Topic in news because EPW ran a story about it on 19th April 2014.
Q. Discuss the structure and functions of Biodiversity Management Committees under Biodiversity Act 2002? Evaluate their success in India. (200 words)
- Biological Diversity Act 2002 mandates all local bodies to setup Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC).
- Structure: One Chairperson, Six Members: 1/3rd of nominated should be women, SC/ST reservation as per state demography.
- Preserve and promote local biodiversity- breeds of birds, animals and plants.
- Prepare People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR)- an Electronic database with inputs from locals.
- Maintain data medicinal plants/resources used by local Vaidhya (traditional healer).
- Advice State & National Biodiversity Boards on matters related to local biodiversity.
- Under Nagoya Protocol of Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), they can collect fees for granting access to Biodiversity register to researchers and commercial companies.
Why limited success:
- The legal/IPR status of PBR register is in grey area, leading to frivolous litigations.
- For example, In Madhya Pradesh, Chindwara BMC filed a case against Coal India, demanding profit sharing on the premise that coal is a biological resource.
- In some states, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) have refused to form BMCs fearing erosion of their authority over minor forest produce.
- State Forest departments, Forest traders & mining lobby don’t cooperate with BMC for the similar reason.
- UNDP and UNEP have allotted separate funding for BMCs but money not utilized given the administrative red-tapes in India.
Given these limited finance, decision making powers and non-cooperation from others, the BMCs are reduced to mere data gathering bodies; and have failed to catalyze Sustainable development in Rural India. (Except a few Cinderella stories and “glorified case studies” Yojana and Kurukshetra)
Earth science ministry has initiated following reforms in the first 100 days of Prime minister Modi.
- Issued agro-meterological advisory to millions of farmers
- Setup 1.1 petaflop High Performance Computing system for weather and climate forecasts.
- Completed the City Weather Forecast projects in 300+cities
|Vaishnodevi||heliport Aviation Weather Operating System (AWOS)|
|Hyderabad||International Training Centre in Operational Oceanography|
|Kerala||Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMP)|
|TN and Andhra Pradesh||Shoreline changes maps prepared|
|Norway||IndARC: First Arctic Mooring system off the Norway coast (as we discussed in previous topic.)|
|USA||first Indo-US joint oceanographic expedition in the Bay of Bengal for research on Monsoon|
- India’s first underwater moored observatory
- set up in the Kongsfjorden fjord, in Norway near the North Pole
- This place is ~1000 kms away from North Pole, its considered a natural laboratory for studying the Arctic climate variability, because it gets climatic signals from both Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
- Realtime data collection on Ocean currents, salinity, temperature etc.
- To understand the Arctic climate process .
- Because Arctic glacier melting will trigger changes in weather patterns and ocean currents.
- Thus, it can affect Indian monsoon system as well.
- Designed by:
- Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO)
- National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)