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Biodiversity and Access and Benefit Sharing in India

Biodiversity and Access and Benefit Sharing in India

There are around 8.7 million species estimated to be in existence in the World.1 India’s share of the global diversity is an impressive 8.1% of the total, despite it having only 2.4% of the land area of the World. Being home to such tremendous variety of species and one of the 12 mega diversity countries of the World makes it imperative on the State to protect this treasured characteristic of our land and take all the possible measures to conserve the life of such species that inhabit our Country.

According to the text of the Convention on Biodiversity, (CBD), an internationally legally binding agreement that was adopted in 1992, Biological diversity “means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.” The same Convention states that Biological resources include “genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity.”

In 2002, the Government of India enacted the Biological Diversity (BD) Act in order to achieve the obligations prescribed under the Convention on Biological Diversity. India became a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994 and enacted the BD Act and subsequent rules at the Centre and State levels to adopt the goals of the CBD nationally, which is to conserve biodiversity, to have sustainable use of its components and to have fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from genetic resources.

For more information on the Biodiversity Law in India please read A PRIMER ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY LAW, ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING



The 2017-2020 programme of Commission of Ecosystem Management (CEM) of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has reported that the South Asian region requires the greatest ecosystem conservation amongst the eight IUCN Statutory regions around the world. Conservation of ecosystems is necessary to protect the biological diversity, since mankind is heavily dependent on biological diversity for its survival. Biological diversity is the source of many raw materials which are used by various industries for producing a wide range of products. The agriculture industry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, furniture etc. are all dependent on biodiversity.In spite of this great dependency on nature and biodiversity, it has been observed that in the last few centuries’ human activity has caused serious damage and depletion of nature’s gift to mankind. It seems only catastrophic that in less than 200 years, mankind has brought such damage to the ecosystems that are beginning to threaten the existence of a great number of species.

Post the Stockholm Conference of 1972, the world realized that there was an urgent need for a paradigm shift in the way resources were being consumed so as to prevent irreversible damage to the environment. The warning echoed by the Stockholm Conference was taken seriously by the leaders of the South Asian nations, and it is perhaps for this reason that countries of South Asia decided to enter into an Environment Protection Agreement even before they entered into a Trade Agreement. The South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is a regional intergovernmental body which was established in 1982 with the objective of promoting and supporting conservation and management of the environment, both natural and human, in the member states of the South Asian region in a cooperative manner to achieve sustainable development.
The member nations of SACEP are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. One of the major reasons for the coming together of these nations into several intergovernmental treaties is the fact that they share similar geographical and social features. In spite of this similarity, when we look closer, we can find that there is great diversity in the topography of this region. Another resource that the south Asian region shares in particular is marine biological resources.

Marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), the high seas and the international seabed Area comprise nearly two-thirds of the global ocean. This vast global commons contains marine resources and biodiversity of immense ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural importance. The ocean nourishes life in the sea and on land and acts as a heat and carbon sink, and provides habitat that shelters not only commercial fisheries but also species of significant scientific, cultural and spiritual value.

Yet, as with waters closer to shore, the health, productivity and resilience of the marine environment beyond national boundaries is under mounting pressure from human development and global environmental change. All states suffer from declines in marine environmental health in ABNJ. The cumulative effect of these mounting pressures is now undermining essential ecosystem functions, processes and services upon which all nations depend. Decades of over fishing and destructive fishing practices, pollution including marine debris, nutrients, anthropogenic noise and chemicals stemming from land as well as sea now threaten marine species, habitats and ecosystems.

The adoption of UNCLOS in 1982 was established to manage human activities taking place in and on the ocean. It however does not reflect the ecological connectivity of the ocean. Marine species, ranging from microscopic plants to large marine mammals, are moved by currents or migrate across states’ boundaries and between Exclusive Economic Zones and ABNJ. Threats to the marine environment, such as marine pollution, marine debris, or alien species, are also spread by currents and gyres horizontally and vertically in the ocean; beyond and across the legal divide that we have set for the ocean. Ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ will therefore require taking into account the ecological connectivity of the ocean beyond legal jurisdictions; the intricate ecological, biological and oceanographic links that make the ocean the dynamic and living environment that it is to ensure its benefits for future generations.

For reasons mentioned above, it is of utmost necessity that the member nations of SACEP work together to prevent irreversible damage due to loss of biodiversity. Although all the SACEP members are part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, not all have ratified the Nagoya Protocol. India is currently leading the way in implementation of the legislation to protect biodiversity and also for providing regulated access to biological resources and sharing of benefits arising from the use thereof. There is a lot of scope for collaborative learning and regional cooperation across South Asia for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ and talks of Global Agreement on the same have also been gaining a lot of traction.


Red Sanders generates prosperity!!

Red Sanders case: The Red Sanders case of the year 2015 paved the pathway for the National Biodiversity Authority, State Boards and local communities to utilize the Access and Benefit-sharing of the biological resources. In this case, Andhra Pradesh Government conducted a global E-auction for sale of high economic value Red Sanders by the Indian and foreign bidders before accessing the biological resources. The successful purchasers had to pay 5 percent to the National Biodiversity Authority or State Biodiversity Board. Ninety-five percent of the total benefits were to be transferred to the Biodiversity Management Committee at the local level. Access and benefit sharing arrangement was one of a kind which proved its utility in the State not only by providing the people a source of income but also by engaging them at the decision-making level which had the potential of encouraging them for the sustainable utilization of the genetic resources. Consequently, people from all walks of life in the state such as indigenous people, tribal people, and forest-dwellers will be benefitted from the auction.  This innovative instance of Access and benefit sharing has changed the way companies have been utilizing genetic resources.

Growing Seaweed leads to growing economy!!

PepsiCo-seaweed: A multinational company like PepsiCo has also signed access, and benefit sharing agreement where the ABS has been implemented successfully.  PepsiCo India Holdings Private Ltd. has entered into access and benefit-sharing agreement with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) for the export of seaweed (Kappaphycus alvarezi )cultivated by the fishing community in the State for Rs.37 lakhs in 2007. PepsiCo has exported approximately 2000 metric tons of seaweed to countries like Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. The beneficiaries of the agreements are spread across four districts in the State. The company paid the NBA to access the genetic resources from the Gulf of Munnar area in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The Co. has signed a yearlong agreement with the NBA to export the seaweed for commercial utilization in the food and cosmetics industry.

Neem proves its value yet again!!!

Bio India Biological-Neem:  The other reported instances to show the access and benefit sharing are Bio India Biological-Neem case. National Biodiversity Authority has collected 55,035.00 (about USD 924) from Bio India Biological for the export of 2000 kilograms of neem to Japan. People from the village named Amarchinta in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh bundled the leaves and dried it before handing it to the company for the export by entering into an undertaking with the company for a few special operations. The National Biodiversity Authority has transferred a “part of the royalty amount” to the local biodiversity body in Amarchinta for “planting neem saplings and creation of awareness about biodiversity conservation.” The BMC has reportedly utilized the money for awareness programs, planting of saplings and fencing.

Novozymes Biologicals Inc. of USA has also signed an access and benefit sharing agreements with the National Biodiversity Authority for commercial use of bacteria of Bacillus and Psuedonomas to screen for plant growth from Malampuzha forest division in Kerala. The sample of the bacteria will be used in a laboratory for the promotion of crop production of tomato, lettuce, rice, etc. Novozymes is a multinational corporation with expertise in microbiology, biotechnology, and gene technology. The National Biodiversity Authority has charged Novozymes 5% annual royalty from the sale of the product derived from the biological resource since 2004.

Habib goes herbal!!

Uttarakhand State Board has entered into access and benefit-sharing agreement with a reputed cosmetic company Habib Cosmetics Private Limited on 15 April, 2015. This is a significant step towards the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and first of its kind by any Biodiversity Board after the notification of Guidelines on Access to Biological Resources and Associated Knowledge and Benefits Sharing Regulations, 2014 by Government of India. The share of benefits generated by the Habib Cosmetics Private Limited Rs 3,22,991/- has been shared with Uttarakhand State Biodiversity Board for the year 2013-14 which would be utilized by the board as per rules.. 

Indigenously sharing indigenous knowledge!!

Access and benefit sharing arrangements also have been signed between a research institute called Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) and a pharmaceutical company called Arya Vaidya Pharmacy on one side and the Kani tribes, Kani is a tribal community inhabiting the Agastyamalai forest of Kerala on the other side for the development of a drug called ‘Jeevani’ based on the knowledge of the Kani tribe. ‘Jeevani’ is a restorative, immune-enhancing, anti-stress and anti-fatigue agent, based on the herbal medicinal plant arogyapaacha, used by the Kani tribals in their traditional medicine. Within the Kani tribe the customary rights to transfer and practice certain traditional medicinal knowledge are held by tribals healers, known as Plathis. The knowledge was divulged by three Kani tribal members to the scientists of TBGRI who isolated 12 active compounds from arogyappacha (Trichopus zeylanicus), and developed the drug ‘Jeevani’. The technology was then licensed to the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Ltd., an Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer pursuing the commercialization of Ayurvedic herbal formulations. A Trust Fund was established to share the benefits arising from the commercialization of the TK-based drug ‘Jeevani’. The operations of the Fund with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, as well as the sustainable harvesting of the arogyappacha plant, have posed certain problems which offer lessons on benefit sharing over genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. This experience has provided insight for developing benefit sharing provisions in the National Biodiversity Policy and Macro level Action Strategy as well as the legislation on biodiversity.

The Gram Mooligai Company Limited (GMCL) is a Public Ltd. Company registered in India. Its shareholders are made up of small groups comprising of members of a community of medicinal plant gatherers. GMCL procures plants and plant products sold as unmodified by-products directly from these groups, at remunerative rates but specifies the quality parameters for harvesting. The company also promotes sustainable harvesting practices among the communities. The company sells the herbs and shares 70 percent of the returns with the communities. In addition to this, the company is also involved in the production of simple medicinal formulations based on Traditional Knowledge. These formulations are now available in the mainstream markets. It is an example that indicates how a domestic company can involve local communities in the development of products and markets, with an emphasis on the sustainable use of genetic resources and equity in transactions. It is also an instance of how knowledge related to genetic resource use can be effectively utilized to widen the economic opportunities of the communities.

Dabur India Pvt. Ltd., one of the India’s largest Ayurvedic medicine & natural consumer products manufacturer has agreed with the State Board of Himanchal Pradesh to pay thirty five lakh to access the biological resources of the State. 

Similarly, the Honey Bee Network also has examples of domestic benefit sharing with local indigenous innovators.   

 Recently Himachal Pradesh Biodiversity Board has prepared a people biodiversity register to keep eyes on the private companies accessing and exploiting the genetic resources of the State without paying any royalty. Now the companies have to pay around two percent of their share to the panchayat based Biodiversity management committee. 



Dr. G. Shaber Ali, Assocaite Professor of Law,V M Salgaocar College of Law

“Biodiversity can’t be maintained by protecting a few species in a zoo, or by preserving greenbelts or national parks. To function properly, nature needs more room than that. It can maintain itself, however, without human expense, without zookeepers, park rangers, foresters or gene banks. All it needs is to be left alone.”


All human beings have zeal to acquire property, as property plays an important role in human life. It provides us with dignity, status, control, power and security in society. The past couple of centuries saw the creation and rise of a new form of property which is intangible. This new property was termed as Intellectual Property (IP) as it is the creation of human ingenuity or intellect. IP includes all kinds of creative works and research innovations. The subject matter of IP is inclusive and not exhaustive; with the growth of science and technology along with the expansion of IP jurisprudence more and more forms of IP are now being recognised. The prominent fields recognised under the IP law are Patents, Trademarks, Copyright, Design, Geographical Indications, Plant Varieties, Traditional Knowledge and Integrated Circuits. Every form of IP is governed by its own specific legislation which carries provisions for registration, protection, infringement, regulatory authorities and remedies in case of infringement.

Mankind is greatly dependent upon natural and biological resources for his survival. Our food, medicines, furniture, cosmetics, all use resources from nature. However in recent times the ‘use’ of such resources has now been transformed into ‘misuse’ and ‘over-exploitation’ of nature’s gift to man. Such unsustainable practices have reduced our lush green forests into barren deserts and wastelands. Mangroves have been cleared for fuel wood and prawn farming, which has led to a decrease in the habitat essential for breeding of marine fish. On the other hand, wetlands have been drained to increase agricultural land. These changes have grave environmental consequences and the money required to reverse such changes will be substantial. The over-exploitation of natural resources along with rampant pollution of the environment and ecology has been a major cause for the decline of biological diversity. There is an urgent need to protect our natural environment and the other life forms around us, for it is reckless, if not downright dangerous to keep chipping away at our own life support system and also it is immoral to drive other life forms to extinction.

The relationship between IP and Biological Diversity (BD):

Biological Diversity and Intellectual Property can be related when intellectual property is based upon biological resources. There are a few international agreements which show the close relationship between these two subjects. These agreements prescribe basic principles and minimum standards to be adopted by member countries. India signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held at Rio de Janerio, on 5 June 1992, and ratified the same on 18th February 1994. The CBD was a part of a set of agreements which were opened for signature at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit.

The CBD has two important and interesting provisions relating to IPRs. They are:

Article 16.5 which states “that Contracting Parties shall cooperate to ensure that IPRs are “supportive of and do not run counter to the CBD’s objectives”. However, this is “subject to national legislation and international law”.

Article 22 which states that the CBDs provisions will not affect rights and obligations of countries to other “existing international agreements, except where the exercise of those rights and obligations would cause a serious damage or threat to biological diversity.”

The Convention on Biological Diversity visualizes a satisfying link between conservation, intellectual property, environmental protection, research and sustainable development. The correlation between BD and IP is moulded at the International level by several other conventions and treaties which include, but are not limited to World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Agreement on Trade Relates aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Council of World Trade Organization (WTO).

The CBD reaffirms the sovereign rights of States over their Genetic Resources (GRs) and pursues the idea of sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of its utilisation. The Convention also requires the member nations to protect and conserve assets of Traditional Knowledge at national level. Biological diversity in India is protected and its use is regulated by the provisions laid down in the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. This Act also contains certain provision that deal with IP.

Article 253 of the Constitution of India allows the Parliament to make legislations for giving effect to International agreements, also Article 51 calls for the State to foster respect for International law and treaty obligations. Accordingly, the Indian Parliament has passed several legislations and/ or made amendments to existing ones for the protection of IP in India. Legislations were made to comply with the international standards and general norms laid down at the International Conventions/Treaties/Agreements.

India made 3 amendments in its Patents Act of 1970 to bring India’s patent laws into compliance with WTO-TRIPS Agreement. Along with this Amended Act, a new set of Patent Rules were also introduced in 2003. As per this amendment the term of protection for patent was increased to 20 years. Another important change was that now microorganisms could be patented if they met the New, Utility and Non-obviousness (NUN) test. Since microorganisms form a part of biological diversity hence it can be said that this amendment brought in a clear linkage between biological diversity and IP.

Concept of Biological Diversity:

Biological diversity, at its humblest, means the diversity of all life forms in the world. The term biodiversity is used to describe the huge variety of life on this earth and the natural pattern it forms.Further, the concept, biodiversity includes variety of habitations (environments) in which organisms live, the number of species and the variation within each species.

The definition of biological diversity in the BD Act has been provided under Section 2 (b) and it states “biological diversity” means 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.” This definition is largely inspired by the definition provided under the CBD.  The Act also defines the term “biological resources” to mean 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”

After going through the important definitions, the provisions under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 which relate to IP need to be examined.

Provisions under BD Act, 2002 vis a vis Intellectual Property:

Preamble to the BD Act, 2002 includes the terms like biological resources, associated traditional knowledge and contemporary knowledge specifically in relation to conservation, sustainable utilization and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of utilization of genetic resources. Further, it states that the State is sovereign over their biological resources. From this it is clear that State’s sovereignty over biological resources includes traditional and contemporary knowledge. Here, State sovereignty is inclusive and not exhaustive in nature. No person can use these resources without obtaining authority from the State. State can authorize to use the resources keeping in mind the idea of sustainable use and benefit sharing with the local community from where the resources are obtained.

Biological resources, as mentioned above comprises of plants, animals, any parts of them including by-products and microorganisms. Some of the subject matter of Biological resources can also be protected under Patents Act or the Plant Varieties Protection Act, (PVPFRA) subject to certain restrictions as provided under those legislations. For example, Section 3(j) of the Patents Act, 1970 provides that plants, animals or parts thereof cannot be patented however it does allow for microorganisms to be patented. On the other hand, the PVPFRA allows for plant varieties to be protected for up to 18 years in case of trees and vines and 15 years for extant varieties.

Foreigners and Non Resident Indian (NRIs) are prohibited from accessing biological resources and making any use of the associated knowledge for research, commercial use, bio-survey, or bio-utilisation without the prior approval of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA). The same restriction applies to body corporates and associations which are not incorporated or registered in India, or if incorporated or registered in India, but have any foreign participation in the capital or management.

Section 6 of the BD Act, 2002 directly and clearly highlights the link between biological diversity and intellectual property. It states that “no person shall apply for any intellectual property right, by whatever name called, in or outside India for any invention based on any research or information on a biological resource obtained from India without obtaining the previous approval of the National Biodiversity Authority before making such application.” On careful examination it is observed that the approval needs to be taken for “inventions” based on any research or information on biological resources. Thus, applications for IP such as trademarks, copyrights, designs and geographical indications may not require prior approval from the NBA as works under them are not termed as new inventions. Another important aspect of Section 6 is that it grants an exemption for application under the PVPFRA therefore, any person may apply for protection under the PVPFRA without approaching the NBA. It is to be noted here that the burden has been shifted to the authority under the PVPFRA to endorse a copy to the NBA of its decision to grant any right under that Act.

After reading Section 6 in its entirety one can also safely come to a conclusion that any application for protection of Plant Variety under any foreign legislation would require the prior approval of the NBA as the exemption has only been granted for protection of Plant varieties under the legislation framed by the Parliament of India.

Another important provision that deals with IPR is Section 18(4) which states that the NBA on behalf of Central Government is empowered to oppose the grant of intellectual property rights in any country outside India or any biological resources or knowledge associated from India.

Section 19 (2) of the BD Act, 2002 says that any person who is having intention to apply for patent or any other form of intellectual property protection in or outside India as referred in Section 6 (1) shall make an application to the NBA in the prescribed manner and form. The procedure for seeking prior approval before applying for intellectual property protection is laid down under Rule 18 of The Biological Diversity Rules, 2004.

Further, the NBA plays an important role in determining equitable benefit sharing, grant of joint ownership of intellectual property rights to the NBA or to such benefit claimers, subject to any other regulations. Guidelines for equitable benefit sharing are mentioned under Rule 20 of BD Rules, 2004. As per this rule, the authority may impose terms and conditions while granting approval to any person for access or transfer of results of research or applying for patent and IPR or for third party transfer of the accessed biological resources and associated knowledge.

All the above provisions mentioned under the BD Act, 2002 and the Rules clearly indicate as an evidence that there is a close link between biological diversity and intellectual property.

Protection available to Biological Diversity under Intellectual Property Regime.

The extension of IPRs to living beings and knowledge/technologies related to them is relatively recent. In 1930, the U.S. Plant Patent Act was passed, and gave protection to asexually reproduced plant varieties under IPRs. Several other countries subsequently extended such forms of protection to plant varieties.

Any person who invents something new or novel after doing research on biological resources can avail various rights under different subjects of Intellectual Property Rights.

First of all, being a new invention, it comes within the meaning of patent and the inventor/researcher can avail the rights and get his invention registered under the Patent Amendment Act, 2005. Patent is a monopoly right granted by the Government to the inventor for a limited period of 20 years. Due to registration he can avail all the statutory rights and remedies in case of infringement. Registration alone protects the interest of inventor. At the time of filing the application for registration, the patentee has to disclose the details of geographical origin of the resources used for his research purpose. If he fails to disclose or wrongly disclose the geographical origin, any interested person can file an application to oppose granting of patent, after publication before granting of patent or after granting of patent within one year as per Section 25 of Patent Act, 1970.

Indian Patent Act prohibits certain inventions even if they are new, involve an inventive step, useful, non-obvious and have industrial applications. Sections 3 and 4 of the Patent legislation describe the non-patentable inventions. According to Section 3 (j) plants and animals in whole or any part thereof other than micro-organisms but including seeds, varieties and species and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals is non-patentable. TRIPs require all signatory countries must provide for adequate protection on the following subject matter in the National Legislations:

1. Patenting of micro-organisms and “microbiological processes”; and

2. Some “effective” form of IPR on plant varieties, either through patents or some sui generis (new) version, or by a combination of both.

This Agreement allows the member countries to exclude animals and plants per se from patentability as it was argued by several nations that patenting of life forms can have serious moral and ethical implications.

Further any invention which, in effect, is traditional knowledge (TK) or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components is non – patentable. These two exceptions come within the definition of biological resources under the BD Act. This shows the interrelation between BD and IP.

Biological resources comprising of plants, animals and micro-organisms and the traditional knowledge connected to them are essential to indigenous community life in the developing countries. They provide reasonable alternative means of health care and nourishment along with occupation and income generation.

Current IPR system is not suitable for the protection of TK. TK is a knowledge acquired or held by indigenous people from centuries as they lived close to nature and environment. To this extent it can be said that the TRIPs Agreement is incompatible with Human rights. It hinges the rights of indigenous and local communities over the natural resources and/ or biological resources and knowledge associated with such resources. The existing IPR regime does not protect the inventions that are based on the prior existing knowledge or knowledge held in public domain. TRIPs agreement is silent about TK and innovations that are in public domain. TK is valuable and most important attribute of biological diversity. It is an important source of sustainable development. TK is associated with many fields’ like agriculture, medicine, art, music, folklore etc. It also has contributed to forest, seed, soil conservation and crop biodiversity. Pharmaceutical companies are using TK of tribal people to identify plants and their ingredients for developing new medicines without sharing the benefits with these communities.

India being a signatory to the TRIPs agreement, in order to give effect to Article 27.3 (b) in part II of the Agreement had to “…. provide for the protection of plant varieties either by patents or by an effective sui generis system or by any combination thereof”. India adopted sui generis system and made a separate legislation known as Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001.Whereas, United States and some other countries gave protection to plant varieties under the patent legislation.

The Plant Varieties Act provides for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders. It encourages the development of new plant varieties. Such protection is necessary as India has largely been an agricultural economy and is also very rich in plant varieties. Research on plant genetic resources requires prior approval from the authorities set up under the BD Act, 2002. This highlights the link with intellectual property on Plant Varieties.

Any invention that may be a product or process can get protection under the different subject matters of Intellectual Property Rights. The inventor/ researcher or creator can avail registration and protection for the invention under multiple subject matters of IPR such as Patent, Trademark, Copyright, Design, Plant Varieties and Geographical Indications. This type of protection depends upon the nature of the work and the type of commercial exploitation required. In case of violation, the owner of the IP can file an infringement suit under the appropriate enactment to get appropriate/suitable remedy.


Our sustainability on this earth depends upon our sustainable use of biological diversity. Biological diversity is the hallmark of life on the earth. IPR encourages commercialisation of seed development, monoculture, and protection of new plant varieties, microorganisms and genetically modified organisms. But our rich biodiversity is at stake. Developed countries are not rich in biological resources, but they are rich in research and development. They use the biological resources accessed from the developing countries. Genetic information flow from developing countries to developed countries without protection, by way of patent or plant breeder’s rights or other types of IP. There is a need to bring a balance between IPR and sustainable use of biological diversity. Sustainable use of biological resources is the need of the hour, if we misuse, over use or abuse our natural and biological resources it will cause damage to human life on this earth.


Articles/Research Papers/Journal Submissions/Write-ups on Biological Diversity and Access and Benefit Sharing

S. No Article Author Year of Publication
1. Access And Benefit Sharing And The Biological Diversity Act Of India: A Progress Report


Krishnamoorthy Venkataraman, Zoological Survey of India July 2008
2. Access And Benefit Sharing From Genetic Resources


Krishna Prasad Oli, Tara Devi Dhakal, Joy Das Gupta, Michael Kollmair 2008
3. Access To India’s Biodiversity And Sharing Its Benefits


Kanchi Kohli, Shalini Bhutani August, 2015
5. Chasing Benefits: Issues On Access To Genetic Resources And Traditional Knowledge With Reference To India’s Biodiversity Regimen


Kanchi Kohli and Shalini Bhutani
6. Framework For Benefit Sharing

Guidelines For India


M.S. Suneetha*, Balakrishna Pisupati** and Sanjay Kumar 2009
7. Implementation Of Biological Diversity Act In India :

An Overview With Case Studies


Pravat Chandro Sutar(Part-I)

Nigamananda Swain (Part-II)

Edited by:

Bikash Rath, Sr. Programme Manager(RCDC)

8. Litigating India’s Biodiversity Act: A Study Of Legal Cases



Kanchi Kohli and Shalini Bhutani November, 2016
9. Biodiversity Monitoring: A Precondition To Access And Benefit Sharing Under The Indian Biodiversity Act, 2002



Shova Devi and Manchikanti Padmavati, Rajiv Gandhi School of IP Law, IIT Kharagpur August, 2016
10. Reconciling Implementation of the

Nagoya Protocol in India


Shloka Narayanan & Balakrishna Pisupati 2015
11. National Study on ABS Implementation in India


ABS Capacity Development Initiative, GoI April, 2014
12. National Biodiversity Authority, Annual Report


National Biodiversity Authority 2015-16
13. Access and benefit sharing: Issues and experiences from India

Read here

Pisupati Balakrishna 2015
14. Protection Of Biodiversity In India And Bangladesh: A Legal Perspective


Zubair Ahmed Khan 2016
15. Protection of the Associated Traditional Knowledge on Genetic Resources: Beyond the Nagoya Protocol

Read here

Wan Izatul Asma Wan Talaat 2013
16. Benefit Sharing: Reframing India’s Policy


Anitha Ramanna Pathak February, 2017
17. Access and Benefit Sharing

Experiences from India



National Biodiversity Authority of India,
18. Kani Case: A Report for GenBenefit


Sachin Chaturvedi 2007
19. Convention on Biological Diversity: Introduction to Access and Benefit Sharing


Produced by the Secretariat of the

Convention on Biological Diversity

20. Handbook Of The Convention On Biological Diversity Including Its Cartagena Protocol On Biosafety

(3rd Edition) PDF

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 2005
21. The Negotiation of ABS agreements:

Some Key Considerations


Valérie Normand,

Senior Consultant, ABS Capacity Development Initiative

22. The Convention on Biodiversity and the Nagoya Protocol: Intellectual Property Implications; Private Contract Law


23. The ABS Agreement: Key Elements and Commentary


Dr. Susanne Heitmüller, Dr. Hartmut Meyer, Dr. Kabir Bavikatte, Morten Walløe Tvedt, Valerie Normand, Pierre du Plessis July, 2014
24. Practical IP considerations in

ABS agreements


Olivier Rukundo
25. Agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing for Non-Commercial Research: Sector specific approach containing Model Clauses


Swiss Academy of Sciences September, 2010