By B Meenakumari
Author is Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai. firstname.lastname@example.org
The complexity in evaluating biodiversity makes it difficult to ensure equity where bio-resources are concerned. Convention of Biological Diversity and India’s Biodiversity Act are moves to bring in equity in the sharing of bio-resources for mutual benefit.
Selinum tenuifolium growing at the floor of a forest at 1870 msl, Almora district, Uttarakhand. The root of the plant is regarded as a nerve sedative and its volatile oil is used as a medicine for mental disorder. The plant is exploited extensively and is now threatened.
Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are age old traditions in India, as reflected in our ancient scriptures. There are numerous instances of use of indigenous plants in religious rituals, ceremonial offerings and local healthcare practices. Historically, biodiversity was taken as an important ‘public good’ to be shared by all. However, biogenetic resources are of tremendous importance for a host of value-added products such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements. In fact, the combined world market for products manufactured through...