Beyond the Thumbrule Approach: Regulatory Innovations for Bioprospecting in India


Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte
JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellow,
United Nations University- Institute for the
Advanced Study of Sustainability,
Tokyo, Japan

Morten Walløe Tvedt
Senior Research Fellow,
Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI),
Oslo, Norway, P.O. Box 326,
1326 Lysaker, Norway


In the wake of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), there is unprecedented attention on good Green Governance, which implies the development of resource efficient, rights based and effective domestic frameworks to regulate bioprospecting. India has been pioneering in this regard due to its ABS legislation in 2002 that long preceded the Nagoya Protocol. However much has changed since 2002 and while India has learnt a great deal from its ‘learning by doing’ method, there are valuable lessons that can be learnt from innovations in the ABS frameworks of other countries. The innovations of these countries are a great resource for National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) in India that is seeking to make the processing of the bioprospecting applications in India more optimal. The current paper highlights the challenges faced by the NBA in processing the high volumes of bioprospecting applications, analyses the reasons for such challenges and proposes solutions for the same.


Access and benefit sharing, Biodiversity Act, Bioprospecting, CBD, Nagoya Protocol, thumb-rule approach, traditional knowledge.             LEAD Journal - ISSN 1746-5893