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

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The context of biodiversity and the immense pressure on it, is not new and has been sufficiently ideated, debated and deliberated to reach a juncture where the statutory cover (Biological Diversity Act, 2002) legitimizes the gravity of the issue. However, from vision to execution there are value aberrations that defy and dilute the ultimate objectives of biodiversity conservation especially in the perspective of provisions of Biological Diversity Act integrating with livelihoods enhancement of local communities and sustainable sourcing by the users of biological resources.

One of the basic frameworks for any proposition is the 6 Ws and 1 H (What, Why, Where, When, Who, for Whom and How). In case of biodiversity conservation and livelihood enhancement the present organized repertoire of knowledge is reasonably profound to answer What, Where, When, Who and for Whom, but severely falls short of Why and How. This study has revealed that in the functional hierarchy (as mentioned in the provisions of BDA 2002) from State Biodiversity Board (SBB), through the Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) to the formation of Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR) and establishing a robust mechanism for Access Benefit Sharing (ABS), the inability of BMCs to establish itself as an important community institution and to form and utilize the PBR for developing conservation and livelihoods plan has emerged as the Achilles Heel, that in turn cascades to non-functionality of ABS. The data indicates a steep funnelling from number of BMCs formed in the country and the corresponding number of PBRs thus thinning the very spirit of
the vision and mission of the BDA 2002.

This report, designed with an intention to fill the missing gaps, attempts to consolidate and re-establish what is present and furthers the proposition by proposing roadmap for fulfilling greater common good. It lays down the macro plan already available and suggests the micro working charter to serve the macros. Through an extensive research on the secondary data and collating first-hand information from those at field, this report tables ideas and premises for potential of BDA as a legislative tool, for ensuring biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihoods and fair and equitable sharing of benefits.

SANTOSH GUPTA

SANTOSH GUPTA