VC JU calls For Documentation of Biological Diversity

JAMMU: The Law School, University of Jammu in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme and National Law School of India University, Bengaluru is organizing Two Day Regional Workshop on Biological Diversity Laws under UNDP-GEF (Global ABS Project) titled "Strengthening Human Resources, Legal Framework and Institutional Capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol".

The purpose of the workshop is to give an understanding of the Domestic as well as the International Legal and Policy Scenario on Biodiversity and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). The ABS mechanism allows local communities better opportunities to benefit from the use of their knowledge, innovations and practices related to biological diversity.

The workshop comprises over 120 participants drawn from different streams, viz., Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), School of Biotechnology, Departments of Environmental Sciences, Botany, Zoology, Human Genetics and Faculty of Law. Thus, issues like Biodiversity and Traditional knowledge in the State of J&K; International Legal Regime on Biodiversity and Access and Benefit Sharing, Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the Rules thereof, Case Studies on ABS and Bio-piracy, Functioning of State Biodiversity Board and Biodiversity Management Committees in the State of J&K are some of the issues which shall be taken up by Scientific and Legal experts in the Two day Workshop.

In the Inaugural function, Prof. Manoj Kumar Dhar, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu was the chief guest and OP Sharma (IFS), Director, State Forest Research Institute and Member Secretary, State Biodiversity Board was the Guest of Honour.

In his address Prof. Manoj Dhar talked about the significance of biodiversity, threats to biodiversity and need for the conservation of biodiversity which has also emerged as the dominant international discourse due to issue arising out of appropriation of genetic resources. Bio-resource utilization in the form of trade has received increased attention in recent times.

The BMCs are mandated to do the documentation of biological diversity and richness and chronicling of traditional knowledge and the process of consolidation and putting it on GIS biodiversity database is on the anvil.

There has also been public awareness generation drives regarding conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. But much needs to be done to sensitize the local population on the necessity of biodiversity conservation, equitable sharing of benefits arising out of access and use of biological resources from the local area, and all other aspects of biodiversity.

OP Sharma said that to achieve the goal of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, it is important to reconcile state and central laws and policies that are incompatible with or contradictory to principles of conservation.

On the biodiversity front, it is of vital importance to identify holders of traditional and existing knowledge relating to biological resources and making them sensitize about the benefits of conservation of resources and their potential use in the market. Further, the SBB in consultation with the local bodies need to take steps to notify areas of significant biodiversity values as Heritage Sites.

Earlier, Prof. Arvind Jasrotia. Director, The Law School and Coordinator Workshop welcomed the audience and dwelt upon the key provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002. Prof. Shashikala Gurpur, Director, Symbiosis Law Schhool, Pune, discussed the Convention on Biological Diversity and Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. Dr. Gargi Chakrbarti from NLU Jodhpur discussed the interface between IPR and Biodiversity.

Archita Naraynana from NLSIU. Bengluru dicussed the ABS Case studies on Biodiversity, The proceedings of programme was conducted by Dr. Seema Rohmetra, Assistant Professor.

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