Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) refers to the way in which genetic resources may be accessed and how the benefits that result from the use of those resources are shared between the commercial users and the local providers/ knowledge holders/benefit claimers.
Plants, animals and microbes all carry genetic materials which are needed for mankind. Our traditional/indigenous communities have an understanding of those resources that has been carried out over generations. The value of this knowledge must be understood and recognised by them who use those for commercial purpose.
ABS is an incentive mechanism in Biodiversity Conservation and its Sustainable Utilisation.
As per Section 7 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, no person, who is a citizen of India or a body corporate, association or organization which is registered in India, shall obtain any biological resource for commercial utilization, or bio-survey and bio-utilization for commercial utilization except after giving prior intimation to the State Biodiversity Board concerned.
The provisions of Section 7 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 shall not apply to the local people and communities of the area, including growers and cultivators of biodiversity, and vaids and hakims, who have been practicing indigenous medicine.
As per the Section -7 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, accessing bio-resources and associated traditional knowledge of the state of West Bengal requires prior intimation to the West Bengal Biodiversity Board. The intimation to the Board should be given in specified format (Form-I & Form-A) along with requisite Application Fee.