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BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ACT, 2002

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 18 of 2003


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10. Biodiversity Management Committees
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Act nº 18 of 2003

Preamble

THE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ACT, 2002

[Act, No. 18 of 2003]

[5th February, 2003]

An Act to provide for conservation of biological diversity, 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.

whereas India is rich in biological diversity and associated traditional and contemporary knowledge system relating thereto;

and whereas India is a party to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity signed at Rio de Janeiro on the 5th day of June, 1992;

and whereas the said Convention came into force on the 29th December, 1993;

and whereas the said Convention reaffirms the sovereign rights of the States over their biological resources;

and whereas the said Convention has the main objective of conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of utilisation of genetic resources;

and whereas it is considered necessary to provide for conservation, sustainable utilisation and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of utilisation of genetic resources and also to give effect to the said Convention.

be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-third Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter 1

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

1 1. Short title, extent and commencement.--

(1) This Act may be calledthe Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

(2) It extends to the wholeof India.

(3)It shall come into force on such date as the Central Governmentmay, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint:

Provided that differentdates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any referencein any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into forceof that provision.

1.Effective from 01.10.2003


Section 2. Definitions

1 2. Definitions.--

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a)"benefitclaimers" means the conservers of biological resources, theirbyproducts, creators and holders of knowledge and information relating to the useof such biological resources, innovations and practices associated with suchuse and application;

(b)"biologicaldiversity" means the variability among living organisms from allsources and the ecological complexes of which they are part and includes diversitywithin species or between species and of eco-systems;

(c) "biological resources"means plants, animals andmicro-organisms or parts thereof, their genetic material and by-products(excluding value added products) with actual or potential use or value, butdoes not include human genetic material;

(d)"bio-surveyand bio-utilisation" means survey or collectionof species, subspecies, genes,components and extracts of biological resource for any purpose and includescharacterisation, inventorisation and bioassay;

(e)"Chairperson"means theChairperson of the National Biodiversity Authority or,as the case may be, of the State Biodiversity Board;

(f) "commercialutilization" means end uses of biological resources for commercialutilization such as drugs, industrial enzymes,food flavours, fragrance, cosmetics, emulsifiers, oleoresins, colours, extractsand genes used for improving crops and livestock through genetic intervention,but does not include conventional breeding or traditional practices in use inany agriculture, horticulture, poultry, dairy farming, animal husbandry or beekeeping;

(g)"fairand equitable benefit sharing"means sharing of benefits as determined by the National Biodiversity Authorityunder section 21;

(h)"localbodies" means Panchayats and Municipalities, by whatever namecalled, within the meaning of clause (1) of article 243B and clause (1) of article 243Q of the Constitution andin the absence of any Panchayats or Municipalities, institutions ofself-government constituted under any otherprovision of the Constitution or any Central Act or State Act;

(i) "member"means amember ofthe National Biodiversity Authority or a State Biodiversity Board and includes theChairperson;

(j) "National Biodiversity Authority"means the National Biodiversity Authority established under section 8;

(k) "prescribed"means prescribed by rules made underthis Act;

(l) "regulations"means regulations made under this Act;

(m) "research"means studyor systematic investigation of any biological resource or technologicalapplication, that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivativesthereof to make or modify products or processes for any use;

(n)"State Biodiversity Board"means theState Biodiversity Board established under section22;

(o)"sustainableuse" means the use of components of biological diversityin such manner and at such rate that does not lead to the long-term decline ofthe biological diversity thereby maintaining its potential tomeet theneeds and aspirations of present and future generations;

(p)"valueadded products" means products which may contain portions or extractsof plants and animals in unrecognizable and physically inseparable form.

1.Effective from 01.10.2003


Chapter 2

Section 3. Certain persons not to undertake Biodiversity related activities without approval of National Biodiversity Authority

(1) No person referred to in sub-section (2) shall, without previous approval of the National Biodiversity Authority, obtain any biological resource occurring in India or knowledge associated thereto for research or for commercial utilisation or for bio-survey and bio-utilisation.

(2) The persons who shall be required to take the approval of the National Biodiversity Authority under sub-section (1) are the following, namely:--

(a) a person who is not a citizen of India;

(b) a citizen of India, who is a non-resident as defined in clause (30) of section 2 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961);

(c) a body corporate, association or organisation--

(i) not incorporated or registered in India; or

(ii) incorporated or registered in India under any law for the time being in force which has any non-Indian participation in its share capital or management.

Section 4. Results of research not to be transferred to certain persons without approval of National Biodiversity Authority

No person shall, without the previous approval of the National Biodiversity Authority, transfer the results of any research relating to any biological resources occurring in, or obtained from, India for monetary consideration or otherwise to any person who is not a citizen of India or citizen of India who is non-resident as defined in clause (30) of section 2 of the Income-tax Act, 1961(43 of 1961) or a body corporate or organisation which is not registered or incorporated in India or which has any non-Indian participation in its share capital or management.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this section, "transfer" does not include publication of research papers or dissemination of knowledge in any seminar or workshop, if such publication is as per the guidelines issued by the Central Government.

Section 5. s 3 and 4 not to apply to certain collaborative research projects

(1) The provisions of sections 3and 4 shall not apply to collaborative research projects involving transfer or exchange of biological resources or information relating thereto between institutions, including Government sponsored institutions of India, and such institutions in other countries, if such collaborative research projects satisfy the conditions specified in sub-section (3).

(2) All collaborative research projects, other than those referred to in sub-section (1) which are based on agreements concluded before the commencement of this Act and in force shall, to the extent the provisions of agreement are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act or any guidelines issued under clause (a) of sub-section (3), be void.

(3) For the purposes of sub-section (1), collaborative research projects shall--

(a) conform to the policy guidelines issued by the Central Government in this behalf;

(b) be approved by the Central Government.

Section 6. Application for intellectual property rights not to be made without approval of National Biodiversity Authority

(1) No person shall apply for any intellectual property right, by whatever name called, in or outside India for any invention based on any research or information on a biological resource obtained from India without obtaining the previous approval of the National Biodiversity Authority before making such application:

Provided that if a person applies for a patent, permission of the National Biodiversity Authority may be obtained after the acceptance of the patent but before the sealing of the patent by the patent authority concerned:

Provided further that the National Biodiversity Authority shall dispose of the application for permission made to it within a period of ninety days from the date of receipt thereof.

(2) The National Biodiversity Authority may, while granting the approval under this section, impose benefit sharing fee or royalty or both or impose conditions including the sharing of financial benefits arising out of the commercial utilisation of such rights.

(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person making an application for any right under any law relating to protection of plant varieties enacted by Parliament.

(4) Where any right is granted under law referred to in sub-section (3), the concerned authority granting such right shall endorse a copy of such document granting the right to the National Biodiversity Authority.

Section 7. Prior intimation to State Biodiversity Board for obtaining biological resource for certain purposes

No person, who is a citizen of India or a body corporate, association or organisation which is registered in India, shall obtain any biological resource for commercial utilisation, or bio-survey and bio-utilisation for commercial utilisation except after giving prior intimation to the State Biodiversity Board concerned:

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to the local people and communities of the area, including growers and cultivators of biodiversity, and vaids and hakims, who have been practising indigenous medicine.

Chapter 3

Section 8. Establishment of National Biodiversity Authority

1 [8. Establishmentof National Biodiversity Authority.--

(1) Witheffect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in theOfficial Gazette, appoint, there shall beestablished by the Central Government for the purposes of this Act, a body tobe called the National Biodiversity Authority.

(2) TheNational Biodiversity Authorityshall be a body corporate bythe name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal, with powerto acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and tocontract, and shall bythe said name sue and be sued.

(3) The head office of the National BiodiversityAuthority shall beat Chennai and the National Biodiversity Authority may, with the previousapproval of the Central Government, establish offices at other places in India.

(4) The National Biodiversity Authority shall consist of the following members,namely:--

(a) a Chairperson, who shall be an eminent person having adequate knowledgeand experience in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversityand in matters relating to equitable sharing ofbenefits, to be appointed by the Central Government;

(b) three ex officiomembers to be appointed by the Central Government,one representing the Ministry dealing with Tribal Affairs and two representing theMinistry dealing with Environment and Forests of whom one shall be the Additional Director General of Forestsor the Director General of Forests;

(c) seven ex officiomembers to be appointed by the Central Government torepresent respectively the Ministries of the Central Government dealing with--

(i) Agricultural Research andEducation;

(ii) Biotechnology;

(iii) Ocean Development;

(iv) Agriculture andCooperation;

(v) IndianSystems of Medicine and Homoeopathy;

(vi) Science and Technology;

(vii) Scientific and IndustrialResearch;

(d) fivenon-official members to be appointed from amongst specialists and scientistshaving special knowledge of, or experience in, matters relating to conservationof biological diversity, sustainable use of biological resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising out ofthe use of biological resources, representatives of industry, conservers,creators and knowledge-holders of biological resources.

1.Effective from 01.10.2003


Section 9. Conditions of service of Chairperson and members

The term of office and conditions of service of the Chairperson and the other members other than ex officio members of the National Biodiversity Authority shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Section 10. Chairperson to be Chief Executive of National Biodiversity Authority

The Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive of the National Biodiversity Authority and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties, as may be prescribed.

Section 11. Removal of members

The Central Government may remove from the National Biodiversity Authority any member who, in its opinion, has--

(a) been adjudged as an insolvent; or

(b) been convicted of an offence which involves moral turpitude; or

(c) become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a member; or

(d) so abused his position as to render his continuance in office detrimental to the public interest; or

(e) acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a member.