The biodiversity act of 2016

The biodiversity act of 2016, Western Australia not only aims at eradicating and destroying the presence and spread of environmental pests and other organisms, but it also aims to manage it. According to Baetman and Peralman (2017), the act aims to examine or test, survey, and closely monitor the presence or the spread of environmental pests and also their treatment. The objectives of the biodiversity act of 2016 are to conserve and protect biodiversity and its components in the state. It also aims to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity components within the state in an ecologically approved manner.
The purpose of the Convention of Biological diversity UN, according to Crag and Kratz (2012), is the sustainable use of biological components and equal sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources and just transfer of relevant technologies by taking into account all rights over the said resources.
In the biodiversity act of western Australia, Thorn and Hobbs (2018) say, the Parliament’s approval is required for some proposals especially the ones that give authorization under section 40 or a proposal for amending and authorization in that section. The minister, however, must not give the authorization unless the proposal has been laid before both houses of the parliament and has been approved by both the houses.
For the convention on biodiversity, the UN, each contracting party was required to co-operate with other contracting parties through competent international organizations for conserving and ensuring sustainable use of biological diversity. According to Wolfrum and Matz (2000), each party was asked to develop national strategies and programs for the conservation of biological diversity or adapt the already existing strategies which in a way reflect the objectives set out in this convention. They were asked to integrate the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into important sectoral plans and policies.
Provisions have been made for the protection of flora and fauna in The biodiversity act of 2016. A person is not allowed to take, disturb, or possess fauna unless the person has the legal authority to do so. If the offense involved a cetacean, a fine of $500,000 is imposed upon the culprit, and if not a cetacean, a fine of $200,000 is imposed. The importing and exporting of fauna is also punishable unless the person has the legal authority or permission to do so. The majority of activities that were licensed under the Wildlife Conservation Act and the Sandalwood Act will continue to require a license even under the Biodiversity Conservation Act and regulations. Arrangements made by the authorities will make sure that the current license of an individual continues to be valid until its expiration date. Some activities were not originally licensed under the Wildlife Conservation Act but now they will require a license under the Biodiversity Conservation Regulations. These include- Feeding the fauna, export, and import of fauna, wildlife rehabilitation, sandalwood supplies, its processing and dealing, flora bioprospecting, etc.
In the convention on biodiversity UN, Morgera, and Tsioumani (2012) state that the state recognizes its right over its natural resources and thus gives the authority of access to genetic resources to its national governments. It is the responsibility of each Contracting Party to generate conditions for facilitating access to genetic resources for environmentally safe usage by Contracting parties. Also, access to genetic resources is subject to prior informed consent of the Contracting Party that is providing the resources. Each contracting party must take legislative, administrative, and policy measures with the intention of sharing equal benefits that arise from the commercial utilization of genetic resources with the contracting party providing such resources.
The biodiversity act of 2016 provides for the sound development of programs for efficient management and conservation of species, communities, and habitats for sustainable use, protection of native species, habitats, communities. It will also help in increasing nature-based tourism and maintain firm control of pests and other threatening processes. These programs can only be approved by the minister and public authorities need to have regard to programs that have been approved. These programs are not entirely subsidiary legislation but they do explain in great detail the mechanisms in the Act and various regulations concerning their conservation management objectives.
The convention on biodiversity, UN, on the other hand, states that the contracting parties which take into account the needs of developing countries should establish programs for scientific and technical education along with training in measures for the identification and conservation of biological diversity and its various components and provide support for training for different needs of various developing countries. They should also promote and encourage research that in one or multiple ways contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity when it comes to developing countries. Promoting and cooperating in the scientific improvements in biological diversity research in the development of sound methods for conservation and sustainable use of biological resources is also required.
The biodiversity act of 2016 publicly provides the ministerial guidelines for community advice of decision making and its considerations. It also stated that the minister must provide an explanation whenever a decision is made contrary to the guidelines mentioned in the Biodiversity act of 2016. The act also gives the right to the minister for granting exemptions from provisions of the act quite like the existing exemption provisions in the Environmental Protection Act and Commonwealth EPBC act. However, any ministerial approved exemptions will be subject to parliamentary disallowance. These disallowances are also provided for determinations- whether species are flora or fauna, a listing of environmental pests, allocation of property infauna, and rules for the harvest of wild sandalwood.
The role of a minister is very much similar to that of a Secretariat in the convention on biodiversity UN. The secretariat arranges for meetings of the conference parties and performs all the functions assigned to it by any protocol. It must prepare reports on the execution of its functions and present these reports before the parties. It needs to coordinate with other important international bodies for entering into administrative and contractual agreements for properly performing its functions. At the very first meeting, the conference of parties needs to designate the secretariat from those competent international organizations which have shown their interest in carrying out the functions of a Secretariat.

Ananya Singh
Author: Ananya Singh

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