UN conference on biodiversity begins Monday

Last Updated: Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 18:44

Hyderabad: The stage is set for the United Nations conference on biodiversity beginning here Monday, with India for the first time since independence, hosting the international event of this scale, officials said.

About 2,000 delegates from more than 150 countries will attend the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP MOP 6).

The first of the two events will conclude Oct 5 while the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11) from Oct 8 to 19 is expected to see participation of delegates from over 190 countries, including some heads of states and governments.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who will attend the conference Oct 16, will also unveil a biodiversity pylon and lay foundation stone for a biodiversity park and a museum.

Environment and forests ministers from over 150 countries and officials from international organisations such as World Bank and Asian Development Bank will also participate.

During the second event, mayors from 70 countries are expected to participate in the Cities for Life: City and Sub-National Biodiversity Summit Oct 15-16.

The meeting beginning Monday will discuss and adopt further decisions to contribute to ensuring the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology.

"These will include decisions to advance the implementation of the 10-year Strategic Plan for the Protocol adopted in 2010 and the entry into force of the Nagoya - Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Protocol," said a statement from the secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

"COP MOP 6 provides yet another opportunity to further strengthen international cooperation and build global political support for the Protocol and its Supplementary Protocol. It also presents an opportunity to lay new strategies and mobilise resources for the implementation of the two treaties," said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The CBD is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.

With 194 parties, the convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a subsidiary agreement to the convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. So far 159 countries have ratified the Cartagena Protocol.

At the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), the venue of the conference, and the nearby Hyderabad International Trade Exhibition (HITEX), workers were busy giving final touches to the arrangements for the mega event.

Security team from United Nations has taken control of HICC, where the delegates will participate in the deliberations while the exhibitions and other side events will be held at HITEX.

Officials said access to HICC will be restricted even for the mediapersons. However, arrangements have been made for live telecast of the sessions at HITEX.

A thick security cover has been thrown around the two venues in Cyberabad, the IT district.

With Telangana groups demanding a separate state holding a march at Hussain Sagar Lake at the heart of the city Sunday, police were not taking any chances.

IANS



First Published: Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 18:44

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