Why in news?

Recently, both houses of Parliament passed the Biological Diversity Act (Amendment) , 2023, amending the Biological Diversity Act of 2002.

About the Biological Diversity Act 2002

  • Implemented to help India meet the objectives of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Act (CBD) 1992.
  • The Law was enact with the aim to:

>Conserve biodiversity.

>Promote sustainable utilization.

>Ensure just and fair distribution of the advantages arising from the use of biological and resources.

  • Act provides for a decentralized three-tiered mechanism for

Biological Diversity Act

  • Act provides for sharing benefits with biodiversity conserves and holders and creators of associated knowledge, such as monetary compensation, sharing of intellectual property rights, or technology transfer.

Significance of the bill of Biological Diversity Act:

  1. Encourage Indian system of
  2. Reduce the pressure on wild medicinal plants by encouraging cultivation all of medicinal
  3. Bring more foreign investments
  4. Facilitate R&D, patent application process, transfer of important

Biological Diversity Act

Key issues with the Bill of Biological Diversity Act

  • Ambiguity in the definition of codified traditional knowledge: The CBD’s Nagoya and Cartagena protocols do not define this term.
  • Local communities may have little say in benefit sharing: Bill removes the direct role of local bodies and benefits claimers in determining mutually agreed terms.
  • A wide range of penalties can be levied, between one Lakh rupees and one crore There needs to be legislative guidance to the adjudicating officer on assessing the penalty within this range.
  • Large companies may evade the requirement for prior approval or sharing the benefits:
  1. Most AYUSH firms are registered under the name of the practicing AYUSH doctors, and excluding them could also exempt their companies.
  2. A company under foreign management but registered in India wouldn’t need to seek permission from the NBA to use a specific resource and develop a product from it. Without the NBA’s cognizance, any monetary benefits from the product’s sale might not reach the local


There is a need to address the above mentioned concerns to ensure that India’s rich biological diversity and associated traditional and contemporary knowledge systems be preserved without compromising the objectives and hindering their growth and usability.

Source: The Hindu