Wildlife & Biodiversity

Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 passed

It has to be ensured that these amendments help India meet the targets set up under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Wednesday 26 July 2023
The bill amends the Biological Diversity Act of 2002 which was put in place to help India meet the objectives of United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Photo: iStock

The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed on the eighth day of the Lok Sabha’s monsoon session. Members passed the bill on July 25, 2023 without any objection amid din on other issues. 

The bill amends the Biological Diversity Act of 2002 which was put in place to help India meet the objectives of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which in 1992 pointed out that countries have sovereign rights over their biological diversity. 

The bill was introduced in the Parliament on December 16, 2021 by Bhupender Yadav, Union minister for environment, forest and climate change. It was sent to a joint committee on December 20, 2021 due to concerns that the amendments favoured industry and contradicted the spirit of CBD.

The joint committee submitted its report in Parliament on August 2, 2022 with the recommendation that the Bill may be passed after minor changes. 

The major amendments encourage cultivation of medicinal plants; encourage Indian system of medicine; facilitate collaborative research and investments; reduce the need of practitioners and companies making medicinal products for obtaining permission from National Biodiversity Authority. The Amendments also de-criminalise violation. The amendments free practitioners of Indian systems of medicine from the need to take approvals for access or share benefits.

These amendments do not address the issues that biodiversity conservation in India face. India has to take adequate steps to meet the new conservation targets set up at the 15th Conference of Parties to CBD held in Montreal in December 2022. The world has just seven years to meet these ambitious targets. 

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