Bhutan Makes Major Changes In It’s Biodiversity Act

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The National Assembly (NA) of Bhutan on May 31 tabled the Biodiversity Bill of Bhutan 2021 and agriculture minister Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor presented the general principles and objectives in the first and second reading of the bill.

Penjor said that after adopting the Biodiversity Act of Bhutan in 2003, the nation became a member of 15 international environmental agreements.

Speaking about the need to introduce the Biodiversity Bill, he said that the Nagoya Protocol of the Biodiversity Act of Bhutan required major changes.

It may be mentioned here that Bhutan became a member of the Nagoya Protocol in 2011 and this aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way and encourages access to genetic resources.

Speaking about the new Biodiversity Bill, the minister said the bill should promote conservation and sustainable use of biological resources and applies to access to or utilisation of genetic resources or their derivatives from Bhutan, whether they are accessed in-situ or ex-situ.

“It repeals the Biodiversity Act of Bhutan 2003, and subsidiary legislations framed and adopted thereunder, and section 73 of the National Environment Protection Act of Bhutan 2007,” he said.

It may be mentioned here that after the House agreement to move forward with the third reading, the Bill was referred to NA’s Environment and Climate Change Committee for further scrutiny.

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