A plea alleging that various states and Union Territories have ‘failed’ to give attention to the unique biodiversity of the country prompted the National Green Tribunal to seek response from the government on the issue on Friday.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards while seeking their reply within two weeks on the issue.
The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Pune resident Chandra Bhal Singh seeking implementation of provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Biological Diversity Rules, 2004.
The Biological Diversity Act 2002 aims to preserve biological diversity in India and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge.
“The blatant non-compliance of the provisions of the said act and rules has frustrated the whole efforts of enacting such a legislation owing to the International obligation of India while being a signatory to the Rio Declaration and Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992,” the plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, said.
It alleged that various states in the country have “failed” to give proper attention to the unique biodiversity prevalent in India and they have also not undertaken their statutory obligations with “seriousness and have remained oblivious in discharging the statutory provision in last couple of years.”
Seeking constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) at the local level in every state under Section 41 of the Biological Biodiversity Act 2002, the plea claimed that several State Biodiversity Boards have not constituted BMC at the local level “for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity”.
It further said the Peoples Biodiversity Register, a document which records diversity of flora and fauna, has not been prepared and maintained by the Biodiversity management Committee by some of the states.
“Direct the respondents to constitute all the necessary bodies at the state level as well as the local level within a strict timeline and to submit detailed report to NGT,” the plea said.
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