Category Archives: Biological Diversity

Biological Diversity

The New (Draft) Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Guidelines – Part II


Continuing further on my comments on the new Draft ABS Guidelines, 2019. Definition of Conventional Breeding Under draft Regulation 12(d), accessing biological resources for “conventional breeding or traditional practices in use in any agriculture, horticulture, poultry, dairy farming, animal husbandry or bee keeping”, is exempt from approval.  This exemption can perhaps be traced to the exclusion of the said activities in Section 2(f) of the BDA. However, the regulations now add a qualifier that such activities are exempt only if…


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Biological Diversity

The New (Draft) Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Guidelines – Part I


In this post, I intend to share my views on the draft “Guidelines on Access to Biological Resources and Associated Knowledge and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Regulations, 2019” (draft ABS Regulations, 2019). As many may be aware, the previous version of the same guidelines was issued in 2014, viz., ABS Regulations, 2014. The draft ABS Regulations, 2019, is intended to replace the earlier version and was put up for comments earlier this year. The topic is a little dated, but…


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Biological Diversity

Developing Bio-Cultural Jurisprudence for Securing Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities  – Divya Pharmacy v. UoI


We’re pleased to bring to you a guest post by Alphonsa Jojan. Alphonsa teaches at Tamil Nadu National Law University, Trichy. She has written a guest post for us earlier as well. Developing Bio-Cultural Jurisprudence for Securing Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities – Divya Pharmacy v. UoI Alphonsa Jojan On 21st December, 2018, the Uttarakhand High Court delivered its judgment (previously covered on the blog here) on a contentious issue under the Biological Diversity Act: whether  Indian companies,…


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Biological Diversity

The Uttarakhand High Court’s Flight of Fancy While Interpreting the Biological Diversity Act


In a judgment delivered on December 21, 2018 a judge of the Uttarakhand High Court ruled that Divya Pharmacy, an Indian company that manufactures Ayurvedic medicines, will be subject to the benefit sharing obligations under the Biological Diversity Act. As a result, Divya Pharmacy will be required to make payments to the Uttarakhand State Biodiversity Board as per the rates laid down in the Access and Benefit Sharing Guidelines, 2014. Like many other Indian companies, Divya Pharmacy had taken the…


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Biological Diversity

India’s Biodiversity Law Has Turned Out to Be a Nightmare for Scientists and Businesses – Parliament Should Repeal It


Earlier this year, a group of primarily Indian scientists stirred a pot a bit when they published a piece in Science on how the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) is a ‘cure’ that ‘kills’ because it has made biodiversity research quite complicated. The argument put forth by these scientists is that the CBD was inspired by unrealistic expectations regarding the commercial value of their biological resources and that the fences erected by national legislation (in pursuance of the CBD) have…


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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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