The Punjab Biodiversity Board has been set up as a statutory body under Section 22 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, promulgated by the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Government of India (GOI), in response to actions required to be taken up under the International Convention on Biological Diversity of which India is a signatory. The Convention recognizes the sovereign rights of each country in its biological resources and associated traditional knowledge. It calls for :
Conservation of biological diversity
Equitable sharing of benefits
The Govt. of India has also notified Biodiversity Rules, 2004, under the Act. U/s 22 of the Act each State Govt. is required to set up the State Biodiversity Board at State level and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at village and town level to facilitate conservation of biological diversity and implement the Biological Diversity Act.
The Biological Diversity Act envisages a three tier system for implementing the same with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) at the apex with its headquarters located in Chennai, each state with its individual State Biodiversity Board (SBB) and each local body with a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC).
The Punjab Biodiversity Board (PBB) was first notified in December, 2004 and re-notified vide notification No. 2/4/2000/STE(1)/2875 dated 8.8.2007 and notification No.2/4/2000/STE (1) 4028 dated 16.11.2009 and notification No. 2/41/2000-STE(1) dated 6/3/2013 for a further period of three year.
Functions of Punjab Biodiversity Board
To implement the provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, in the state.
To regulate the use of State’s biological resources, especially by granting approvals for regulating their commercial utilization and their bio-surveys/ bioprospecting
To levy collection fee for these biological resources, wherever these are harvested by business houses and individuals for industrial/ commercial use.
To ensure equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their commercial use with the local communities from where these resources have been accessed/ harvested.
To promote biodiversity conservation activities, both in agricultural and wild areas.
To bring to the notice of the National Biodiversity Authority such commercial use of resources by foreigners and NRIs (including intellectual property generated out of these resources)
To facilitate setting up of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at village & town level and expert committees at state and district level
To promote the preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) through BMCs to document available resources and protect traditional knowledge.
To take up capacity building programs for masses, as well as, training of line departments of the state government.