‘There is an undeniable threat to biodiversity today’

Friday, 25 January 2019

Blame can be apportioned to commercial and trading activities: Justice Kumar

Pune: Among the contemporary challenges faced by the country with regards to biodiversity protection are complete insensitivity, both in terms of conceptualisation and application of the law, unsustainable development and trans-border crimes concerning forest and wildlife, stated Justice Swatanter Kumar, former chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) during the two-day regional workshop on The Biodiversity Act, 2002, which was recently held at Symbiosis Law College.

It was conducted under the United Nations Development Programme’s Global ABS Project. Kumar, who was present as the chief guest for the event, was speaking on the significance of the legislations provided for the protection of biodiversity, specifically the Biodiversity Act, 2002, Wildlife Act, 1972, and the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

He emphasised that it is not necessary to think of biodiversity in strictly scientific terms, as it concerns our day to day interactions with nature. “The country has been facing various challenges with regards to biodiversity, as was seen in the Shimla and Narmada cases, where there was large scale loss of biodiversity. A law should be created that will follow the criminals irrespective of geographical restrictions,” said

Sairam Bhat, Professor, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, adding, “There is an undeniable threat to biodiversity today and while a portion of the blame can be put on natural causes, the rest of the blame can be apportioned to man’s commercial and trading activities. Under such circumstances, the law is important because this wealth of biodiversity belongs to the people and the state is merely a trustee of the same.”

“Legislation does not aim to stop trade altogether but rather aims at regulation, monitoring and, most importantly, the sustainable use of biodiversity,” he added.

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