India wants to raise awareness on biodiversity conservation

Hyderabad: India would aim to share with other developing countries its knowledge on biodiversity conservation to alleviate poverty during its presidency of Conference of Parties (COP), a government official said on Thursday.

"We have more than 8.5 per cent of the biodiversity in the world and about 18 per cent of the global population. We would like to work with other developing countries in sharing this knowledge in capacity building and on the issue of raising awareness," M F Farooqui, Special Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, told reporters here.

He was speaking at the ongoing UN convention on biological diversity. India assumed presidency of the COP 11 to Convention on Biological Diversity on October 8 here from Japan.

"The other thing on which India has a very positive position is on making use of biodiversity to provide livelihood. This is another experience which we would like to share."

"Finally, mainstreaming, so that biodiversity is built into the programmes of other ministries, not only within the country but in most of the other developing countries. That is how we want to see our presidency go. We want this presidency to be remembered for how it cared for poor people and brought biodiversity on the agenda of poverty alleviation in a big way," Farooqui said.

Observing that India spends more than USD two billion on biodiversity-related activities, the Special Secretary said the country would like to take forward the agenda of the convention on biodiversity – conservation, sustainable use, access and benefit sharing.

Asked about the issue of resource mobilisation for biodiversity conservation, which has emerged as a challenge in deliberations of the convention, Farooqui expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved in the contact group.

The contact group has been formed to come to a consensus over the issue in the wake of differences over resource mobilisation among the member countries in the Working Group.

Replying to a query, he said India would like the Parties (countries) to find common ground on various issues.

To a query on the proposed National Investment Board (NIB) that hopes to fast-track clearances for large infrastructure projects, Farooqui said he would like to focus on biodiversity.

He said there is no contradiction in the laws of the land and the covenants of the international agreements on biological diversity.