Kerala seeks tighter laws to prevent bio-piracySeptember 14th, 2011 - 11:34 am ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 14 (IANS) Kerala, which likes to call itself “God’s own country” and is home to a staggering 10,035 plant species and 4,600 flowering plants, has sought tighter laws to prevent bio-piracy of India’s rich and diverse resources. This should include stringent checks at airports and installation of CCTV cameras in critical areas in forests, an official said.
The transfer of genetic resources to foreign countries is not monitored properly in our country, Kerala State Biodiversity Board Member Secretary K.P. Laladhas said.
“A person visiting a national park in the US has to answer so many questions and is monitored and screened, but a foreigner visiting here as a tourist to the forests and preserved areas can just move freely. Thus the need for biodiversity screening at our airports is the need of the hour,” Laladhas told IANS in an interview.
“CCTV should be installed at critical areas in forests and those given access to hot spots and also forests should be properly screened, besides closely monitoring the frequent visits of such people to these areas,” said he added.
Under the Biological Diversity Act 2002 and the Biological Diversity Rules 2004 passed by parliament, all states were to form Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) to prepare People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR) in which every village is to list out the entire flora and fauna of its area.
According to Laladhas, Kerala was ahead of all other states in this exercise.
“The PBR is significant in the context of bio-piracy. By preparing PBRs, each local body establishes its ownership on the biodiversity and the traditional knowledge thereon and can utilize the bio resource equitably, ensuring sustainable development,” Laladhas said.
The Western Ghats region, where the state is situated, is one of the 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world. A total of 1,500 flowering plants are endemic to the state.
Professor emeritus Oommen V. Oommen and former dean of Zoology at Kerala University also endorsed the idea of a proper mechanism for protection of biodiversity, including research.
“Collaborative research with foreign experts has to take place and in every scientific institution in the country there are up to even three committees that closely monitor collaborative research. As a matter of abundant caution, it is always better to see that nothing happens to our genetic resources and hence a biodiversity screening would be a good idea,” said Oommen.
The BMC is an elected body and include experts from the panchayat (village council ) to be the custodians of biodiversity of their area. Its term is for three years.
(Sanu George can be contacted at email@example.com)
- Kerala to set up biodiversity panel in all local bodies - Nov 10, 2011
- Kerala announces strict measures against bio-piracy - Apr 11, 2012
- Kerala to participate in world's biggest biodiversity event - Mar 31, 2012
- Chandy launches logo for biodiversity clubs in colleges - Apr 27, 2012
- Kerala to streamline medicinal plants production - Dec 19, 2011
- Kerala's only tribal village under threat - Apr 18, 2012
- Bio-piracy is biggest concern, says Jairam Ramesh - Sep 06, 2010
- Kerala biodiversity body stops export of rare goat breed - Jan 29, 2012
- Kerala plans unique botanical garden - Jul 12, 2012
- Jairam Ramesh calls for convergence on reducing biodiversity loss - May 22, 2010
- Kerala to preserve traditional life of tribal village - Apr 26, 2012
- Awareness campaign on marine biodiversity in Kerala May 22 - May 08, 2012
- Biodiversity project launched in Himachal - Jul 03, 2012
- Awareness drive to be launched to protect Kerala's fish - May 21, 2012
- Seminar on prevention of bio-piracy begins Tuesday - Mar 21, 2011
Tags: biodiversity, biological diversity, cctv cameras, critical areas, diverse resources, diversity rules, flora and fauna, flowering plants, foreign countries, foreigner, frequent visits, genetic resources, hot spots, management committees, member secretary, pbr, plant species, professor emeritus, state professor, traditional knowledge