Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Biodiversity Management Committee formed at Kitam

GANGTOK, 04 Aug: Kitam-Manpur Gram Panchayat Unit convened its first Special Gram Sabha on the Constitution of Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) in compliance with Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) component of Biological Diversity Act 2002, Biological Diversity Rule 2004 and 2006 at Kitam on 03 August. The Gram Sabha was chaired by Panchayat President of the GPU, Savitri Chettri.
A press release informs that this Special Gram Sabha was organized to reconstitute the BMC at Kitam Gram Panchayat Unit, on the request of the State Biodiversity Board member Dr. Ghanashyam Sharma. The State Biodiversity Board, in collaboration with TMI India, is in the process of constituting Biodiversity Management Committees in different districts of Sikkim, such as Hee-Pechreak, West Pendam, Lingee-Payong, and Sang-Martam, the release informs.
The house unanimously nominated Savitri Chettri [President of the GPU] as Chairperson, Hari Maya Thapa [Range Officer of Wildlife Division, South] as Member Secretary, Shyam Subba representing SC/ST community, Ganga Maya Subba, Subash Manger, Dev Kumar Nepal and Yogen Subba as active members of the Committee.
The house also accorded approval to form an expert committee to aid, advise, and supervise the BMC which includes eminent scientists, conservationists, traditional practitioners and persons having expertise in biodiversity in Sikkim.
The Panchayat President informed that after obtaining legal registration for the BMC from Sikkim State Biodiversity Board, the committee shall be provided with training on documenting Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge in the People’s Biodiversity Register. The BMC will be responsible to maintain the People’s Biodiversity Register as a “living” document which will remain open for continuous input from the members, and will contain the information on the local bioresources and the associated TK from Kitam-Manpur Gram Panchayat area.
Program Manager at The Mountain Institute-India, Dr. Ghanashyam Sharma represented the Sikkim State Biodiversity Board while RO Wildlife Division, Hari Maya Thapa represented the Forest Department of Sikkim. The Gram Sabha was attended by around 60 people coming from five wards of the GPU including government officials, women and conservation practitioners.
Roshan Kaushik of Lower Kitam introduced the gathering to the objective of holding the special Gram Sabha. In his address he elaborated on the importance of a BMC formation. He also reiterated that Kitam had constituted an informal BMC way back in 2010, and since then he has been involved in the process. Further, he explained the process of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and Biological Diversity.
Dr. Ghanashyam Sharma gave a presentation on the Indian Biodiversity Act of 2002, Indian Biological Diversity Rules (2004) and Sikkim State Biological Diversity Rules (2006). Further he expounded on the role of BMCs and the State Biodiversity Board in the integration of these rules and regulations into conservation policy and practices.
He discussed the current engagement between the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) of India and the State Biodiversity Board of Sikkim in implementing the Indian Biodiversity Act of 2002 and the Biodiversity Rules of 2004.
Additionally, he stressed that the preservation of indigenous knowledge, innovations, and practices of indigenous and local communities are critical issues that need to be addressed. Thus, documenting the details of genetic bio-resources and associated Traditional Knowledge (TK) in a Peoples Biodiversity Register is an effective way to avoid bio-piracy of future misappropriation of genetic resources or associated knowledge, he said.
TMI-India in Sikkim has initiated a programme to create general awareness on the Access and Benefit Sharing from Genetic Resources and associated Traditional Knowledge (TK), he added. Dr. Sharma enlightened the participants on the socio-ecological aspects of biodiversity conservation and the role of community-based institutions, traditional knowledge holders and women organizations towards formation of TKS/BMC committees at the level of Gram Panchayat units.
Several states in India have already started formation of BMCs and documentation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, he discussed. Dr. Sharma elaborated the biodiversity significance of Sikkim showing pictures of rare and endangered endemic species within the state. He presented an overview of many important representative species found in the rising altitudes of Sikkim, from 300m subtropical belts to the 7000m+ in the alpine desert ecosystems.
After this the house also unanimously accorded approval to constitute BMC in the GPU.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers are invited to comment on, criticise, run down, even appreciate if they like something in this blog. Comments carrying abusive/ indecorous language and personal attacks, except when against the people working on this blog, will be deleted. It will be exciting for all to enjoy some earnest debates on this blog...