Himachal Pradesh State Biodiversity Board and National Biodiversity Authority, Government of India has launched the Rs. 46 crore UNEP-GEF Project on Biodiversity for Strengthening Implementation of Biological Diversity Act and Rules with Focus on Access and Benefit Sharing in the presence of Sudripta Roy, Chief Secretary here today.
Himachal Pradesh is among the five States chosen by the Government of India to implement the project on pilot basis for implementation of the Biological Diversity Act & Rules enacted by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.
Speaking on the occasion, S. Roy stressed upon the need for conservation, sustainable utilization and sharing of benefits accruing out of the use of biological resources and traditional knowledge based on biological resources in the State at agro-climatic and ecosystem levels. This would benefit protectors and conservers at grassroot levels in the State, he added. He focused on the need of development and benefit sharing of the bio-resources and the various ecosystems in the State for betterment of the stakeholders and people at community level and environment.
Chief Secretary said that the project would also help in development of tools methodologies, guidelines and frameworks for implementing access and benefit provisions on equity and gender basis in the State. He said that the project would also help increasing public awareness and educating people, building capacity of the stakeholders of the biodiversity at grassroots level for strengthening implementation of the access and benefit sharing provisions enshrined in the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 in the State.
He said that India is one of the pioneering countries to enact the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 for conservation, sustainable utilization and sharing of benefit arising out of the use of biological resources and traditional knowledge based on biological resources after the signing of UN Resolution adopted by CBD countries on Biodiversity.
Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati, Chairman National Biodiversity Authority, Government of India at Chennai who was Guest of Honour on the occasion gave a detailed account of Biodiversity Conventions and its policy framework at international level. He said that the project was being implemented for conservation sustainable utilization and sharing of benefits out of the use of biological resources which would set guidelines, manuals and standards for further implementation all over the country in future.
Dr. Ishwar C. Pujar, Manager, National Biodiversity Authority elaborated the concept of Access and Benefit sharing provisions and the overview of the State and efforts made by the Authority. He highlighted the importance of the project and activities to be undertaken under the same.
Dr. Hemant Gupta, Joint Member Secretary, State Council for Environment Science and Technology delivered a presentation on Access and Benefit Sharing in Himachal Pradesh since the times of Princely States and British Rule.
Dr. Nagin Nanda, Secretary cum Director, Environment Science & Technology and Member Secretary, HP State Biodiversity Board welcomed the participants and apprised about the initiatives taken up by the Board for implementation the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 in the State.
Officers of Forest, State Council for Environment Science and Technology, Agriculture, Horticulture and other line departments, Representatives from various Universities and Research Institutions and Chairmen of Biodiversity Management Committees constituted at Block and Panchayat levels were present on the occasion.