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The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and Rainmatter Foundation hosted the second episode of the conversation series THE GREEN MANDATE, on the ‘Biological Diversity Act, 2002’ in conversation with Dr. Giridhar Kinhal, IFS (Retd). The conversation took place on 11th March 2022.

About the Act

The Biological Diversity Act was passed to give effect to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1993. The Act is based on the pillars of conservation of biodiversity, its sustainable use and fair and equitable benefit sharing. The Act is built on a three-tier institutional framework with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) at the federal level, Biodiversity Boards at the state level and Biodiversity Management Committees at the local body level. The legislation has several provisions with respect to regulating access to biological resources, their use for commercial (and research purposes) and sharing benefits from such use with the local committees. The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Parliament on 17th December 2021 and proposes to update and add several changes to these provisions. The Bill is now being referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee. 

About the Speaker

Dr Giridhar Kinhal is a 1980 IFS officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre. He also holds a PhD from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun with specialisation in participatory forest management in India. He previously served as the Director of Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal and as the Additional Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Minor Forest Produce Cooperative Federation. Dr. Kinhal has implemented UNDP and DFID funded projects on conservation of medicinal plants on behalf of Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bangalore and The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal.  Dr. Kinhal is also a member of the IUCN Specialist’s Group on Medicinal Plant. He has published more than 20 policy reports on biodiversity conservation in general and medicinal plants in particular. He also authored 3 books on medicinal plant regulation and scientific approach to climate change.

Dr. Kinhal is one of India’s leading experts on Biological Diversity Act, 2002. He is currently the Chairman of NBA’s Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), and Goa State Biodiversity Board’s Technical Committee on ABS.