Category Archives: Biological Diversity

Biological Diversity

Protecting India’s Biodiversity: Are we all Criminals?


We are pleased to bring to you an insightful guest post by Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati on the interpretational and other issues in respect of India’s Biological Diversity Act and Rules. Dr. Pisupati is an internationally renowned conservation and development specialist with close to three decades of experience working at national, regional and international levels, holding positions such as Vice-Chancellor, TransDisciplinary University (TDU, India), Chief of Biodiversity, Land Law and Governance programmes at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, Kenya), Senior Policy…


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Biological Diversity

Patanjali’s Tryst with the Biological Diversity Act – Is It Liable to Pay for Using Biological Resources?


The Business Standard recently reported that Baba Ramdev’s firm Patanjali has run into trouble under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and is challenging demands from state biodiversity authorities that it share its revenues with farmers whose biological resources it uses. The report is behind a paywall and Business Standard’s subscription policy requires an automatic renewal being charged to credit cards because of which I refuse to subscribe to the service. Nevertheless, the headline gives enough information to discuss the mounting…


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Biological Diversity

 The Curious Case of the Indian Biological Diversity Act


We are pleased to bring to you a guest post on the ambiguities in the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 by Alphonsa Jojan. Alphonsa is a researcher in environmental law and policy.  The Curious Case of the Indian Biological Diversity Act Alphonsa Jojan The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BD Act), that was enacted to meet India’s international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, has introduced two new concepts into the legal and normative framework governing biodiversity in India, namely, ‘access’…


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Biological Diversity Patent Plant Variety Protection

Pest Policy: Confusion, Capture or a Fetish for the Foreign?


Policy-making is curious business. Particularly when it comes to technology. How else does one explain the following conundrum confronting our agro-biotech landscape? One the one had, the government appears more or less convinced that BT cotton (patented technology belonging to Monsanto) has developed pest resistance (against the pink Bollworm) and does not work anymore. And yet on the other, it wants this patented technology to disseminate widely in a cheaper and more accessible manner to the poor farmer. Forcing one…


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Biological Diversity Geographical Indication Plant Variety Protection Traditional Knowledge

Rice & IP: The ongoing Basmati imbroglio, the ‘Green Rice’ mystery & the IR8 celebrations


Over the last year with the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute, India has witnessed one of its biggest IP disputes in the agricultural sector. The Basmati GI dispute also has huge implication but as I’m reminded, often, by several people, geographical indications (GI) do not qualify as IP. These disputes aside, we’ve also come across two other very interesting cases of green rice and IR8 celebrations. Basmati rice – When did geography become an issue? As we’ve written earlier on SpicyIP, there is…


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Biological Diversity

Bombay and Uttarakhand High Courts Clarify Points on Benefit Sharing under the Biological Diversity Act


Two recent orders from the High Courts of Bombay and Uttarakhand raise jurisdictional and substantive points relating to the benefit sharing mechanism provided for under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (‘BDA’) along with the Biodiversity Rules, 2004. Both cases discuss the alternative of taking the cases at hand to the National Green Tribunal (‘NGT’) instead, and examine its jurisdictional powers. Regular readers of the blog will recall our previous posts on the topic, but read here and here for some…


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Biological Diversity Patent

The Moo Point: Cows and Bulls lock horns with IPRs


The good old cow was mooing along and minding her business when suddenly the Narendra Modi government was elected and she was catapulted from minor celebrity status to headline grabbing stardom. Everyone wants to protect her; self-appointed cow vigilantes have cropped all over the country who have no qualms in committing murder in her name.  Prime minister Narendra Modi last week issued a statement condemning self styled cow protectors as “anti-social”. Recently a PIL was also filed in the Supreme…


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Biological Diversity

Brazilians (Finally) Seek Permission to Milk the Benefits of the Ongole Bull


The Times of India reports that a Brazilian team has made an application to the National Biodiversity Authority to obtain 5,000 units of the germplasm of the Ongole Bull, a species of cattle indigenous to Andhra Pradesh. The Ongole Bull, which takes its name from the region where its mainly bred (the Ongole Taluka in southern Andhra Pradesh) is a large species of cattle which serves well in draught prone areas. This makes it naturally popular in AP, where it…


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Biological Diversity Copyright Drug Regulation Patent Trademark Traditional Knowledge

Need Your Feedback: Report on Indian IP and Public Health


A month or so ago, I’d sent around an email to our SpicyIP mailing group asking for inputs on a report on IP and public health (for the WHO India Office). The report (authored by some of the SpicyIP team) deals with patents for the most part, but also contains chapters on trademarks, copyrights and traditional knowledge/biodiversity. The idea was that it would serve as a basic primer for those interested in a quick overview of the key legal issues around…


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Biological Diversity

[SpicyIP Tidbit] Nagoya Protocol to enter into force in October


The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing is all set to enter into force from October 12, 2014 pursuant to its ratification by 51 countries (ratification by 50 countries being the threshold requirement). The Nagoya Protocol, which aims to protect countries from biopiracy and misappropriation of biological resources, was agreed to in October 2010. India had signed the same in 2011 an the Union Cabinet had ratified it in 2012. (Swaraj’s post on the same is available here). The…


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