The Access- and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Partnership Project supports the Indian government in the conservation of the country’s rich biological heritage, in which 7% of globally recorded species (more than 45,000 plant and 91,000 animal species) are challenged to co-exist with over 1.3 billion people and about one sixth of the world’s livestock population within just 2.4% of the global land area. The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented through the bilateral cooperation between the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), India under the “Indo-German Biodiversity Programme”.
India is one of the leading countries, which have signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 (Aichi Target 16) and further adopted the Nagoya Protocol in 2014. Both the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol are pursued by the Agenda 2030, mainly with SDG 15 (target 15.6) and with SDG 2 (target 2.5). Further, with the enactment of the Biological Diversity Act (BDA) 2002 by the Indian Parliament, including the “Guidelines on Access to Biological Resources and Associated Knowledge and Benefits Sharing Regulations, 2014” that covers conservation, use of biological resources and associated knowledge occurring in India for commercial or research purposes, or for the purposes of bio-survey and bio-utilisation, India already achieved the international SDG indicator 15.6.1.
The ABS Partnership Project is therefore active in making the next steps towards supporting the successful implementation of the legislative and administrative ABS framework necessary for achieving the national indicator. However, rather than being a “one target/indicator – one project” approach, the project shows various interlinkages throughout the Agenda 2030 and therefore mirrors the integrated and indivisible spirit of the SDGs in the following three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental development.
- Economic: “Capacity building at the level of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) to strengthen their functioning, negotiation skills, and legally conferred status, which can produce larger financial returns for the development of the BMCs and their village communities” addresses SDG 15 (Target 6, 15.9a, and 15.9b), SDG 2 (Target 2.5) and in addition SDG 8 Target 8.2 “Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, techno-logical upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labor-intensive sectors.”
- Social: “Development of Awareness Tools and Modules for conducting trainings at district level, and to strengthen the existing capacities of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA, Chennai), three State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs of Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu), and the BMCs”. ABS can harness new opportunities for economic and social development, as well as contributing to job creation and entrepreneurship through implementation of “ABS- good practices” (SDG 8; Target 8.3).
- Environmental: Supporting the NBA to regulate the commercial utilization of bio-resources via an IT based monitoring-system, which further encourages (a) innovation, technology transfer and capacity building to ensure that the instrument of ABS gives the desired results (SDG 9; Target 9.5), and (b) achieving the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (SDG 12; Target 2).
The National Institute of Transforming India (NITI Aayog) has been entrusted with the role to co-ordinate ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda’, and it has, as an initial step and in consultation with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), carried out a draft mapping of the goals and targets for nodal ministries. As an outcome of the new structures expected from NITI Aayog activities, it may be even possible that the ABS Partnership Project will be allowed to expand in the future specifically by including interactions with other nodal Ministries, e.g. the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare for target 2.5, and thence contribute even more to the holistic approach of the Universal Agenda 2030.
1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 14, 17
1.4, 2.4, 2.5, 6.6, all targets for SDG 10, 11.4, 12.2, 14.1, 14.5, 17.18