Various functions of the National Biodiversity Authority include:
1. To declare biological diversity heritage sites
2. To regulate access to biological resources
3. Protection and rehabilitation of threatened species
4. To environmental release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Select the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [B] Only 1, 2 & 3

National Biodiversity Authority

At the national level, National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established by the Government of India in October, 2013 at Chennai (Tamil Nadu) under Section (8) of the Biological Diversity Act. The State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) are to be established by the State Governments and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) to be constituted by the local bodies. NBA is an autonomous, statutory and regulatory organization which is intended to implement the provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

The main objectives of NBA are:

  • To regulate access to biological resources of the country to conserve and sustainable use of biological diversity.
  • To respect and protect the knowledge of local communities related to biodiversity.
  • To secure sharing of benefits with the local people as conservers of biological resources and holders of knowledge and information relating to the use of biological resources.
  • Conservation and development of area of importance from the view point of biological diversity by declaring them as biological diversity heritage sites.
  • Protection and rehabilitation of threatened species, involvement of institutions of state government in the broad scheme of implementation of the Biological Diversity Act through constitution of committees.

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)

The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC), under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has notified the “Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989” (Rules, 1989). The rules also cover application of hazardous microorganisms which may not be genetically modified. Hazardous microorganisms include those which are pathogenic to animals as well as plants. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the apex body under the Rules, 1989 has the mandate to approve large scale trials and environmental release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and ensure that research, development and testing of GMOs prior to environment release are conducted in a safe and scientific manner through appropriate implementation of Rule 1989 and biosafety guidelines.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module