ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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People’s Participation, Credible Documentation and Informed Decisions

Developing Electronic Peoples’ Biodiversity Registers

Wide participation at the grassroots is an important prerequisite for effective documentation, management and monitoring of biological resources. India has long recognised the need for the documentation of biodiversity and associated knowledge. Yet, the progress made through peoples’ biodiversity registers has been inadequate. It calls for a systemic intervention as envisaged in the NISARG Bharat (National Initiative for Sustained Assessment of Resource Governance) programme, which is the focus of the paper. It seeks to establish a national framework for electronic PBRs to simplify the process to ensure the participation of both experts and citizens. Anticipated outcomes include comprehensive documentation and accurate assessments of biodiversity and associated knowledge, informed decision-making about biodiversity conservation and bio-resource utilisation, and strengthened national bio-economies.

India has recognised the significance of documenting biological diversity using a range of approaches. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 contains one such approach. Its Section 41(1) mandates the development of peoples’ biodiversity registers (PBRs) at the local level to document and safeguard bio-resources and associated knowledge (GoI 2003; Gadgil 2003):

Every local body shall constitute a Biodiversity Management Committee within its area for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and microorganisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity. (emphasis added)

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Updated On : 14th Dec, 2020

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