India’s 6th National Report to Convention of Biological Diversity

India is on track to achieve the biodiversity targets at the national level and is also contributing significantly towards achievement of the global biodiversity targets”, “While globally, biodiversity is facing increasing pressure on account of habitat fragmentation and destruction, invasive alien species, pollution, climate change and overuse of resources, India is one of the few countries where forest cover is on the rise, with its forests teeming with wildlife,” said Dr. HarshVardhan, Union Environment Minister, during inaugural session of the 13th National Meeting of the State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) organized by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), New Delhi. India also submitted online its Sixth National Report (NR6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 29 December 2018. HarshVardhan also released on the occasion the document ‘Progress on India’s National Biodiversity Targets: A Preview’.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international legally-binding treaty with three main goals: conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of biodiversity; fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Its overall objective is to encourage actions, which will lead to a sustainable future.

  • Conservation of biodiversity is a common concern of humankind.
  • CBDcovers biodiversity at all levels: ecosystems, species and genetic resources.
  • CBD also covers biotechnology, including through the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
  • CBD in fact, covers all possible domains that are directly or indirectly related to biodiversity and its role in development, ranging from science, politics and education to agriculture, business, culture and much more.

CBD opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993 and its Secretariat of is based in Montreal, Canada that assist governments in the implementation of the CBD and its programmes of work, to organize meetings, draft documents, and coordinate with other international organizations and collect and spread information. To date, there are 193 Parties.

National Report’s submissionis a mandatory obligation on Parties to international treaties, including CBD. India as a responsible nationhas never reneged on its international commitments and has earlier submitted on time five National Reports to the CBD.  Parties were required to submit their NR6 by 31 December 2018.

NR6 provides an update of progress in achievement of 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) developed under the Convention process in line with the 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets.

Report highlights that while India has exceeded/overachieved 2 NBTs, it is on track to achieve 8 NBTs and in respect of the remaining 2 NBTs also, India is striving to meet the targets by the stipulated time of 2020:

  • India, with well over 20% of its total geographical area under biodiversity conservation, has exceeded the terrestrial component of 17% of Aichi target 11, and 20% of corresponding NBT relating to areas under biodiversity management.
  • India has made noteworthy achievement towards NBT relating to access and benefit sharing (ABS) by operationalising the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.
  • India has since published nearly 75% of the IRCCs published so far on ABS Clearing House by having published the first Internationally Recognised Certificate of Compliance (IRCC) under the Protocol in 2015.
  • India has thus exceeded the targetsin respect of these two NBTs (6 and 9).
  • India has done well on raising awareness about biodiversity, which is an important thrust area in several programmes of the Government.
  • India, as a mega diverse country harbouring nearly 7-8% of globally recorded species while supporting 18% of the global human population on a mere 2.4% of the world’s land area, its quest for inclusive economic development while maintaining integrity of its natural capital is being pursued through various programmes and strategies.
  • India has adopted measures for sustainable management of agriculture, fisheries and forests, with a view to provide food and nutritional security to all without destroying the natural resource base while ensuring intergenerational environmental equity.
  • In India programmes are in place to maintain genetic diversity of cultivated plants, farms livestock and their wild relatives, towards minimising genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.
  • In India mechanisms and enabling environment are being created for recognising and protecting the vast heritage of coded and oral traditional knowledge relating to biodiversity for larger human welfare while safeguarding the interests and rights of the local communities as creators and holders of this knowledge.
  • India has been investing a huge amount on biodiversity directly or indirectly through several development schemes of the Central and State Governments, to the tune of 70000 crore per annum as against the estimated annual requirement of nearly 109000 crore.
  • India has nearly two third of the population of wild Tigers in the world.
  • Population of Lion has risen from 177 in 1968 to over 520 in 2015, and Elephants from 12000 in 1970s to 30000 in 2015.
  • One-horned Indian Rhino which was on the brink of extinction during the early 20thcentury, now number 2400.
  • India has only 0.08% of the species recorded in critically endangered category, while globally over 0.3 % of total recorded species are critically endangered.
  • India is committed to protecting its rich heritage of biodiversity which are so vital to our economic and social development.
You might also like