Dr. C. George Thomas
Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB)
Kerala State Biodiversity Board is an autonomous body of the State Government and come under the Kerala State Environment Department. With the Head Quarter at Thiruvananthapuram the Board falls under the provision of the Biological Diversity Act 2002, Rules 2004 and Kerala State Biological Diversity Rules 2008.The KSBB is dedicated into conservation and protection of the agro, plant and fish diversity of the State. The Board is headed by a Chairman, a Member Secretary and followed by a team of expert Government officials, leading the Board in its all vibrant activities.
India is the first country to have the Biological Diversity Act and implement it in affective manner. The Act was conceived in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which was held in 1992 and latter in 2002 the Act was passed. The Act provides a legal framework for conservation of biological diversity of the country, sustainable use of its components, fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and generation and dissemination of knowledge.
In accordance with the provisions of Act of 2002 the State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) was established in 2004. And in the same year the Biodiversity Rules was also framed.
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was set up in the year 2003 with its head quarters in Chennai. The NBA is a Statutory, Autonomous Body which does advisory function for the Government of India as its counterpart does in the State. Since its establishment the NBA has set up 26 SBBs in all over India.
The National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards have enter into a the charter of acquisition information pertaining to biological resources, reposition (storage and retrieval) of such information, and generation of knowledge base and disseminating them for the benefit of the general public. In this sense, the Act is different from most other legislations and therefore, has to adopt an unbeaten path.
Based on the approval by the Chief Minister on 25 January 2005, the notification constituting the Board was made in February 2005 [GO (Ms) No. 1/2005/STED dated 28.2.2005] and published in the gazette on 01 June 2005. At that time Board was not fully functional and it was housed under STED/Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment (KSCSTE).
Later in February 2006, when the new Environment Department was formed in Kerala [vide order GO (Ms) No. 10/2006/GAD dated 6.1.2006], the KSBB was transferred to the Environment Department [vide order GO (Ms) No.64/2006/GAD dated 16.2.2006]. And the State Biodiversity rules were formulated in the year 2008.
The major function of the State Biodiversity Board is to advise the State Government on any guidelines issued by the Central Government on matters relating to the conservation of biodiversity. SBB also advocate for sustainable use biological resources and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of these.
Board has the authority to grant approvals on requests for commercial utilisation or bio-survey and bio-utilisation of any biological resource by Indians. The Board also perform functions necessary to carry out the provisions of Biodiversity Act or as prescribed by the State Government.