By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 22 Nov: “The Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board is keen to know the concerns and issues of the industries as this would help in understanding and providing solutions for implementation. It is this generation’s prime responsibility to safeguard life on earth. Today, the biggest concern is the speed at which mass extinction is happening. Life will be extinct in less than 100 years and the Access Benefit Sharing as well Bio Diversity Act provide the way for this extinction and loss to be halted and reversed, said Mr Rasaily, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand State Biodiversity Board, while speaking as a Chief Guest at the 1st Workshop on Stakeholder Engagement on Biological Diversity Act Implementation in Uttarakhand, here, today. It was organised by the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board, Confederation of Indian Industry and GIZ. Dr S Farooq, Past Chairman, CII Uttarakhand State Council, and President, Himalaya Drug Company, stated that Biological Diversity was not just about extinct or endangered or threatened species, but the core wellbeing of humans and all life forms on earth. The Act had become a concern for industry and other stakeholders due to lack of proper awareness about its purpose and objectives. He added that the board should identify the demand for bio- resources from manufacturers and work backwards for cultivation of such resources. The Biological Diversity Act 2002 was developed in India to implement CBD’s three objectives – Conservation of biological diversity, Sustainable use of its components, and Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources’ knowledge. The Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) is the third important objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and in the BD Act. The Workshop was organised to bring together experts from biodiversity boards, businesses and civil society to develop an interactive stakeholder engagement platform in Uttarakhand to identify challenges and find solutions for Biodiversity Act implementation at the state level. With this workshop, the CII facilitated the dialogue between the manufactures and Biodiversity Board to identify and resolve bottlenecks in the implementation of the Act. Aushdhi Nirmata Sangthan, Uttarakhand, also participated actively and demanded withdrawal of notices issued by the Board for two way exchange of dialogue and proper implementation of the Act in the State. Dr Pravir Deshmukh, Counsellor, Confederation of Indian Industry, shared that the BD Act Implementation provided a positive tool for integrating the sustainable supply chain management and sustainable utilisation of biological resources. Industry and the Biodiversity Board needed to discuss how, and what were the ways to make the implementation successful. Anil Joshi, Technical Expert, GIZ India, opined that a dialogue forum was needed to involve multiple stakeholders to understand the challenges and resolve the issues. The role of the dialogue forum needed to be defined in terms of objectives, stakeholders that are important to be engaged for implementation, what are the ways to implement and what support is needed on the policy front for better implementation. The workshop was well attended by over 40 representatives from Industry, State Biodiversity Board, GIZ, Ayurvedic and Pharma Manufacturing Associations.