Wednesday, 17 October 2012

COP 11 biological diversity: India announces $ 50 million for biodiversity conservation

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 16: India on Tuesday came to the rescue of cash-crunch
UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by announcing financial
support of about Rs 270 crore.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who launched the Hyderabad Pledge on
mobilization of financial resources to the CBD, said the Indian
government had decided to earmark a sum of 50 million US dollars
(about Rs 270 crore). India is currently the Chair of the 11th
Conference of Parties (COP) to the CBD and will lead the world on
conservation of biological diversity on the earth for the next two
years.

Manmohan Singh earlier launched the high-level segment meeting of the
COP 11 attended by ministers and heads of governments of more than 100
countries. The CBD, which had set a target of achieving 20 important
measures in the next eight years, is severely crippled by financial
resources. India’s commitment has given a boost to the CBD’s fund
mobilization drive and it will throw the doors open for others
countries to contribute. Japan has already announced its share of money.

“I am pleased to launch the Hyderabad Pledge and announce that our
Government has decided to earmark a sum of $ 50 million during India’s
presidency of the COP to strengthen the institutional mechanism for
biodiversity conservation in India. We will use these funds to enhance
the technical and human capabilities of our national and state-level
mechanisms to attain the CBD objectives. We have also earmarked funds
to promote similar capacity building in developing countries,”
Manmohan Singh said.

Stating that biological diversity is nature’s insurance against
extreme events that may disturb the delicate balance of the earth,
Manmohan Singh said “we need to work together and act before a
catastrophe is upon us”. India stands committed to work with all
parties to reach the happy compromise that will secure a future that
provides ecological and economic space for each one of us and
sustainable growth for all of us.

He urged all countries to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access and
Benefit Sharing to Genetic Resources, the Prime Minister said
concerted global action is imperative and cannot brook any further
delay. “Despite global efforts, the 2010 biodiversity target that we
had set for ourselves under the Convention on Biological Diversity was
not fully met. This situation needs to change. The critical issue
really is how to mobilise the necessary financial, technical and human
resources, particularly the incubation, sharing and transfer of
technology”.

Manmohan Singh said protecting and promoting biodiversity has always
been an integral part of Indian ethos and civilization. This can be
seen in the thousands of sacred groves that are found all over the
country. “Our traditional systems of agriculture and medicine depend
on plant and animal biodiversity. Conserving the wild ancestors and
relatives of the cultivars we use today is of paramount importance to
us”.

India has recognised that it should look beyond large animal species
and take a more organic approach to conservation. It has therefore,
initiated work on species recovery programmes on 16 identified
endangered species including the snow leopard, hangul and lion. Such
country level efforts at preservation should be complemented by
enhanced international collaboration to check wildlife crime, he added.

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