The five member expert committee constituted by the state government to frame the Nagaland Biological Diversity Rules had submitted its report to the Government on February 25.
Briefing media persons at NEPED Conference Hall the same evening, the committee consisting of Elusing Meru, secretary of forest as convener, Sanjay Updhayay, Amba Jamir, R.K. Verma as members and Vengota Nakro as member secretary termed it as a landmark achievement. The committee revealed that the rules may be called “The Nagaland Biological Diversity Rules 2011” and will come into force from the day it is published in the Nagaland Gazette.
Maintaining that they have followed a participatory approach in its formulation and reflects the aspirations of the Naga people, the Committee said the rules do not impinge on the traditional and daily practices of Naga knowledge keepers, farmers and healers. The rules will rather strengthen the rights of the people, they said. The committee also incorporated constitution of Tribal Hoho Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) to federate all local BMCs with clarity of function and responsibilities and their linkage to the SBB. With a view to draw more emphasis on the autonomy of the Nagaland State Bio-Diversity Board, the Committee recognized the fact that it has to carry out its functions in confirmity with Naga customs and traditions to give effect to article 37(A) of the constitution.
The Committee clarified that rules are framed to safeguard rights of the people and protect the resources so that a third cannot infringe upon them. The Committee further stated rules were framed after 18 months of research thorough consultation with different sections of the people of the state for recommendations received from the village councils, the civil society etc.
Stating Nagaland was the second state in the north east region, after Sikkim to frame its Biological Diversity Rules, the members also endeavoured to make the rules unique. They said that they tried to make the rules visionary and path breaking by drawing upon best practices and principles from national and global models.
The Committee said rules submitted to the government would have to be approved by the cabinet and then passed by the NLA in order to be implemented.