State-wide Workshops on Implementation of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Access and Benefit Sharing Mechanisms in Tamil Nadu

02 Aug, 2018

Tamil Nadu Biological Diversity Rules were notified in 2017, following which 385 block-level Biodiversity Management Committees were constituted in the state, as per the Section 41 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The concept of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) provisions and objective of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is new and awareness on the provisions of the Act is necessary for effective implementation. The Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Board with the support of Access and Benefit Sharing Partnership Project and technical partner, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, New Delhi undertook state-wide awareness workshops for various line departments dealing with bio-resources in the state.

Officers from various government departments such as the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Forest, Horticulture, Sericulture, and District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA) and representatives from the Police Department, Revenue Department, Animal Welfare Board of India, educational institutions, research institutes, and local NGOs participated in the workshops.

Participants from the workshop at Madurai

A total of 8 workshops were conducted, with each workshop having participants from 3-5 districts. The first workshop was conducted at Coimbatore (09 February), consecutive workshops were organised at Madurai (21 June), Krishnagiri (26 June), Tuticorin (05 July), Thanjavur (13 July), Namakkal (25 July), Villupuram (26 July) and Chennai (02 August).

The workshop was aimed at creating awareness on the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 as well as to form a network of various departments to plan future capacity-building programmes for BMCs. District Collectors inaugurated 6 of the workshops, and the local media covered the events in the various districts. The technical sessions focused on implementing the provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, process of constitution of BMCs, compliance procedure for access to bio-resources by the users/companies, notifying Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS), and documenting People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR) by the BMCs. Interactive group sessions discussed the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 through case studies.

Participants of the workshop engaged in group discussion at Thanjavur

Participation in all 8 workshops and the feedback received from the participants was highly satisfactory. Feedback indicated that 72% of the participants had heard about the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 for the first time during the workshop and 89% of the participants indicated that the workshop helped them understand the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the formation of BMCs. Participants also highlighted the need for workshops to be conducted in Tamil language.

The project will be undertaking capacity-building activities to strengthen BMCs for implementation of ABS in the state. In our commitment towards the environment and beating plastic pollution, utmost care was taken to minimize/avoid the use of plastics and disposables in our workshops.

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