The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to submit a report on constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) at the local level in every state within three months.
"Let further steps be taken and completed within three months and a further report filed by the MoEF by e-mail. The Officer In-charge dealing with the subject may remain present in person with the compliance report on the next date," the bench said.
During the hearing, a monitoring committee formed by the tribunal informed it that as against 2,52,709 panchayats where Biodiversity Management Committees were to be constituted, total of 1,44,371 BMCs have been formed, which shows a gap of more than one lakh.
With respect to People Biodiversity Registers, 6,834 have been documented so far and another 1,814 are in progress, it noted.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Pune resident Chandra Bhal Singh seeking implementation of provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Biological Diversity Rules, 2004.
The Biological Diversity Act 2002 aims to preserve biological diversity in India and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge.
"The blatant non-compliance of the provisions of the said act and rules has frustrated the whole efforts of enacting such a legislation owing to the International obligation of India while being a signatory to the Rio Declaration and Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992," the plea had said.
It was alleged that various states in the country have failed to give proper attention to the unique biodiversity prevalent in India and they have also not undertaken their statutory obligations with "seriousness and have remained oblivious in discharging the statutory provision in last couple of years".
Seeking constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) at the local level in every state under Section 41 of the Biological Biodiversity Act 2002, the plea claimed that several State Biodiversity Boards have not constituted BMC at the local level "for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity".
It further said the Peoples Biodiversity Register, a document which records diversity of flora and fauna, has not been prepared and maintained by the Biodiversity Management Committee by some of the states.
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