ICIMOD is engaged in awareness raising and capacity building on access and benefit sharing (ABS) mechanisms in the HKH region. In doing so, ICIMOD is facilitating the operationalization of National Biodiversity Acts in its regional member countries. Together with ICIMOD’s support and active contribution from the national partners, the State Government of Nagaland has promulgated and enforced the Nagaland Biological Diversity Rule 2012.
In promoting the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) objectives, ICIMOD is engaged in awareness raising and capacity building on access and benefit sharing (ABS) mechanisms at different levels in its regional member countries, namely in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal.
India (host to the COP-11 of CBD) enacted its National Biodiversity Act in 2002 and National Biodiversity Regulation in 2004. Under these legislations, provisions are made for State Biodiversity Rules, State Biodiversity Boards and Biodiversity Management Committees. With concurrence of National Biodiversity Authority, ICIMOD is working on ABS mechanisms in several states of northeast India.
In Nagaland, ICIMOD has been working since 2006 together with the Nagaland State Forest Department and Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development (NEPED). One of the projects was for the development of an Operational Framework (Rules) on Biodiversity Conservation in Nagaland – Capturing new developments on access, rights, responsibilities, and benefit sharing. ICIMOD contributed in the form of financial and technical support in drafting the Nagaland Biodiversity Rule, establishing the Biodiversity Management Committee, documenting traditional knowledge, and raising awareness on ABS at different levels.
The sustained support and continuous efforts on the part of national partners has resulted in the promulgation and enforcement of the Nagaland Biological Diversity Rule 2012 by the state government. With this legislation, any national or international research institution, company, and breeder (plant, animal, and others) seeking bio-prospecting from the State of Nagaland now have legal certainty for bio-prospecting leading to product development. Again, this piece of legislation now enables the Nagaland State and its indigenous and marginalized communities to receivea fair share of the benefits arising from access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge from the State of Nagaland when bio-prospecting commences.