Stakeholder Engagement Workshop on Biological Diversity Act in Uttarakhand

22 Nov, 2019

The Biological Diversity Act 2002 (BD Act) was developed in India to implement the Convention of Biological Diversity’s (CBD) three objectives i.e. conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources, knowledge.

Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) is the third important objective of the CBD and the BD Act. It is also a tool for meeting the financial requirement for achieving the all the objectives of Act. ABS can also play a very critical role in businesses which depends on biological resources for sustainable management of supply chain and opportunities to explore global market with ABS compliant products.

The workshop aimed to bring together leading actors from biodiversity boards, businesses and civil societies to develop an interactive stakeholder engagement platform in Uttarakhand to identify challenges and find scalable solutions for implementation of the BD Act at state level.

  • Establish a dialogue Forum at state level
  • Setting the Agenda for Action for the Forum

The workshop on “Stakeholder Engagement on Biological Diversity Act Implementation at Uttarakhand”, the first of its kind in Uttarakhand, was opened by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The panel discussions were led by Mr. SS Rasaily, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board; Dr. S Farooq, Past Chairman, CII Uttarakhand State Council and President, Himalaya Drug Company, Dehradun; Mr. Anil Joshi and Dr. Pradeep Mehta, Technical Expert, GIZ India and CII representative- Dr Pravir Deshmukh, Counsellor, CII.

Dr. Pravir Deshmukh, Counsellor, CII said that there were multiple issues in implementing the BD Act and the “ need for stakeholder engagement to identify these issues and develop probable solutions to address them. BD Act implementation provides as a positive tool for integrating sustainable supply chain management and sustainable utilisation of biological resources. The industry and the biodiversity board need to discuss the ways to make implementation successful.” Mr. Anil Joshi, Technical Expert, GIZ India spoke on the need for a dialogue forum to involve multiple stakeholders to understand challenges and resolve issues. He said that “the role of the forum needs to be defined in terms of objectives and support needed at the policy front for better implementation.”

“Biological Diversity is not just about threatened, endangered or extinct species but about the wellbeing of humans and all life forms on earth. The Act has become a concern for the industry and other stakeholders as there is little awareness about the act. The dialogue exchange should be what the industry and government can do to safeguard nature and live in harmony”, said Dr. S Farooq, Past Chairman, CII Uttarakhand state council and President, Himalaya Drug Company, Uttarakhand.

“ABS is not a tax, it is an investment for protection of biological resources, community development and secured supply chain. The Biodiversity board is keen to know the concerns and issues of the industries and helps in understanding and providing solutions for implementation. It is this generations’ prime responsibility to safeguard life on earth. Today, the biggest concern is the speed at which the mass extinction is happening, and ABS/BD Act provide the way this extinction and loss can be halted and reversed”, said Mr. Rasaily, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand State Biodiversity Board

In the second and third sessions, the participants were divided into two groups to identify the objectives of the dialogue forum, its role and responsibilities, and the model of functioning in the future course of action, moderated by GIZ and CII.

Outcomes of the workshop:

  • Stakeholders identified: DGCI, Representatives of associations, CII, SBB
  • Identified Activities:
    • BD Act awareness and capacity building
    • Sectoral application of BD Act
    • Developing SOPs and knowledge products
    • Development of FAQs and communication channels
    • Developing best practice case study documents
  • Dialogue Forum: Uttarakhand Biodiversity Working Group

All the stakeholders have been requested to share nominations of representatives to be part of this working group. Future dialogues will be more focused on the specific issues and objectives.