February 25, 2024

Day-23 Answer Writing Challenge : Model Answer

Question: Describe the role of biosphere reserves in biodiversity conservation. Highlight the provisions under Biodiversity Act, 2002.       


A biosphere reserve is established to preserve the biological diversity of a particular region in the world. These reserves protect the plants, animals, natives and overall environment of the area.

  • Biosphere Reserves are large areas of bio-diversity where fauna and flora are protected.
  • Biosphere reserves serve as “learning environments for sustainable development.”
  • They serve as test beds for interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, such as conflict resolution and biodiversity management.
  • They are locations that provide local solutions to global problems. Terrestrial, marine, and coastal ecosystems are all included in biosphere reserves.
  • Each site promotes solutions that balance biodiversity conservation with sustainable use.
  • National governments nominate biosphere reserves, which remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states in which they are located.
  • There is no law that governs the Biosphere Reserves (BR).
  • The world’s first biosphere reserve was established in 1979; since then, the network of biosphere reserves has grown to 738 in 134 countries worldwide.
  • India currently has 18 notified biosphere reserves.

Biological Diversity Act 2002: Salient Provisions

The salient provisions of the Biological Diversity Act 2002 are mentioned below:

  • Ensures fair distribution of benefits from the use of the country’s biological resources.
  • It emphasizes the preservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
  • It establishes the following bodies at appropriate levels:
  • National Biodiversity Authority (NBA),
  • State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) and
  • biodiversity management committees (BMCs).
  • It protects and respects the traditional knowledge of local communities related to biodiversity.
  • It ensures the sharing of benefits with local people who conserve biological resources.
  • Foreign nationals must get permission from the NBA before accessing Indian biological resources.
  • It prohibits the transfer of Indian genetic material without approval from the Indian Government.
  • Indian individuals need authorization from the NBA before transferring research results to foreigners.
  • Safeguards India’s biodiversity from unauthorized usage by foreigners.
  • Establishes National, State, and Local Biodiversity Funds for biodiversity conservation.
  • It regulates the use of genetically modified organisms

Biological Diversity Act 2002: Weaknesses

The weaknesses of the Biological Diversity Act 2022 are as under

  • It exempts those plants that are registered under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PVPFR) Act, 2001. This means that the provision of the act would not be applicable to the plant varieties registered under the act.
  • It does not empower the citizens to directly approach the court. The same is restricted to an appeal against the order of the NBA or SSB.
  • The Indian corporate is dealt with softly, requiring only prior intimation to the SSB for commercial use of the bioresources rather than permission from the NBA.
  • It does not empower the local bodies to prevent misusing their resources. Also, the local communities are poorly represented in NBA and SSB.
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