Today in New Delhi, India
Oct 18, 2018-Thursday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

India willing to pay to save global biodiversity

India is set to announce its share of money to save world's biodiversity and make other countries commit to achieve the targets listed under the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) through a "political statement" at the end of a conference of 193 nations in Hyderabad.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2012 17:39 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

India is set to announce its share of money to save world's biodiversity and make other countries commit to achieve the targets listed under the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) through a "political statement" at the end of a conference of 193 nations in Hyderabad.

"We are working on the countries agreeing to an interim measure," said MA Farooqui, additional secretary in the environment ministry and the person responsible for coordinating the negotiations. "The statement will be to achieve Aichi Biodiversity targets and will set a roadmap," he added.

India is the host of the conference and also its president for two years. Even through someting concrete is not expected, India wants to send a strong statement showing the willingness of the world to protect global bio-diversity under 20 Aichi targets listed in the convention.

The biggest sticking point in the week-long negotiations have been funding from the developed world to the developing world to achieve the targets to improve marine life, reduce biotic pressure on forests, share benefits of from use of natural resources with locals and sustainable use of natural resources.

The developing countries are seeking funding to achieve some interim targets still issues regarding baseline survey and impact of biodiversity are to be resolved. The rich nations, who are obliged to pay, refuse saying that until a baseline survey is done making any committment for money will not be prudent.

In wake of the differences being wide and a consensus unlikely, India is looking at a balancing act by making countries agree to a roadmap. "Prime Minister will provide insight to what we are looking at," a senior government official said.

PM Manmohan Singh will be inaugurating the high level segment for the conference in which 90-odd environment ministers are expected to participate and would be announcing India's contribution to global efforts to save bio-diversity.

Farooqui said that reaching a figure on resource mobilisation will be difficult in absence of "scientific assessment of biodiversity" and emphasised on the aim of all parties to meet Aichi targets. Briefing media, he said Nagoya Protocol signed in last conference in Japan 2011, what constitutes traditional knowledge and importance of a strategic plan are some of the issues of contention which needs further deliberations.

The first week of COP has witnessed adoption of four documents --- global plant conservation guidelines, taxonomy initiative, bio-fuels and its impact on biodiversity and incentive measures. "It is rare so many documents are adopted at such conferences," he said, with a sense of achievement.

Curtain raiser on CBD conference

A fortnight long UN conference on Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of 193 countries started in Hyderabad on October 9. The high level segment will start from Tuesday.

All countries except a few such as US and Laos are signatories to the convention aimed to country specific actions to protect bio-diversity.

Two protocols – Cartagena for safe handling and transport of living modified organisms and Nagoya --- sharing of benefits from such organisms with locals --- are part of the convention.

What is Aichi Biodiversity targets under CBD?
20 targets under five themes to be met by member countries by 2020

The themes are:
* Integrate biodiversity targets into national policies
* Reduce pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
* Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity

Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building

What India has done to meet the targets
India is among few countries to have enacted National Biodiversity law providing for each state having a state biodiversity board, district level coordination committee and biodiversity register in every panchayat.

A National Biodiversity Board has been constituted to look into violations of the provisions of the law.

The law provides for sharing of benefits derived from use of traditional knowledge with the locals.

National Biodiversity Authority set up under the law has prepared an action plan to meet Aichni targets.

Impact of India actions
Mechanism in place on paper but enforcement of the provisions is weak.

Majority of the state governments have not constituted district level committees, key to enforce the law.

Recording of traditional knowledge and benefit sharing is happening only in a few states such as Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

In 2012, the board started first consultation process on draft national biodiversity targets aimed to comply with 20 Aichni targets.

Why protecting biodiversity is important for India:
With just 2.4 % of world land India has 7 % of the global bio-diversity.

India has richest traditional knowledge on use of natural resources for livelihood.

Country’s biodiversity is source of around 70 % of medicines sold domestically.

What the UN conference aimed at:
Having an international mechanism to ensure sharing of benefits with locals

For example, tribals in Orissa can benefit from use of their traditional knowledge for growing water efficient paddy in other parts of the world.

Having a system in place to share experiences around the world on sustainable use of biodiversity including marine resources.

Who are attending the conference:
Around 90 environment ministers are expected to participate at the high level segment to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Oct 16. In all, 180 countries are participating.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan is president of the conference.

First Published: Oct 15, 2012 17:36 IST