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India pro bio-diversity conservation
India supports the legally binding pact for access to and benefit from sharing of bio-resources related to climate change. Environment Minister said that India is committed to playing a leadership role in biodiversity conservation.

Keen to play a key role in the biodiversity summit in October in Japan, India today said it favours a legally binding pact for access to and benefit sharing of biological resources in convergence with climate change.

"Nagoya meet, to be attended by 193 members, is crucial for developing nations like India which is seeking a single legally binding international pact to deal with access to and benefit sharing of bio-resources, a move vehemently opposed by the rich countries," environment minister Jairam Ramesh said.

He was speaking at a national seminar on "biodiversity, development and poverty alleviation in the context of climate change," being held today on the occasion of International Day for Biodiversity.

"The developed and developing nations have divergent views on various issues such as sharing of biological resources. But we would work with the international community to minimise the differences at the meet," the Minister said.

At the tenth Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), one of the major items for consideration is the adoption of an international protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and a text is being negotiated in this regard.

In view of climate change threats, the minister said that there was a need to converge it with biodiversity "as both can't be seen in two different perspectives".

He was of the opinion that like in climate change, in biodiversity area too India must take voluntary unilateral action on its own "as it is in our interest.. for the welfare of our people." He referred to various steps taken for biodiversity conservation such as enactment of an Act and setting up an Authority in Chennai.

Ramesh also said that the 11th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held in 2012 in New Delhi which not only shows India's role as a major mega-diverse country, but also its commitment to playing a leadership role in biodiversity conservation.

"The event will mark the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit held in 1992 and will be called the "Rio+20" CBD Conference," he noted.

Source: Governance Now