Cabinet approves Nagoya protocol | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cabinet approves Nagoya protocol

delhi Updated: Oct 04, 2012 22:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Cabinet on Thursday approved Nagoya Protocol few days before India will be holding the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), under which the protocol was signed two years ago.

The protocol has been signed by 92 countries and five have also ratified it.

"This gives us an opportunity to consolidate, scale up and showcase our strengths and initiatives on biodiversity before the world. As the incoming President of CoP-11, it is expected that India would ratify the protocol before CoP-11," finance minister P Chidambaram said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the high level segment of the conference on October 16.

India is one of the identified megadiverse countries rich in biodiversity. With only 2.4% of the earth`s land area, India accounts for 7-8% of the recorded species of the world.

India is also rich in associated traditional knowledge, which is both coded as in ancient texts of Indian systems of medicines such as Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha, and also non-coded, as it exists in oral undocumented traditions.

The genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge can be used to develop a wide range of products and services for human benefit, such as medicines, agricultural practices, cosmetics, a government statement said.

Much of the world's biodiversity is found in developing countries, and can thus contribute to their economic and social development, and also create incentives for their conservation and sustainable use, thereby contributing to the creation of a fairer and more equitable economy to support sustainable development, it added.

India is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which is one of the agreements adopted during the Rio Earth Summit held in 1992.

One of the three objectives of the CBD relates to Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), which refers to the way in which genetic resources may be accessed, and benefits resulting from their use shared by users with countries that provide them.

India had enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002 for giving effect to the provisions of the CBD.

However, in the near absence of user country measures, once the resource leaves the country providing the resources, there is no way to ensure compliance of ABS provisions in the country where it is used.

Towards this, a protocol on access and benefit sharing has been negotiated under the aegis of CBD, and adopted by the 10th Conference of Parties held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010.

"India has participated actively and contributed meaningfully in the ABS negotiations which formally started about six years back. The objective of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS is fair and equitable sharing of benefits, arising from the use of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies," the government statement said.