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India to ratify Nagoya Supplementary Protocol

India is one of the 50 countries that has signed the protocol

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The Indian government is in the process of ratifying the Nagoya Protocol for a global regime and share the benefits of exploitation of biodiversity with the locals, according to MF Farooqui, special secretary, Union ministry of environment and forests.

The Nagoya Supplementary Protocol aims at contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking into account risks to human health, by providing international rules and procedures in the field of liability and redress relating to living modified organisms.

“It is a long and complex process, and it takes time. We are currently doing inter-ministerial consultations and are considering inputs received from other ministries. We have shown our intent by signing it and we will do it (ratification),” he told mediapersons on the sidelines of the  United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad on Monday.

India is one of the 50 countries that has signed the supplementary protocol. While the protocol requires 50 ratifications to come into force, to date, only three parties have ratified it.

To initiate People’s Biodiversity Registry

The central government is in the process of starting a People's Biodiversity registry with a budget of Rs 300 crore, Farooqui said, adding that the expenditure finance committee had recently approved the same.

“The registry initiative is part of the National Biological Law. The idea is to codify the traditional knowledge. The registries will be maintained right at the grass-root levels,” the special secretary said.

Stating that though India has 2.5% of land area, it still has 7-8% of the world’s biodiversity, he said this was despite the fact that the country had 18% of the world’s human and cattle population.

CBD seeks science-based risk assessment of LMOs

The need for science-based risk assessment of the living-modified organisms (LMOs) has been emphasised by the speakers at the open plenary of the 19-day United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, that began here on Monday.

“The challenge before us is to evolve suitable methodologies for science based risk assessment,” the Union minister of state for environment and forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, said, pointing out that some countries had reservations over the long-term impact of LMOs on ecology and conservation.

Natarajan, who presided over the plenary, also stressed the need for “science-based approaches to regulation” in the light of  increasing investments in biotechnology in various countries.

She said that India, which signed the supplementary protocol on liability last year, was fully prepared to assume the ever-increasing responsibility of dealing with challenges to the conservation of biodiversity.

The minister, however, said that it was not an easy task to balance modern technology and impact on bio-safety. “There are no short-cuts in achieving this balance,” she added.

Being the first meeting under the Union decade of biodiversity, she said that the eleventh Conference of Parties to the CBD was going to be an historic event. She was hopeful that it would provide an opportunity to advance the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

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