India is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world. With just 2.4% of the world’s land area, India’s biological richness is spread across a vast range of habitats and ecosystems supporting 7% of globally recorded species, including over 45,000 plants and 91,000 animal species. India’s rich biological heritage co-exists with over 1.2 billion people and about one sixth of the world’s livestock population. Protecting biodiversity is a national priority as it is linked to livelihoods of millions of people. Access to Genetic Resources and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources (ABS) is one of the three main objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The Nagoya Protocol on ABS came into force on 12 October 2014, providing a transparent international legal framework for effective implementation of ABS. India has been a leading country in establishing national legislation on ABS through the Biological Diversity Act 2002; the Biological Diversity Rules 2004; enacted by the Indian parliament; and the Guidelines on Access to Biological Resources and Associated Knowledge and Benefits Sharing Regulations, 2014.
The ABS Partnership Project aims at strengthening the capacities of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), the State Biodiversity Boards (SBB), Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC), as well as the capacities of the commercial and research user groups of biological resources and associated knowledge for the effective implementation of ABS mechanisms under the Biological Diversity Act 2002, in keeping with India’s commitments under the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.
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