Mains Daily Question
Feb. 23, 2024

Q1. What are the key provisions of the Biological diversity (Amendment) Act, 2023? What are the concerns related to conservation in light of recent amendments?(10M, 150W)

Model Answer

Approach to the answer:

The question asks about the recent amendments to the Biodiversity Act, 2002. The demand is to explore how the newly amended provisions raise concerns about conservation.


We can start by writing briefly about the BDA, 2002, the convention it seeks to fulfill. Further, one can mention the aim/purpose of this convention or the Act.


Based on various provisions, one can write about the amendments in a tabular format in a contrasting format to clearly mention which provisions are being changed. In the next part of the answer, we can write about the concerns these provisions will have on conservation.


We can write about the need for the amendments and also the necessity of balancing both conservational and developmental needs, thereby developing sustainably.



The Biological Diversity Act, 2002, was created to fulfill India's obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of 1992. The CBD acknowledges countries' rights to regulate their biological resources. The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Act was introduced to amend the 2002 Act in line with current needs, promoting sustainable biodiversity conservation and use in India.


Key Provisions of the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Act, 2023


The Biological Diversity Act, 2002

Amendments to the 2002 Act

Access to Biological Resources

The Act mandates that individuals or entities wishing to access biological resources or related knowledge in India must either secure prior approval or notify the regulatory authority of their intentions.

The Act alters the categorization of entities and activities requiring notification and introduces exemptions in specific cases.

Intellectual Property Rights

The Act necessitates obtaining approval from the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) before seeking Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) associated with biological resources from India.

The Act proposes that approval will be necessary prior to the actual granting of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), rather than during the application process.

Exempting AYUSH Practitioners

No earlier provision

The Act aims to provide exemptions to registered AYUSH medical practitioners and individuals accessing codified traditional knowledge, among others. These exemptions would relieve them from the requirement of prior intimation to State biodiversity boards when accessing biological resources for specific purposes.

Benefit Sharing

The Act enforces benefit sharing of both financial and non-financial benefits with those responsible for conserving biodiversity or possessing traditional knowledge linked to it. 

The NBA establishes the conditions for benefit sharing when granting approvals for various activities.

The Act removes the applicability of benefit sharing requirements from research, bio-survey, and bio-utilisation.

Criminal Penalties

The Act enforces criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for violations such as the failure to obtain approval or give prior intimation for specific activities.

In contrast, the Act decriminalizes these offenses and introduces fines ranging from one lakh to fifty lakh rupees instead.


Concerns related to conservation:


  • Favoring Industry Interests:
  • The amendments appear to favor industry interests over biodiversity conservation, thereby contradicting the CBD's core principles


      • Undermines the community participation and “equitable sharing of benefits” among the communities that have safeguarded it for generations.
    • Removal of Criminal Penalties:
      • The Act seeks to decriminalize violations, thereby eliminating the NBA's authority to lodge FIRs against entities failing to adhere to regulations. 
      • This move has the potential to undermine the enforcement of laws aimed at safeguarding biodiversity and impede endeavors to discourage illicit activities.
    • Special Treatment for Domestic Corporations:
      • Permission for using biodiversity resources applies only to foreign-controlled companies. This may raise concerns about potential bypassing by domestic companies with foreign shareholding, leading to unchecked exploitation.
    • Conservation Challenges:
      • The Act seems to prioritize reduction of regulations and facilitation of business interests, giving rise to apprehensions about the potential adverse effects on biodiversity and traditional knowledge holders.


  • Traditional Knowledge of medicines and Concerns: While exemptions for AYUSH practitioners can encourage the adoption of tribal and forest community knowledge and boost research, concerns include the threat of biopiracy, leading to illegal use of biodiversity and traditional cultural knowledge. Additionally, there's a risk of faster depletion of resources and exemption from benefit sharing for Indian medicine practitioners.



The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Act, 2023, while attempting to align with contemporary needs, raises concerns about potential negative impacts on biodiversity conservation, traditional knowledge holders, and the enforcement of biodiversity protection laws in India. It calls for a delicate balance between supporting sustainable development and safeguarding the nation's rich biological heritage.

Subjects : Environment
Only Students can submit Answer.