised by the SBBs, especially on the formation of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs), sharing of benefits to the community and interpretation of certain provisions of the Act.
Twenty six State Biodiversity Boards, members of the Authority, Chairpersons of the Expert Committees and Chairperson and Member Secretaries participated in the event. Chairman, NBA and other senior officers of the Ministry also participated in the meeting.
The meeting had been inaugurated by Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Shri Ashok Lavasa.