Himachal Pradesh government to implement Biodiversity Act

SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh government has decided to implement Biodiversity Diversity Act, 2002, in all districts of the state so that gram panchayats could avail its benefit. Chief secretary V C Pharka has asked the panchayats to constitute biodiversity management committees (BMCs) for the same.

The Act mandates that monetary profits made by industries and companies using biological resources of the state be shared with panchayat-level BMC.

One-day training workshop on "Mainstreaming Biodiversity: Sustaining People and their Livelihoods" was organized by Himachal Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (HPSBB) of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment in Shimla. Presiding over the inaugural session, Pharka said the board, constituted in 2005, had implemented the first phase in Chamba, Kullu, Sirmaur and Shimla districts.

He said as per the Act, the benefits to be achieved through conservation and sustainable use of bio-resources would be given to the stakeholders of the panchayats. He asked the representatives of Panchayati Raj institutes to generate mass awareness about the Act.

Pharka said the work on preparation of people’s biodiversity register (PBR) had already been taken up which would be a document of local biodiversity and traditional knowledge related to it for protecting the rights of the locals. He requested all the panchayats to constitute BMCs by March 15, 2017, and ensure preparation of PBR on priority basis.

He also expressed concern over the imbalance in biodiversity during rising human population, cattle and incidents of forest fire and farmers using chemical fertilizers and pesticides excessively. He said there is need to conserve local species besides checking the imported ones.

Source: The Times of India, 10th Feb., 2017