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  • ABS Initiatives in India


    26th May 2020 at 5:50 am

    Dear All, I just joined the ABS Global community from India. I am working with few projects and Government authorities to understand ABS in more detail and develop the systems for strengthening the same.

    To implement the Biological Diversity Act and ABS mechanism, India has 3 tiered structure; National Biodiversity Authority at National level, State Biodiversity Boards at State (Province) and Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) at community level. There has been significant progress so far on the ABS however commercial realization at community level are still minuscule.

    Can you guys have any India focused case studies or approach notes to strengthen it further.

  • Alejandro Lago

    18th June 2020 at 12:51 am

    Dear Mr. Gupta,

    Thank you for your message. Very glad to hear that you are working on ABS issues in India, one of the key countries on this matter in the world. Your question refers to the “administrative” structure of the ABS system in India and also whether and how monetary benefits (from commercial agreements) are really reaching the local level. I think your question is a very good one and I believe we can have two direct ways to try to search for some light/answers.

    The first one is through a publication that the Global ABS Project is currently developing (ABS from theory to practice). We are expecting a chapter from India (we were missing their contribution in our previous publication) and that chapter may contain useful information in regard to your question. As soon as we receive the chapter we would be sharing that information with you.

    The second one. I was shocked, couple of weeks ago, while gathering the information of the commercial certificates granted by the countries of the Global ABS Project, about the high number of commercial permits in India. No doubt, those are excellent news to be shared through the Global ABS Community and maybe we could ask our colleagues in India to organize an specific webinar on this topic through the Global ABS Community.

    We will be in touch with you in regard the previous suggested line of action and please do not hesitate to make any other suggestion or query.

    Once again, thank you for your query. Best regards,

    Alejandro Lago


    18th June 2020 at 7:38 am

    Dear Mr. Lago

    Thanks for your response and answering to my queries. I do agree with your point that India is an important country from the ABS implementation point of view as it has both vast resources of biological material and commercial users of it. Authorities along with ABS projects such as UN Global-ABS project and GIZ ABS project are also trying at their level best to develop simplified mechanism.

    With regards to the point i raised about the signing of commercial ABS agreements, You are right about the fact that India have signed a good number of commercial agreements with private buyers and have also realized the money about of these. Some of the state Biodiversity boards (SBBs) such as Uttrakhand BB, Kerela BB and Gujarat BB along with some other have been on forefront of it. However these SBBs could not transfer the funds to local Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) as tracing the origin or actual source of purchase was very quite difficult. To overcome this Authorities in India have issued draft guidelines where mandatory transfer of 95% funds to BMCs will be taken back and state boards will be empowered to spent the funds for conservation and livelihood enhancement activities.

    I along with some of my colleagues have recently published a report around Biodiversity Management in India. This report have a dedicated chapter on ABS along with a case study of Uttrakhand State Biodiversity Board. I have uploaded the report on this platform and happy to share that Global ABS community have published it.

    As you know ABS is a complex subject and sometimes people find it difficult to understand. I have tried to relate the ABS and its guidelines with a very famous mythological story of ‘Ramayana’. Recently i shared with around 300 participants in a webinar and they really liked it. Attaching a page for your reference.

    We will be happy to partner with you to develop any knowledge document around ABS or other related subjects around BD.

    Look forward to learn more from you and other participants.


    Santosh Gupta

    Biodiveristy Conservation and Livelihoods Enhancement-Prospects and Prospective in Context of India

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