1st Workshop on Stakeholder Engagement on Biological Diversity Act Implementation in Uttarakhand
Brief of the workshop:

The 1 st workshop on ‘Stakeholder Engagement on Biological Diversity Act Implementation in Uttarakhand’ was organised jointly by Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UKBB), GIZ and CII. The focus of the workshop was to bring together leading actors from biodiversity boards, businesses and civil societies at the state level for an exchange of dialogue and identifying challenges and solutions with respect to implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BD Act). The workshop was attended by 43 participants including government, business, research institutes, NGOs and legal advisors.

Objective of the workshop:

Engaging with stakeholders at national and state levels for dialogue, identifying challenges and solutions for implementation of the BD Act.


CII opened the first workshop on “Stakeholder Engagement on Biological Diversity Act Implementation at Uttarakhand”. The inaugural session was a panel discussion including Chief Guest- Mr. SS Rasaily, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board; Special Address speaker- Dr. S Farooq, Past Chairman, CII Uttarakhand State Council & President, Himalaya Drug Company, Dehradun; Mr. Anil Joshi, Technical Expert, GIZ India and CII representative- Dr Pravir Deshmukh, Counsellor, CII. The workshop focused on two key aspects of BD Act implementation: the challenges in implementation in the state of Uttarakhand and the ways to address these challenges and identify business opportunities. Group discussions were carried out to understand the challenges faced by state biodiversity board and businesses during the implementation of BD Act and to identify the workable solutions for addressing the issues.

Summary of the discussions:

Challenges: Following are the key challenges identified during the workshop regarding implementation of BD Act at Uttarakhand state level -

  • Lack of awareness on BD Act and its applicability to business and research sectors using biological resource.
  • There is no structure or information on how biodiversity protection or conservation is implemented.
  • Non availability of best practice examples, success stories or case studies on implementation of BD act from businesses as well as SBB.
  • There is no streamlined proper channel of communication within SBB of the status of application or addressing the queries of industries.
  • There is no information on the medicinal plants sourcing, production and current status in forest area.
  • Biological resources used across sectors of Ayurveda, Pharma, cosmetics etc have a fluctuating price issues, there is no standardization of the MSP of many biological resources.
  • There is no identified list of biological resources that are available based on sourcing locations for use by industry.
  • There are no market linkages for farmers and collectors at community/village level.

Probable Solutions: Considering the above challenges participants identified following solutions-

  • Capacity building and awareness programmes on BD Act implementation across various sectors
  • Developing a single window approach and a cell or helpline for communication
  • Engaging all relevant stakeholders including collectors and whole sale sellers for identifying the biological resource sourcing locations and BD Act Implementation
  • Biodiversity Board and Industry collaboratively develop a sourcing policy for sustainable utlisation and conservation of biological resources.
  • Establish a mechanism for communications for internal use by State Biodiversity Board for follow up on applications, queries from companies and transferring knowledge for implementation through Standard Operating Process (SOPs).
  • Documentation of case studies on benefit sharing, stories on biodiversity conservation and business cases on mainstreaming of ABS.
  • Engaging different level of stakeholders from all level- village committees, panchayats, forest department, traders etc. in collaboration with BMCs and Biodiversity Boards.
  • Developing sector specific FAQs on BD Act linkages
  • Development of working groups including representatives from State Biodiversity Board, businesses, NGOs and legal advisors.
  • Industries demanded a better way of serving notices for active cooperation and participation in the implementation of the Act.

Detailed proceedings of workshop:

Dr. Pravir Deshmukh, Counsellor, CII welcomed all the participants and the speakers including representatives from businesses, Uttarakhand State Biodiversity Board, CII and GIZ. He opened the panel discussion with brief introduction to CII and India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI). He highlighted how BD Act provides as a positive tool for integrating sustainable supply chain management and sustainable utilization of biological resources. And the need for joint stakeholder approach especially engaging Industry and Biodiversity board identify the challenges and opportunities to make the BD Act implementation successful.

Mr. Anil Joshi, Technical Expert, GIZ India showcased the works of GIZ on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) at global and national level. He explained the importance of a dialogue form involving multiple stakeholders at state level to understand the challenges and work collectively to resolve the issues for BD Act implementation. He pointed out the need for establishing objective, key stakeholders’ participation and the agenda for action plan for the dialogue forum to be formed at the state of Uttarakhand.

Dr. S Farooq, Past Chairman, CII Uttarakhand state council & president, Himalaya Drug Company, Uttarakhand expressed how the act has become a concern for businesses due to lack of proper awareness on the purpose and objective of BD Act. He stated that biological diversity is not just about extinct or endangered or threatened species but is about protecting the entire life form on earth. Dialogue exchange between industry and government is needed to understand what can be done to safeguard nature and live in harmony.

Mr. Rasaily, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand State Biodiversity Board opened the discussion with the note that board is open to learn the concerns and issues of industry and help in addressing those. He quoted that the speed at which the mass extinction is happening, life will extinct in less than 100 years and ABS/BD Act provide the way this extinction and loss can be halted and reversed. ABS is not a tax but an investment for protection of biological resources, community development and securing supply chain. He requested that the dialogue forum must be used to openly share the concerns and issues and come up with workable solutions for the purpose of conservation and sustainable utilization of biological resources.

Agreed Action Points:

A dialogue forum at state level with relevant stakeholders is called upon to address the key challenges for implementation of BD Act in the state of Maharashtra

Name of the dialogue forum: Uttarakhand Biodiversity Working Group (UKBWG)

Need of dialogue forum:

  • Build an interactive stakeholder platform in Uttarakhand state, to bring together leading actors from biodiversity boards, businesses and civil societies.
  • This platform will collaboratively work to identify challenges and find scalable solutions for BD Act implementation at state level.

Structure of dialogue forum:

  • Host of the dialogue forum: This dialogue forum is jointly hosted by Uttarakhand State Biodiversity Board and CII IBBI.
  • Stakeholders Identified: Representatives from UKSBB, DGCI, businesses, representatives of associations and other relevant stakeholders.

Identified Activities for the dialogue forum:

  • BD Act awareness and capacity building
  • Sectoral application of BD Act
  • Developing SOPs and knowledge products
  • Development of FAQs and communication channels
  • Developing best practice case study documents

*Interested members who would like to be part of the working group are requested to nominate themselves or a suitable representative from their organisation.

November 22, 2019