PANAJI: Goa has become the second State after Kerala to constitute Biodiversity Management Committees in most of its village panchayats, according to Pradip V. Sarmokadam, Member Secretary, Goa State Biodiversity Board.The move is aimed at forming People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) in villages, which as many as 75 villages are already in the process of forming these.Mr. Sarmokadam said here on Friday that as per the board’s chief mandate to implement the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, and Biological Diversity Rules, 2004, in Goa, this exercise was extensively conducted across the State. He was talking to The Hindu ahead of the first meeting of the State’s Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) committee on Saturday, under the chairmanship of C. Achalender Reddy, Additional Director, Centre for Innovation in Public Systems, Hyderabad. “Financial provisions have been assured by the government for us to start with the work of PBRs and ABS committee,” Mr. Sarmokadam said. He said that apart from Kerala and Goa, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat are doing a commendable work in conservation and sustainable access to biodiversity.Mr. Sarmokadam said that Section 41 of the Act makes it mandatory for every local governing body to constitute a Biodiversity Management Committees. Goa will soon take up a similar exercise for municipal councils.Traditional knowledgeThese committees are expected to function for conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge. They will maintain data about local vaidyas (practitioners of traditional medicinal knowledge), keep a register on information of access of biological resources and traditional knowledge granted, details of collection fee imposed and of benefits derived and the mode of their sharing. He said the board would sensitise and train the committees in documentation of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. “Unless we are able to connect the biodiversity conservation to livelihood of people in the area, we will not be able to convince them about conservation and sustainable sharing of its benefits, for retaining same quality of food, same quality of environment,” he said.