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Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill 2022 Review of proceedings in Parliament

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Lok Sabha passed two bills- The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Multi-State Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022 – amid opposition protests over Manipur violence.
   
The bills were taken up for debate and passing after the Lok Sabha proceedings were completely washed out in the last three working days due to protests by the opposition which has been demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the floor of the House.
   
The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill 2022 was introduced in the House on December 16, 2021 by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav. The bill would amend the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
   
The Bill was referred to a joint committee on December 20, 2021 due to concerns that the amendments favoured industry and contradicted the spirit of Convention on Biological Diversity.
   
The joint committee submitted its report to Parliament on 2nd of August, 2022 with the recommendation that the Bill be passed after the inclusion of their recommendations.
   
Several Members spoke on the advantages of the amendments to the bill and said its benefit includes aligning bio-diversity with the Companies Act.
   
The Minister said the bill is significant as the world is facing triple crisis of climate change, desertification and ecological imbalance. The legislation will simplify the compliance requirements for domestic companies.
   
Users of codified traditional knowledge and AYUSH practitioners will be exempted from sharing benefits with local communities.
   
The Bill removes research and bio-survey activities from the purview of benefit sharing requirements. Benefit sharing will be based on terms agreed between the user and the local management committee represented by the National Authority.
   
The term codified traditional knowledge has not been defined. A broad interpretation might exempt all local traditional knowledge from benefit sharing requirements.
   
The Bill removes the direct role of local communities in determining benefit sharing provisions. It decriminalises offences under the Act and instead provides for a wide range of penalties. The Bill empowers government officials to hold inquiries and determine penalties.
   

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