WITH THE announcement of the formation of the Uttar Pradesh Biodiversity Board, the exploitation of forests and wildlife for commercial purposes will come under strict regulation in accordance the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The Indian industry will be required to provide prior intimation to the concerned State Biodiversity Board about the use of biological resources.
“The State Board will have the power to restrict any such activity, which violates the objectives of conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits,” principal secretary (Forests) V N Garg said.
The regulation is so stringent that a three-tier structure at the national, State and local level will be established. All matters related to requests for access by foreign individuals, institutions or companies, and those linked to transfer of results of research to any foreigner will be dealt with by the National Biodiversity Authority.
Similarly, the institution of local government will be required to set up biodiversity management committees in their respective areas for conservation. The State Governments are also required to frame rules for conservation and management of such heritage sites.
The UP State Biodiversity will comprise, principal secretary (Forests) as chairman, nominees of the principal secretary (Environment), principal secretary (horticulture), principal secretary (agriculture), principal secretary (animal husbandry) as members. The chief conservator of forests is also a member.
As per the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, efforts will be made to conserve biological diversity and development areas of importance by declaring them as biological heritage sites.
The Act also envisages protection and rehabilitation of threatened sites, involve institutions of the State Government to respect and protect knowledge of local communities related to biodiversity and conserve biological resources.
Currently, Uttar Pradesh has one National Park (Dudhwa National Park) and 24 sanctuaries. The state, as claimed by the Forest Department, has a tree cover of 9.06 per cent of its total geographic area. UP is home to about over 143 species of mammals, 455 species of birds, 52 varieties of reptiles, 19 amphibians, etc.