Biodiversity Management Committee: BMC
Biodiversity Management Committee: What You Should Know!
On 15th June 2017, the Department of Science, Technology & Environment in Saligao hosted a workshop to talk about the biodiversity in Goa and more importantly, on how to set up a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) in a village.
A BMC is a committee that’s set-up at a grassroots level, i.e. the village panchayat, primarily to preserve and promote local biodiversity.
At a period where Goans are struggling to tackle the destruction and misuse of our environment, it’s vital that we use the tools given to us by the government to protect our state.
This committee is important as it empowers citizens to be aware of their environment and affords them powers to protect and maintain it for future generations.
What is a Biodiversity Management Committee?
A Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) is required to be set up by every local body (Panchayat /Municipality) as part of the institutional structure for the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act (BDA) 2002. Section 41 of the Act lays down this direction. The ministry in-charge of the implementation of the BDA is the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The BMC is created for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and micro-organisms, and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity
Who can set up a BMC?
The law states that the BMC is to be set up by the local body both in urban (Muncipality) and rural (Panchayat) areas. In areas where there are no Panchayats or Municipalities, the BMC is to be set up by any constitutionally or legally recognized institution of self-government.
If your village panchayat does not have a BMC set-up, it is your right and duty to request for the committee at the next Gram Sabha. To set up the BMC, you need a chairperson and six other local village members. A minimum of two members must be women, and at least one member has to belong to SC/ ST/ or OBC. The Chairperson of the BMC is to be elected from amongst the members of the committee.
What are its functions?
- Protect and promote local biodiversity- breeds of birds, animals and plants.
- Prepare People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR)- an Electronic database with inputs from locals.
- Maintain data medicinal plants/resources used by local Vaidhya (traditional healer).
- Advice State & National Biodiversity Boards on matters related to local biodiversity.
- Under Nagoya Protocol of Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), they can collect fees for granting access to Biodiversity register to researchers and commercial companies.
- Management of Heritage Sites including Heritage Trees, Animals/ Micro-organisms etc., and Sacred Groves and Sacred Water bodies.
To find out more information about how to set up or join your local Biodiversity Management Committee or learn about the Biological Diversity Act 2002, you can check out the following website:
Or you can email the Goa State Biodiversity Board directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to find more information or be added to their email list to find out when their next workshop or awareness campaign is planned.