Dr. Kumara. N.J., Assistant Professor of Law, Vidyavardhaka Law College, Mysuru
Man is by nature is a social animal. He may be in the culture of indigenous community or in non-indigenous culture but surrounded by biological diversity. Biodiversity is therefore the natural biological capital for our life support system. Our survival depends on the web of life created by the interactions of the millions of different animals, plants, fungi, and other microscopic organisms that share the Earth with us. Biological diversity renders invaluable services for human well-being. Our ecosystems services, particularly the ones that provide food, fiber, freshwater, pollination of crops, livelihoods, protection from natural disasters and significantly contribute to human health. Over 1,00,690 species of fauna and 47,480 species of flora have been documented in the 10 BZs of the country. This diversity is hosted by many types of terrestrial and aquatic systems namely forests, wetlands, grasslands, deserts, coastal, and marine ecosystems and indeed the local communities, indigenous or tribal communities are the treasure of traditional knowledge on all such areas biological resources.
There is an infinite emotional bonding between Indigenous community and biodiversity since time immemorial. Some plants and trees have greatest significance in tribal culture. The life of non-tribal or life of our modern society is also associated with biodiversity which has different bio- geographical areas. However, the local communities particularly, members of tribal sections largely depends on these natural resources for their day-to- day living, they protect the biological resources with their traditional knowledge and their own sustainable development strategy.
In contradiction, present day’s biodiversity is under great pressure because of our neo-modern life style, rampant urbanization, technological and industrial developments, proliferation of environment-unfriendly economic activities such as inappropriate mining, appropriation of wetlands for construction etc., are indeed the main reasons that damage the sustainability of such ecosystem services and degradation of environmental and natural resources which ultimately impacts on life of indigenous habitats.
Few policies of states and central government by which evacuation of indigenous, local and tribal community from their natural habitats to other areas effect on their traditional knowledge. Apart from this, traditional knowledge of such community has not recognised under present intellectual property laws as compared to patent etc. Thus this article will enlighten on current issues on rights on Traditional Knowledge of tribal community as well as Intellectual Property Rights.