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International Webinar On Implementation Of Access And Benefit Sharing: Sustaining Indian Biodiversity Organized By MNLU, Nagpur [November 12-13]

22 Sep 2021 11:54 AM GMT
International Webinar On Implementation Of Access And Benefit Sharing: Sustaining Indian Biodiversity Organized By MNLU, Nagpur [November 12-13]

ABOUT THE WEBINARMNLU, Nagpur and Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board are jointly organizing International Webinar on Implementation of Access and Benefit Sharing: Sustaining Indian Biodiversity in virtual mode on November 12-13, 2021 (Friday and Saturday). There is a need to implement access and benefit-sharing mechanism under UN Convention on Biodiversity 1992 and its supplementary...

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MNLU, Nagpur and Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board are jointly organizing International Webinar on Implementation of Access and Benefit Sharing: Sustaining Indian Biodiversity in virtual mode on November 12-13, 2021 (Friday and Saturday). There is a need to implement access and benefit-sharing mechanism under UN Convention on Biodiversity 1992 and its supplementary Nagoya Protocol 2010 to attain distributive justice in the context of biodiversity.
The Webinar is organized to meet the following objectives:
1. To develop the jurisprudence of ABS mechanism in India by critically examining existing knowledge on biodiversity and its conservation;
2. To identify gaps in legal and institutional framework on ABS mechanism in India; and
3. To discuss new and emerging issues in this area like bio-piracy, conflict with IPR, reluctance of Indian corporations and research institutions, etc.
In this scenario, issues and challenges relating to the following sub-themes are identified for deliberation:
Human Rights and Biodiversity
Biodiversity loss may disproportionately harm the human rights of indigenous people, local communities, women and girls, children and youth, the poor, and persons, groups and people's in vulnerable situations. Deliberation on this causal relationship is expected in this section.
Distributive Bio-justice and Sustainable Development
Since ABS talks about providing access to corporations and research institutions to bioresources that belong to the State and indigenous/local/tribal people residing there, it is a duty on corporations and these research bodies to share the benefits earned by them on commercial utilization of these bio-resources with the State as well as other relevant stakeholders. The distribution of benefits with all relevant stakeholders will assure distributive justice and since it is being done in the area of biodiversity, it's distribution is distributive bio-justice. This will also help us in achieving all-inclusive sustainable development which is accepted as part of environmental jurisprudence in India.
Identification and Education of Stakeholders
ABS aims inclusivity but whose inclusion and exclusion, is still a grey area. We need to precisely define all the stakeholders other than State. Section 2(a) of the Biodiversity Act 2002 defines benefit claimers as "the conservers of biological resources, their by-products, creators and holders of knowledge and information relating to the use of such biological resources, 5 innovations and practices associated with such use and application." This definition lacks clarity and hence it can be easily abused. Once the stakeholders are identified, they need to be educated about their rights as benefit claimers under benefit sharing agreements signed by biodiversity boards across India and users of bio-resources. At present, lack of awareness among these vulnerable populations of our country is one of the major hindrances in effectively implementing ABS in India and fixing accountability among the users and the boards.
Valuation of Biodiversity
UN Convention on Biodiversity 1992, in its Preamble, recognizes the intrinsic value of biological diversity and of the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components. Determination of value of biodiversity is the first step and hence sine qua non for effective and equitable benefit sharing with stakeholders.
ABS and Biodiversity Act 2002 and Guidelines of 2014: Exploring the Legal Gaps
There are many provisions under the Biodiversity Act 2002 and rules 2004 as well as the Guidelines of 2014 that requires elucidation and simplification. Ambiguous provisions and complicated wordings creates a perplexing situation for the Biodiversity Boards who, due to legal and technical incapacity, even when they want to implement the Act and undertake fair and equitable sharing with the benefit claimers, are unable to do so.
ADR and Clinical Legal Aid
As affirmed by CBD in its Preamble, there is general lack of information and knowledge regarding biological diversity and of the urgent need to develop scientific, technical and institutional capacities to provide the basic understanding upon which to plan and implement appropriate measures. To address this situation, there is a need to develop ADR methods and provide extensive legal aid at the grassroot level. Deliberation on use of ADR in implementing ABS is expected in this section.
Biopiracy: Crime against State and Indigenous People
Biopiracy is defined as the act of taking over natural resources and traditional knowledge from local stakeholders without their Prior Informed Consent and Benefit Sharing agreement when relevant. Biopiracy results in violation of the rights of indigenous peoples, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) 2007 as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992 and its Nagoya Protocol. It also violates environmental legislations in India like Biodiversity Act 2002, Guidelines 2014, Forest Rights Act 2006 etc. The issue of bio-piracy has to be effectively linked with ABS mechanism for complete elimination of this inflating environmental crime.
ABS' tryst with Intellectual Property Rights: Conflict or Convergence
Intellectual Property (IP) in relation to bio-resources, used in pharmaceutical, agricultural and cosmetics sectors particularly, create a major roadblock in implementation of ABS in India. Since IP is individual oriented and ABS is community oriented, their harmonization is a cumbersome task. There are many issues looming in the area of ABS that require management of IP rights like non-commercial and commercial ABS agreements, licensing and ownership of and transfer of IP rights to third parties, etc. 6 ABS Litigation in India At present, there are only handful of cases decided on ABS in India. Given the obscurity of laws in this area, the scope of litigation is immense and judiciary can contribute extensively through constructively interpreting the provisions of the Act and the guidelines. A critical appraisal of the role of judiciary played by far and its' future potential in this area is anticipated from the participants.
Interface between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ABS
Only 2-3% of all India's CSR funding goes towards biodiversity related activities. High earning companies must pay 2% of three-year average annual profits. This mode of generating biodiversity finance can help immensely in implementation of ABS. Any other suitable themes or sub-themes relating to significant aspects of access and benefit sharing mechanism is also appreciated.
An abstract of 400-500 words with 5-7 keywords should be submitted as an attachment in a word file. The abstract shall clearly state the aim, methodology, and position/ theoretical approach of the research. A separate covering letter containing following information, in the given format, should be sent along with the abstract:
  1. Title of Abstract
  2. Name of the Author (s)
  3. Designation / Institution Details, Address and Email ID
  4. Mobile Number
Abstract along with covering letter shall be e-mailed to: [email protected] Abstracts will be peer reviewed by the organizing committee and only shortlisted abstracts will be invited to submit final papers. The final paper should be submitted after the intimation of acceptance of abstract. The final submission shall be concluded within the prescribed deadline. Authors and Co-authors have to register separately. All registered candidates will get certificates, but the organisers reserve the right to publish the selected papers. Webinar papers are invited from Experts, Academicians, Research Scholars, Professionals, Advocates/Practitioners, students and other stakeholders working in this area.
  1. The full paper should be prepared (1) in the MS-Word format, (2) Font: Times New Roman, (3) Title of the paper: Font 14, (4) Subtitles: Font 13, (5) Body text: Font 12, (5) Spacing: 1.5 lines, and (6) shall range between 4,000 to 8,000 words (including footnotes).
  2. Submission of a paper amounts to consent to such publication and transfer of copyright to Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU), Nagpur, and consent to edit the paper as may be required. The author shall cooperate with the editor, in respect of such editing.
  3. All references must be in the form of footnotes with font size 10 and should be according to MNLU Citation Style as available on the website of the University. %20Guideline%20for%20Researchers.pdf  The work should be original, previously unpublished, and must not be in the stage of submission/ consideration elsewhere.
  4. No abstract or full paper shall be accepted after the respective last dates of submission.  Participants/Paper Presenters have to register after the acceptance of the abstract with payment of required fees.
  5. For participation, registration is mandatory on confirmation of participation. The registration fee is non-refundable.
Note: Selected papers shall be published in a special issue of Contemporary Law Review (CLR). CLR provides a platform for cutting-edge research into socio-legal issues, healthy dialogue, and exchange of ideas, identification of issues and challenges, and formulation of creative and pragmatic solutions.
For Presenting a Paper Students: Rs. 200/- Faculties/Research Scholars/Professionals/Others: Rs. 500/- Mode of Payment: The participants can pay the registration fee by using the below link:
Deadline for Submission of Abstract : October 02, 2021
Confirmation of Abstract Selection : October 05, 2021
Deadline for Submission of Full Paper : November 05, 2021
Last Date for Registration : November 05, 2021
Webinar Date : November 12-13, 2021
Programme Convener :
Ms. Trishla Dubey, Head, Centre for Environmental Law, MNLU, Nagpur
[email protected] Mob. 6264030309
Supporting Team

Dr. Himanshu Pandey, Associate Professor of Law,

Email: [email protected], M. 9827264151

Prof. Sopan Shinde, Assistant Professor of English &Assistant Registrar (Administration) Email: [email protected], M. 9673772206

Dr. Rajesh P. , Assistant Professor of Sociology

Prof. Divita Pagey, Assistant Professor of Law Email : [email protected] M. 9764022308

For detailed information about the webinar, visit

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