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Report No. 171

2. Definitions.-

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "access" means (a) obtaining, for whatever purpose, samples of biotic, genetic and transgenic resources, their products, sub-products, derivatives and resulting synthetic products, as well as the knowledge, innovations and practices associated with them; (b) activities leading to knowledge, exploration, research, collection, gathering, transformation,utilisation,mobilization, commercialisation and industrial application of or into those resources as well as the utilization of populations, individuals, organisms or parts of these as a source of biological, genetic and transgenic resources.

(ai) "Act" means the Biological Diversity Act, 2000;

(b) "Alien species" means a species occurring in an area outside its historically known natural range as a result of intentional or accidental dispersal by human activities (including exotic organisms, genetically modified organisms and translocated species);

(bi) "benefits" shall mean the benefits to be made available to owners of biological resources and shall also include; (a) the results of the application of an improvement of a component of bio-diversity which may be of social or environmental utility and (b) economic values, information, and access to technologies.

(c) "Biodiversity Management Committees" means the Biodiversity Management Committees constituted under Section 14;

(d) "Biological Diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems including genetic diversity;

(e) "Biological Resources" means plants, animals and micro-organisms, or parts thereof, and their genetic material and by-products, with actual or potential use or value or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity.

Explanation:Wild, native and domesticated organism originating in India, irrespective of whether they currently occur in India or not and the foreign repositories of germ-plasm originating in India shall be deemed to be included within the expression "biological resources".

(f) "Bio-prospecting" means survey and collection of species, sub-species genes, compounds and extracts of biological resource for any purpose and includes characterisation, inventorisation and bio-assay and shall include exploration, research, gathering, making of inventories, taking of samples and taxonomic identification of biotic and genetic resources, ethno-biological knowledge and other associated activities destined, directly or indirectly, for the identification of promising or effective sources for products or processes.

(g) "Bio-region" means a territory defined by a combination of biological, social and geographic criteria, as may be declared as such by notification in the Official Gazette;

(h) "Bioregional planning" includes the integration and coordination of measures to conserve biodiversity in an ecologically sustainable development and biophysical framework;

(i) "Biosurvey" and "bioutilisation" means survey or/and collection of species, sub-species, genes, compounds and extracts of biological resource for any purpose and includes characterisation, inventorisation and bioassay.

(j) "bio-technology" shall mean every technological application which utilizes biological systems, parts of live organisms or their derivatives for the creation or modification of products or processes;

(k) "Byproduct" means a compound, molecule or any extract of a living or dead organism resulting from any metabolic process;

(l) "Conservation of biological diversity" means the management of human interactions and genes, species and ecosystems to ensure the greatest sustainable benefit to current generations while maintaining their potential to meet the needs of future generations and shall include the protection, preservation, maintenance, rehabilitation, restoration and enhancement of biological diversity;

(m) "Convention on Biological Diversity" means the Convention on Biological Diversity opened for signature on 5th June, 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in June, 1992 and which entered into force with effect from 29th December, 1993;

(ma) "eco-system" means a dynamic complex of vegetable, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment which interact as a functional unit, including human beings.

(n) "Equitable Benefit Sharing" means the sharing of benefits mutually agreed upon by the National Authority and where relevant in consultation with local bodies and/or individuals and the applicant for the accessed biological resources, their by-products, knowledge, innovations and practices associated with their use and application;

(o) "Ex-situ Conservation" means the conservation of components of biological diversity outside their natural habitats and "ex-situ Conservation Centre" shall mean any place where biological and genetic resources are conserved away from their insitu conditions including botanical gardens, herbariums, centres of cultivation and germplasm banks.

(p) "Genetic material" means any material or plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity including genetic material contained in soil and sediment and "genetic resources" means genetic material of actual or potential value;

(q) "Heritage sites" means areas important from the standpoint of biological diversity with respect to its conservation and sustainable use, notified under the present Act by the State Government;

(r) "In situ conservation" means the conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties;

(s) "Knowledge" includes oral knowledge required through or passed on from generation to generation;

(si) "local community" shall mean human groups whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish it from other sectors of national collectivity and which is completely or partially governed by its own customs or traditions or by a special legislation.

(t) "National Bio-diversity Authority" means the National Biodiversity Authority established under section 4;

(u) "Prescribed" means prescribed by Rules made under this Act;

(v) "Principles of ecologically sustainable development" includethe effective integration of long term environmentalandeconomicconsiderationsinto decision-making processes in order to promote the objective of environmental protection which shall be achieved through the implementation of, amongst other things, the following principles and programmes:-

(i) The precautionary principle, implying that if there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity or a threat of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be a ground for postponing measures to prevent or minimise such a threat;

(ii) inter-generational equity, meaning that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations;

(iii) conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity as a fundamental and primary consideration;

(iv) improved valuation and pricing of environmental resources;

(v) recognition that the environmental impact of actions and policies occurs at local, regional and global levels; and

(vi) the relevance of community participation in the decision-making processes and the formulation of policies, programmes and plans.

(w) "Prior Informed Consent" means the consent of the National Authority for granting access to biological resources and/or knowledge related thereto, based on the information provided by the applicant, disclosing fully the intent of the access and other particulars specified by this Act and the Rules made thereunder.

(x) "Protected area" means a geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation projects;

(y) "Research" means study or systematic investigation of any biological resource or technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for any use;

(z) "Rules" means the rules framed under the Act.

(za) "Regulations" means the regulations framed by the National Biodiversity Authority;

(zb) "State Biodiversity Board" means a Board established under section 12;

(zc) "Sustainable use" means the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations;

(zd) "Threatened species" means species that are in immediate danger of extinction or likely to become extinct or are in danger of becoming extinct in the near future as notified by the Central Government or a State Government from time to time;

(ze) "Uruguay Round Agreements" mean and include all agreements signed by India during the Uruguay Round of Negotiations under the auspices of GATT/WTO.

(zf) "Voucher specimen" means a reference sample;

(2) Words and expressions not defined herein shall respectively carry the meaning assigned to them in the Convention on Biological Diversity;

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