Act now!

Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, the NGO with a base in Pune as well as in Delhi, have a wonderfully simple credo:

Kalpavriksh believes that a country can develop meaningfully only when ecological sustainability and social equity are guaranteed, and a sense of respect for, and oneness with nature, and fellow humans is achieved.

We feel quite the same way, especially with our Access Equity initiative... Kalpavriksh bring out a number of publications of relevance to this cause, and an example of their work in this area is their Biodiversity "Infopack" of three titles:

  • A guide to the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, compiled by Shantha Bhushan. "This Guide to the Act is an attempt to explain its provisions to people in a simple manner moving away from legalese. The focus is largely on the rights and responsibilities of communities in biodiversity conservation. The Guide also explains the provisions regarding access, control and benefit-sharing. It also briefly touches upon the overlaps that the said law has with other related legislation on seeds, plants and people’s knowledge."

  • Understanding the Biological Diversity Act 2002 - a dossier compiled by Kanchi Kohli. "This dossier aims to put together scattered information available on the Act, related rules and agreements, so that the information is easily accessible. This is critical, not just to understand the text of the legislation but also the perspectives that go with it. This compilation includes a background to the passage of the legislation and a brief introduction to its key components, along with the rules and agreements. It attempts to bring together the range of perspectives on the legislation and includes well-researched critiques as well as voices from the communities. The Dossier includes sections on the chronology of events that led to the notification of the legislation and its present implementation. It also presents a description of the institutional structure that has been prescribed by the legislation for its implementation."

  • A simple guide to Intellectual Property rights, Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge by Tejaswini Apte. "This handbook is a step towards filling the gap of user-friendly information and encouraging mainstream debate on IPRs, biodiversity and traditional knowledge. It is hoped that readers will use this handbook in a variety of ways: to design their advocacy campaigns, to take the debate into the mainstream media, or to engage with their government whether as public servants, as informed members of the public, or as organized campaigners."

This set of three books is priced at Rs 400 or US$40, plus postage. Write in to us! In association with GRAIN, as well as on their own, Kalpavriksh have brought out many books and CDs (some of which we have talked about earlier). We can help you get any of these- write to us: mail@scholarswithoutborders.