India to Conserve Biodiversity at Grassroots

HYDERABAD, India, Oct 17 2012 (IPS) - India’s National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) is actively promoting decentralised grassroots livelihoods as the best way to  conserve biodiversity as mandated by the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS).

On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced at the 11th Conference of Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) India’s ratification of the Nagoya Protocol, and pledged 50 million dollars for national biodiversity conservation efforts.

At the 2010 meeting of the CBD in Nagoya, Japan, the parties had agreed to halve by 2020 the rate of habitat loss, restore degraded ecosystems and  work to prevent the extinction of threatened species.

But, finding the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to achieve the 20 ‘Aichi Targets’ of the protocol has proved problematic and so far dominated the COP 11 deliberations running in this south Indian city from Oct. 8 to 19, with over 174 countries participating.

“We are discussing the issue of where to garner resources without taking into account local communities, unaware that they have the full answer,”  said the chairman of the NBA, Balakrishna Pisupati.

The NBA has initiated countrywide documentation of biodiversity conservation efforts as a means of better understanding that could lead to  policy-making.
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