In collaboration with Corporate Law Group, New Delhi, India
On December 16, 2021, India proposed amendments to the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (the “BDA”) by introducing the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (the “Bill”). The process to amend the BDA was undertaken in response to long-standing complaints by stakeholders in the Indian systems of medicine, seeds, and research sectors, as well as industry, that existing access and benefit-sharing (“ABS”) processes in relation to Indian biological resources are too burdensome.
The Bill has several objectives. It seeks to attract foreign investment in Indian biological resources, to fast-track research, patent application processes, and transfer of research results, and to decriminalize non-compliance. The Bill also seeks to further the conservation of biological resources in line with objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (“CBD”) and Nagoya Protocol to the CBD, to encourage cultivation of medicinal plants, and to support the Indian system of medicines.
The Bill’s proposed amendments are extensive and touch on many different aspects of ABS, but focus mainly on access and access procedures. In this blog, we present the key proposed amendments, as well as next steps in the process for the adoption of the Bill.