The first step towards conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity is its documentation. One of the main function of each Biodiversity Management Committee(BMC) is to prepare People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) of their respective areas in consultation with the local people. 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. The PBR is ’peoples’ document showcasing the richness and status of biodiversity; and knowledge systems, uses and values ascribed to biodiversity. The National Biodiversity Authority and the Punjab Biodiversity Board shall provide guidance and technical support to the BMCs for preparing PBRs. The PBRs shall be maintained and validated by the Biodiversity Management Committees.
The preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) involves the active support and cooperation of a large number of people who need to share their common as well as specialized knowledge. One of the first steps for preparing a PBRs is to organize group meetings to explain the objectives and purpose of the exercise. Different social groups in the village need to be identified for purpose of data collection from those groups. In an urban situation, spots where biodiversity are important need to be identified for the purpose of the study and documentation. The documentation process includes information gathered from individuals through detailed questionnaire, focused group discussion with persons having knowledge and published secondary information. Documentation of knowledge of individuals with regard to biodiversity and its uses is an important part of PBRs. Every effort should be made to identify the persons with proven knowledge of local biodiversity; special attention should be given to the elderly persons who can also provide information’s on the biodiversity which was available in the past but no longer seen at present.
Information provided by people need to be collated, analysed and crosschecked by the members of the BMCs and Technical Support Groups (TSGs) before documentation. The PBRs is important base document in the legal arena as evidence of prior knowledge and hence careful documentation is necessary. The document should be endorsed by the BMC and later publicized in the respective panchyat/ Gram Panchayat/Panchayat Samiti. The document can also be a very useful teaching tool for teaching environmental studies at schools, colleges and university level. The document should be periodically updated with additional and new information as and when generate.
Preparation of Peoples Biodiversity Registers are:
Comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use or any other traditional knowledge associated with them;
Data about the local vaids and practitioners using the biological resources.
Community regulation of access to biodiversity resources leading to sustainable harvests.
Promoting knowledge-based sustainable management of agriculture, livestock, fish, forests and public health so as to enhance the quality of life of the community members.
Opportunities to generate funds through imposition of collection fees for access to biodiversity resources.
Conserving valued resources.
Value addition to biodiversity resources
Recording of biodiversity related knowledge, pertaining to management
Recording of biodiversity related knowledge, coupled to opportunities to generate funds through imposition of collection fees for access to local knowledge.
Sharing in the benefits of commercial application of local knowledge
Till date, Punjab Biodiversity Board has prepared 11 District level ( i.e Amritsar, Barnala, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, SBS Nagar, Gurdaspur , Rupnagar, SAS Nagar, Gurdaspur, Roopnagar, SAS Nagar & Tarn Taran) and 32 Village level PBR of District Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Gurdaspur & Fatehgarh Sahib with the active support of BMC/TSG members. These PBRs have been prepared with the financial support of National Biodiversity Authority, Govt. of India as per prescribed Guidelines.