Economy and Biodiversity and Law

Paramita Bhattacharyya

Man has always been fascinated by the diversity of life .Now a days “globalization” has become another sight of fascination of man. All over the world of globalization has been accepted as new global economic policy for the world economic progress in order to bring the spectacular success in most of the countries (developing and developed countries) over the world. Globalization not only heightens the environmental risk for the present and future human generation but it has also deteriorating effect towards the “biodiversity” . So because of rapid exploitation of various species population, Trading with endangered species and expansion of industries, “Biodiversity ” becomes new international buzz word but it has not attracted as much attention as global Warming” or “ozone depletion”, and “climate change”

The biotic environment is made with biotic components ie all living beings including their reactions , interactions and inter-related actions . Bio diversity entails all forms of biological entities inhabiting in earth including prokaryotes and eukaryotes , plants animals, wild plants and wild animals , microorganisms and even genetic materials like seeds and germplasm Biodiversity exists at 3 different levels-

(i) Species diversity – Variety of living organism on earth

(ii) Genetic diversity-variation in genes with a particular species

(iii) Eco-system diversity- Varity of habitats

India is a tropical country with a tremendous heterogeneity of environment, ranging from tropical rain forest of Andaman and Arunachal Pradesh to hot desserts of Rajasthan and cold desert of Ladakh . . The total plant species in India are 45584, and total number of species of animals are 49778 . So India has a rich biological wealth

After 1991 India has accepted the global economic trend, It has liberalized its economic policy. India is a developing 3rd world country having very poor resource management system. So because of rapid industrialization, globalization not only the environmental hazards has been occurring in India but also outside India. Without any assessment giant industries are growing on and they are polluting the environment totally and destroying the bio diversity of India. We can give few examples of destruction of bio diversity-the excavation of mineral reserves in bauxite

And coalmine areas in Madhya Pradesh bring in its wake large scale destruction of forest and destruction of ecological balance, there is great decline of boi diversity and rare flora and fauna in Punchmari hill area, air quality and thermal environmental changes in various industrial zone, beside this we can give example of “Narmada Bachao Andolan”. Though urbanization gives shelter to the people and develops world economy and provides an important roles in countries economic development, their disturbing climate, creating substantial source of pollution and destroying the bio diversity.

Ecosystem – Communities of plants and animals, together with the physical characteristics of their environment (e.g. geology, soil and climate) interlink together as an ecological system, or ‘ecosystem’. Ecosystem diversity is more difficult to measure because there are rarely clear boundaries between different ecosystems and they grade into one another. However, if consistent criteria are chosen to define the limits of an ecosystem, then their number and distribution can also be measured.

Estimates of global species diversity vary enormously because it is so difficult to guess how many species there may be in less well explored habitats such as untouched rain forest. Rain forest areas which have been sampled have shown such amazing biodiversity (nineteen trees sampled in Panama were found to contain 1,200 different beetle species alone!) that the mind boggles over how many species there might remain to be discovered in unexplored rain forest areas and microhabitats.

Global species estimates range from 2 million to 100 million species. Ten million is probably nearer the mark. Only 1.4 million species have been named. Of these, approximately 250,000 are plants and 750,000 are insects. New species are continually being discovered every year. The number of species present in little-known ecosystems such as the soil beneath our feet and the deep sea can only be guessed at. It has been estimated that the deep sea floor may contain as many as a million un described new species. To put it simply, we really have absolutely no idea how many species there are!

Losses of Bio diversity

The loss of species in tropical ecosystems such as the rain forests, is extremely well-publicised and of great concern. However, equally worrying is the loss of habitat and species closer to home in Britain. This is arguably on a comparable scale, given the much smaller area involved.

Predictions and estimates of future species losses abound. One such estimate calculates that a quarter of all species on earth are likely to be extinct, or on the way to extinction within 30 years. Another predicts that within 100 years, three quarters of all species will either be extinct, or in populations so small that they can be described as “the living dead”.

It must be emphasised that these are only predictions. Most predictions are based on computer models and as such, need to be taken with a very generous pinch of salt. For a start, we really have no idea how many species there are on which to base our initial premise. There are also so many variables involved that it is almost impossible to predict what will happen with any degree of accuracy. Some species actually benefit from human activities, while many others are adversely affected. Nevertheless, it is indisputable that if the human population continues to soar, then the ever increasing competition with wildlife for space and resources will ensure that habitats and their constituent species will lose out.

It is difficult to appreciate the scale of human population increases over the last two centuries. Despite the horrendous combined mortality rates of two World Wars, Hitler, Stalin, major flu pandemics and Aids, there has been no dampening effect on rising population levels. In 1950, the world population was 2.4 billion. Just over 50 years later, the world population has almost tripled, reaching 6.5 billion.

In the UK alone, the population increases by the equivalent of a new city every year. Corresponding demands for a higher standard of living for all, further exacerbates the problem. It has been estimated that if everyone in the world lived at the UK standard of living (and why should people elsewhere be denied this right) then we would either need another three worlds to supply the necessary resources or alternatively, would need to reduce the world population to 2 billion.

The only possible conclusion is that unless human populations are substantially reduced, it is inevitable that biodiversity will suffer further major losses.

Law Act for the Bio Diversity.

1. (1) This Act may be called the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint: Provided that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:-

(a) “benefit claimers” means the conservers of biological resources, their by products, creators and holders of knowledge and information relating to the use of such biological resources, innovations and practices associated with such use and application;

(b) “biological diversity” means the variability among living organisms from all sources and the ecological complexes of which they are part and includes diversity within species or between species and of eco-systems;

(c) “biological resources” means plants, animals and micro-organisms or parts thereof, their genetic material and by-products (excluding value added products) with actual or potential use or value, but does not include human genetic material;

(d) “bio-survey and bio-utilisation” means survey or collection of species, sub-species, genes, components and extracts of biological resource for any purpose and includes characterization, inventorisation and bioassay;

(e) “Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the national Biodiversity Authority or, as the case may be, of the State Biodiversity Board;

(f) “commercial utilization” means end uses of biological resources for commercial utilization such as drugs, industrial enzymes, food flavours, fragrance, cosmetics, emulsifiers, oleoresins, colours, extracts and genes used for improving crops and livestock through genetic intervention, but does not include conventional breeding or traditional practices in use in any agriculture, horticulture, poultry, dairy farming, animal husbandry or bee keeping;

(g) “fair and equitable sharing” means sharing of benefits as determined by the National Biodiversity Authority under section 21;

(h) “local bodies” means Panchayats and Municipalities, by whatever name called, within the meaning of clause (1) article 243B and clause (1) of article 243Q of the Constitution and in the absence of any Panchayats or Municipalities, institutions of self-government constituted under any other provision of the Constitution or any Central Act or State Act;

(i) “member” means a member of the National Biodiversity Authority or a State Biodiversity Board and includes the Chairperson;

(j) “National Biodiversity Authority” means the National Biodiversity Authority established under section 8;

(k) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(l) “regulations” means regulations made under this Act;


This Article accepts as a given that biological diversity is a desirable goal. This Article also accepts, and bypasses, the need for multiple approaches to diversity, including gap analysis, dispersion corridors, zoning restrictions, tax incentives, transferable development rights, acquisition programs

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