Biodiversity firm awarded for sharing 2% benefits

RAIPUR: A biodiversity firm, with its central India headquarters at Durg district in Chhattisgarh, has won the biodiversity award 2016 in the category of access and benefit sharing for paying benefits of upto 2% of its sales to Madhya Pradesh’s State Biodiversity Board.

Gram Mooligai (Village Herbs) Company Limited (GMCL) received the award at a function held at Mumbai on the occasion of biodiversity day from Union forest and environment minister Prakash Javdekar.

GMCL central India director Dr Utkarsh Ghate said, "The vision of GMLC is to preserve the biodiversity and support livelihood of tribals, who are involved in collection of forest produces in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. GMCL markets these medicinal herbs that are sustainably gathered in the forest tracts to renowned Ayurveda drug manufacturing companies of India. By paying this 2% fee under ABS to state biodiversity board, it’s given as incentive to tribal collectors, which motivates them to conserve the forests for their livelihood."

In Kanker district, around 700 tribals are associated with GMCL for the collection of herbs of which 400 are women, who collect and clean the herbs and seeds, which is further processed for traditional medicines and spices.
The company claims to provide 15-20% better income to farmers, tribal, landless gatherers, besides facilities like processing and storage centers, insurance and bank loan.


Source: Times of India, Jun 8, 2016.