Punjab Biodiversity Board
BMCHome

Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs)



Introduction


As per the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 [Section 41]

  • Every local body shall constitute a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) 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.

  • The National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards shall consult the Biodiversity Management Committees while taking any decision relating to the use of biological resources and knowledge associated with such resources occurring within the territorial jurisdiction of the Biodiversity Management Committee.

  • The Biodiversity Management committees may levy charges by way of collection fees from any person accessing or collecting any biological resource for commercial purposes from areas falling within its territorial jurisdiction

Constitution of BMCs
  • Every local body, in accordance with provisions contained in Article 243B, in respect of Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels and Article 243Q, in respect of Municipalities (Nagar Panchayats, Municipal Councils and Municipal Corporations), shall constitute a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) within its area of jurisdiction, through a simple resolution, 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 micro-organisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity.


  • If the local body is satisfied that the functions of the BMC can be discharged by the general assembly of the local body or by one of its existing committees, the same should be recorded as resolution passed by such local body, following due procedure.

  • The BMCs thus constituted shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than six persons nominated by the local body, of which not less than one third shall be women and not less than 18% should belong to Schedule caste/Schedule tribes. These persons should be drawn from amongst the herbalists, agriculturists, Non Timber Forest Produce collectors/ traders, fisher-folk, representatives of user associations, community workers, and academicians and any person/ representative of organization, on whom the local body trusts that they can significantly contribute to the mandate of the BMC. All the above should be residents within the said local body limits and be in the voters list.

  • The local body may, if required, nominate six special invitees from forest, agriculture, livestock, health, fisheries and education department.

  • The Chairperson of the BMC shall be elected from amongst the members of the committee, in a meeting to be presided over by the Chairperson of the local body (e.g. Panchayat in villages and municipality in urban areas). The Chairperson of the local body (i.e. the Sarpanch /CEO) shall have the casting vote in case of a tie.

  • The BMC shall be con-terminus with the tenure of the local body or five years, whichever is less.

  • The local Member of the Legislative Assembly and Member of Parliament may be invited as special invitees to the meetings of the BMCs at different levels.


  • The BMC may co-opt persons, having expertise and knowledge in biodiversity conservation, or connected biodiversity conservation, as its special invitees so as to be assisted in efficient discharge of its functions.

  • After constitution of the BMC, information regarding the same is to be submitted to the State Biodiversity Board for further advice & guidance regarding functioning of constituted committee.
A Technical Support Group (TSG) comprising of experts in the field of biodiversity drawn from Government agencies, non governmental organizations, academic field, community and individuals shall be established by District Administration at district level. The expert group shall lend support to all BMCs in the district.


Functions of BMCs
  • The mandate of the BMCs will be to ensure conservation, sustainable utilization and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of biodiversity.

  • The BMC shall prepare, maintain and validate People's Biodiversity Registers. The Register shall contain comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use or any other traditional knowledge associated with them and shall be updated from time to time.

  • The People's Biodiversity Registers shall be prepared at the Zila Parishad/ Block Level/Gram Sabha/ Panchayat/ Municipality/ Municipal Corporation level by the respective BMCs using the process and the format set by the Board and/or the National Biodiversity Authority.

  • The BMCs, local and District Administration, local bodies shall be responsible for ensuring the protection of the knowledge recorded in the People\92s Biodiversity Registers, especially to regulate its access to outside agencies and individuals. The District level BMC/ Technical Supporting Group shall be responsible for developing district-wise network of Peoples Biodiversity Registers database.

  • The BMC at Gram Sabha/ Panchayat/ District/Municipality/ Municipal Corporation level, if required in consultation with State Biodiversity Board, may decide the terms on which it would permit access to biodiversity resources and associated knowledge to different parties for various purposes within their jurisdiction and levy charges by way of collection fees from any person for accessing or collecting any biological resources for commercial purpose from the area falling with in its jurisdiction. The major share of fee charged for the material collected/ cultivated from private land should be given to the owner/ cultivator of the land/ knowledge holder/s and the balance should be deposited in Local Biodiversity Fund.

  • The BMC shall also maintain a Register giving information about the details of the access to biological resources and traditional knowledge granted, details of the collection fee imposed and details of the benefits derived and the mode of their sharing. The register shall be maintained by the Chairman or any person authorized by him/her.

  • The BMC shall take initiative to generate awareness regarding biological resources available in the locality, their ecological and economic importance and the need to conserve them and prepare an action plan regarding the same. It will take the support of TSGs for the activity and will strive to mainstream biodiversity conservation concerns in the developmental planning at the local level

  • The BMC shall take action for stopping illegal and irregular harvesting of biological resources within its jurisdiction to ensure sustainable use.

  • The BMC shall determine and periodically update the status of regeneration of all important species and the quantum available within its area, by making inventory under the guidance of the Board/ Technical Support Group.

  • The BMC, in consultation with NGOs and Community Institutions, can also initiate proposals for declaring Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) and take care of management of such Sites declared under its jurisdiction.

  • The BMC will advise on matters referred to it by the State Biodiversity Board or the National Biodiversity Authority for granting approval within a specified time and will maintain data about local vaids and practitioners using biological resources.

  • In the long run the BMCs also have the responsibility to prepare and implement a management plan for biodiversity conservation and use for a period of 5 to10 years using output from Peoples Biodiversity Registers in consultation with State Biodiversity Board and with the support of Technical Support Group constituted by the District Administration.

  • Depending upon available expertise, the BMC shall set up and maintain germ plasm bank and seed centers or other centre\92s of similar nature for promoting cultivars, folk varieties and landraces under the technical guidance of the Board, wherever possible.

  • Every BMC shall prepare its Annual Report and Audited copy of Accounts and submit the same together with Auditors Report to the concerned District Magistrate (or to an officer as decided by State Biodiversity Board), with a copy to the Board and a copy to the general assembly of the local body.

In order to execute the above functions the BMC will work in cooperation with other BMCs, TSGs and the SBB. It will function from an office premises to be provided by the local body.
  • The BMC shall perform any other function as assigned by Central/ State Govt. or NBA/ State Biodiversity Board.


Powers of BMCs
  • The BMC has the right within its jurisdiction to take decisions relating to use of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge.

  • The BMC has the right to restrict access to biological resources within its territorial jurisdiction by means of reporting to the Board.

  • The BMC may levy charges by way of collection fees from any person for accessing or collecting any biological resource for commercial purposes from areas falling within its natural jurisdiction.

  • The BMC can also decide on access and benefit sharing of biological resources within its jurisdiction or seek the help of NBA or SBB.

Local Biodiversity Fund
  • Every BMC will constitute a Local Biodiversity Fund by opening a separate bank account to that respect and prepare its bye-laws. The State Biodiversity Board or the District Administration will provide an enabling letter if required and will help it to prepare its bye-laws

  • The Local Biodiversity Fund shall comprise of:-

    • Any grants and loans from the State Government.

    • Any grants or loans from the National Biodiversity Authority and/or the State Biodiversity Board.

    • Fees received by the BMC by means of levied charges for accessing or collecting biological resources for commercial purposes from areas within its territory.


- All sums received from sources as decided by the State Government
  • The Fund shall be used for conservation and promotion of biodiversity in the areas falling within the jurisdiction of the concerned local body and for the benefit of the community so far such use is consistent with conservation of biodiversity.

  • The Local Biodiversity Fund shall be operated jointly by the Chairperson/Secretary and/or by a member to whom the power has been delegated by the Committee.

  • The accounts of the Local Biodiversity Fund shall be maintained and audited and report furnished to the concerned local body/ district administration. (As per Section 46 of The Biological Diversity Act). The Secretary of the BMC or person authorized by the BMC will maintain the accounts of the BMC and ensure that there is proper disbursement of funds. BMCs will give Utilization Certificate to the appropriate authority from whom they have received the funds. The accounts will be audited annually and passed by the BMC.

  • The person holding the custody of the Local Biodiversity Fund shall prepare its Annual Report, giving full account of its activities during the previous financial year, and submit a copy to the District Administration, concerned local body. (As per Section 45 of The Biological Diversity Act) and SBB.

  • The district administration, TSG or SBB will provide training to members of the BMC on accounting procedures, preparation of the annual report and the procedure for giving Utilization Certificate, if required.



District Level Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) & Technical Support Groups (TSGs)