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Kerala to be first state with green ABS policy

Kerala to be first state with green ABS policy

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will soon become the first state in the country to have a policy document on biodiversity conservation related 'access and benefit sharing (ABS)', an official said Friday.

The policy is ready and will be submitted to the state government in the next few days, K.P. Laladhas, member secretary, Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB), told IANS.

"The new policy means that we are keen to ensure the vast amount of resources and associated traditional knowledge in the state are appropriately used, benefits get shared and ability to shape livelihood get enhanced," said Laladhas.

He said the ABS concept is new, complex but an important one. Operationalizing the regime is a challenge, said Laladhas on the sidelines of the second National Biodiversity Congress here.

"The ABS policy and its provisions are intended to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and traditional knowledge in Kerala," said Laladhas.

The ABS policy supports generating and sharing economic benefits of the utilisation of biological resources among both providers and users.

"It is simple, efficient and adaptable. It has taken into account different sectors and allows different approaches in jurisdictions on issues of access and benefit sharing besides balancing the responsibilities of providers and users of the resource and associated knowledge," said Laladhas.

The policy is supportive of governmental policies, and building on and respecting Kerala's commitments to conservation, sustainable resource management and development.

Kerala is the only state in the country that has established the biodiversity management committees at all panchayats under the Biological Diversity Act.

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