Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte is a JSPS-UNU postdoctoral fellow in the Biodiplomacy Initiative of UNU-IAS. He is a lawyer who completed his LLB at the National Law School, India and LLM at the University of Warwick, UK. He earned his PhD in Public Law from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Kabir has practiced as an environmental lawyer for over a decade focusing on the rights of indigenous and local communities to their territories and cultures. He is the co-founder of Natural Justice an international collective of environmental lawyers providing legal assistance to communities and advising governments in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Pacific. Kabir has been the legal advisor to the African Group of countries through their negotiations towards the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and within the Working Group on Article 8j. He has also advised the governments of South Africa, Namibia, Bhutan and Micronesia in developing Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) law and policy and is on the Steering Committee of the ABS Capacity Development Initiative. Prior to taking up the postdoctoral fellowship Kabir worked as the legal counsel to the National Biodiversity Authority in India assisting them with implementation and prosecutions relating to the Biodiversity Act.
Kabir’s current research interests are on understanding historical collective trauma amongst indigenous peoples and its implications for rights related law and policy development and implementation. He is working on possible ways of healing the trauma by exploring the selective revival of specific myths, rites, sacred spaces and ritual elders. Kabir is also researching Japanese traditional cultural institutions and concepts and the insights they offer peoples in other parts of the world seeking to rebuild their communities and heal trauma.