Access and Benefit Sharing Seminar Emphasizes Sustainable Growth

A seminar cum brainstorming meeting on “Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) – Striking the right balance” was co-organised by the National Steering Committee of the International Agrobiodiversity Congress (IAC) 2016 and Anand and Anand at the India Habitat Centre on 22nd October 2016. The event, a precursor to the IAC 2016, was a rare occasion to amalgamate ideas from the legal fraternity and experts in agro-biodiversity and saw a heartening turnout with persons of eminence in the field and many others who were keen to learn about ABS.

The chief guest of the inaugural ceremony was Joint Secretary DIPP Shri Rajiv Aggarwal and other eminent guests included Dr R. S. Paroda, Chair, National Steering Committee IAC- 2016, President ISPGR, and Chairman TAAS; Mr N. K. Anand, Founding Partner, Anand and Anand, Mr. Pravin Anand, Managing Partner, Anand and Anand, Co-chairperson ABS Seminar; Dr Rishi Kumar Tyagi, Head – conservation division, ICAR-NBPGR, Co-organizing Sec IAC2016 and Dr Neeti Wilson, Partner, Anand and Anand, Convener ABS Seminar.

With the ratification of international treaties, implementation of national laws and obligations on biodiversity and ever increasing need to access the biological resources for growth and development, it is a well acknowledged need to facilitate the sustainable access to bio/genetic-resources and equitable benefit sharing of benefits arising out of the access. Thus to spread awareness on said subject under different statutes half a day awareness seminar was organised. The expert panel included Dr. R.C. Agarwal, Registrar General, PPVFRA, Dr. Prakash Nelliyat, Fellow (ABS) NBA, Dr. K.S. Kardam, Controller of Patent and Designs, Indian Patent Office and the session was moderated by Ms Archana Shanker, Head-Patents & Designs, Anand and Anand. The second session had an expert panel of Dr. S.K Verma, Executive Director, The Indian Society of International Law (ISIL), Dr. Pratibha Brahmi, Head- Germplasm Exchange, ICAR-NBPGR, Ms Sheetal Talwar – DGM Legal, Tata Chemicals Ltd and the session was moderated by Dr. Sudhir Kochhar, ARS (Retd.) Ex-ICAR. Cumulatively the seminar was focused on the relevant provisions on ABS under different statues, methods of implementation of the same and briefly on the issues faced by different stakeholders.

The second half of the workshop was a roundtable discussion involving only the officials, stakeholders and experts in the field. The session started with the comments by the special invitees Dr R.R. Hanchinal, Chairperson PPVFRA, Dr Prakash Nelliyat, Fellow (ABS) NBA, and Dr K.S. Kardam, Controller of Patent and Designs, Indian Patent Office. The experts brainstormed on various issues on ABS that’s being faced by the officials, practitioners and stakeholders. Various issues were flagged and the organising committee would take them forward as recommendations to the concerned Ministry for their due consideration.  The need for more such dialogues were emphasised for effective implementation of ABS regime in India.

Read about the 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the importance of recognising the worth of biological diversity.

Full proceedings and recommendations of the 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress.