India: Directions of the Central Government to National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) under section 48 of the Biodiversity Act, 2002

October 17, 2018
National bioidiversity authority

In a recent official memorandum no. F.N.C-12025/8/15-CS-III dated September 10, 2018, the Central Government in exercise of the powers vested in it under section 48 of the Act, directed the Authority to hear all such cases where prior approval of NBA is required under section 3, 4 and 6 of the Act but the person/entity has not obtained such approval. Provided the Authority shall consider all such cases on the basis of merit and at the time of hearing, shall take into account all scientific evidences and damages that might have been caused in furtherance of the power available to the Authority under section 18 of the Act to implement the objectives of the Act. Further, the Central Government has also directed the Authority to decide all such cases within a period of 100 days from the date of issuance of this Office Memorandum.

Further, in order to avoid occurrence of such cases, the Central Government has also directed the Authority to spread awareness among the various stakeholders which are required to obtain prior approval of the Authority for undertaking activities as specified under section 3, 4 and 6 of the Act.

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (hereinafter mentioned as the “Act”) came into force in 2003 with the objectives to provide for conservation of biological resources, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources, knowledge and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Under section 18(1) of the Act, the National Biodiversity Authority (hereinafter referred as the “Authority”) shall regulate activities referred to in section 3, 4 and 6 of the Act. Further, as per section 48(1) of the Act, the Authority shall, in the discharge of its functions and duties, be bound by directions of the Central Government.

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