People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR)
As per Biological Diversity Act, 2002, one of the main functions of the Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) is to prepare People’s Biodiversity Register in which the biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties & cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and micro-organisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity of the area is documented. Under section 63 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, Uttarakhand Biological Diversity Rules, 2015 has been notified by the Government of Uttarakhand. Under the rules, the following provision has been made with respect to the preparation of PBR:-
- The main function of the BMC is to prepare People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) in consultation with local people. The Register shall contain comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use or any other traditional knowledge associated with them.
- A Bio-Cultural Community Protocol (BCP) shall also be prepared to promote Access and Benefit sharing (ABS) as an annexure of People’s Biodiversity Register.
- The BMC shall be responsible for ensuring the protection of the knowledge recorded in PBR, especially to regulate its access to outside persons and agencies.
- The BMC shall ensure the documentation of the particulars in People’s Biodiversity Registers as prescribed by the National Biodiversity Authority. The Board shall provide guidance and technical support to the Biodiversity Management Committees for preparing People’s Biodiversity Registers.
- The People’s Biodiversity Registers shall be maintained and validated by the Biodiversity Management Committees. It shall then be counter signed by the Board through its authorized officer.
- Technical Support Group (TSG) may be constituted by the Board at appropriate level (State/Region/ District/Development block/Gram Panchayat etc). The TSG formed at any level may include representatives from departments like Forests, Agriculture, Horticulture, Veterinary, Fishery, Local Educational and Research Institutions, Autonomous District Councils, Non Governmental Organizations, Herbal Practitioners etc. based on the local conditions. The Technical Support Group shall assist the BMC in listing local names and traditional knowledge relating to flora & fauna, and current practices of communities regarding conservation within its territorial jurisdiction, to be included in the PBR.
- The Guidelines for the preparation of PBRs as issued by the National Biodiversity Authority provides 31 formats or categories under which data has to be recorded. It is advisable to look into the “Guidelines for the preparation of People’s Biodiversity Register http://nbaindia.org/content/105/30/1/pbr.html
- The preparation of a People’s Biodiversity Register is a participatory process. It involves a detailed consultation with all stakeholders involved, particularly the local people, who need to share their common as well as specialized knowledge.
- The following is a step-by-step process for the preparation of PBRs:-
- Formation of Biodiversity Management Committee at the Gram Panchayat Level.
- Organizing a meeting to sensitize people about the objectives and benefits of the exercise.
- Training of members in identification and collection of data on biological resources and traditional knowledge pertaining to health.
- Collection of data. (Data collections include review of literature on the natural resources of the districts, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRAs) at the village level, household interviews, individual interviews with village leaders and knowledgeable individuals, household heads, key actors of the Panchayat Raj institutions and NGOs and direct field observations.
- Analysis and validation of data in consultation with the technical support group and BMCs.
- Preparation of People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR).
- Computerization of information and resources.