Biological Diversity Act, 2002

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Biological Diversity Act, 2002
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An Act to provide for conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources, knowledge and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Citation Act No. 18 of 2003
Enacted by Parliament of India
Date assented to 5 February 2003
Date commenced 1 October 2003 and 1 July 2004[1][2]
Status: In force

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of India for preservation of biological diversity in India, and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge. The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which India is a party.


The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which India is a party.[3][4]

Biodiversity and biological resource[edit]

Biodiversity has been defined under Section 2(b) of the Act as "the variability among living organisms from all sources and the ecological complexes of which they are part, and includes diversity within species or between species and of eco-systems". The Act also defines, Biological resources as "plants, animals and micro-organisms or parts thereof, their genetic material and by-products (excluding value added products) with actual or potential use or value, but does not include human genetic material."[5]

National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards[edit]

The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA)is a statutory autonomous body, headquartered in Chennai, under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India established in 2003 to implement the provisions under the Act. State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) has been created in 28 States along with 31,574 Biological management committees (for each local body) across India.


  • Regulation of acts prohibited under the Act
  • Advise the Government on conservation of biodiversity
  • Advise the Government on selection of biological heritage sites
  • Take appropriate steps to oppose grant of intellectual property rights in foreign countries, arising from the use of biological resources or associated traditional knowledge.[6]


A foreigner, non-resident Indian as defined in clause (30) of section 2 of The Income-tax Act, 1961 or a foreign company or body corporate need to take permission from the NBA before obtaining any biological resources or associated knowledge from India for research, survey, commercial utilisation.[7] Indian citizens or body corporates need to take permission from the concerned State Biodiversity Board.[8]

Result of research using biological resources from India cannot be transferred to a non-citizen or a foreign company without the permission of NBA. However, no such permission is needed for publication of the research in a journal or seminar, or in case of a collaborative research made by institutions approved by Central Government.[9]

No person should apply for patent or other form of intellectual property protection based on the research arising out of biological resources with out the permission of the NBA. The NBA while granting such permission may make an order for benefit sharing or royalty based on utilisation of such protection.[10]

Benefit sharing[edit]

Benefit sharing out of usage of biological resources can be done in following manner:

  • Joint ownership of intellectual property rights
  • transfer of technology
  • location of production, research development units in the area of source
  • payment of monetary and non-monetary compensation
  • setting up of venture capital fund for aiding the cause of benefit claimers[11]


If a person, violates the regulatory provisions he will be "punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and where the damage caused exceeds ten lakh rupees such fine may commensurate with the damage caused, or with both."[10]

Any offence under this Act is non-bailable and cognizable.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "S.O.753(E), [01/07/2004]- Coming into force of sections of the Biodiversity Act, 2002.". Ministry of Environment and Forest. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "S.O.1146 (E)- Bringing into force Sections 1 and 2; Sections 8 to 17; Sections 48,54,59,62,63,64 and 65 w.e.f. 1st October, 2003.". Ministry of Environment and Forest. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Environmental legislation", The Statesman, 19 January 2017 
  4. ^ "Biological Diversity Act 2002 and establishment of National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai", Ministry of Environment and Forests 
  5. ^ Section 2(c) of Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  6. ^ Section 18 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  7. ^ Section 3 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  8. ^ Section 7 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  9. ^ Section 4&5 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  10. ^ a b Section 6 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  11. ^ Section 21(2) of Biological Diversity Act, 2002

External links[edit]