India signs Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources

The objective of the Protocol is to share the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, which would promote sustainable use of biological diversity but not exploit it or those who claim a right over its components.

"I hope the protocol is signed by as many countries as possible as quickly as possible because really this is an area where a lot of work needs to be done...both South-South and North-South in cooperation," T Chatterjee, India's Environment Secretary, who signed the Protocol yesterday at the UN headquarters, told reporters.

"Domestically, India has adopted several measures and public policies that give priority to the sustainable use of biodiversity and the services that it provides as essential elements of human well-being," he said.

With India signing, the total number of signatories now stands at 23, which include Germany, Japan and Brazil.

The Protocol, whose full name is Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation, was adopted last year in Japan at the 10th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 10) to the Convention of Biodiversity.

India will host COP 11 in 2012."As a mega diverse country and the incoming President of the 11th Conference of Parties, I am happy to share that India has participated actively and contributed substantively to the negotiation and adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing," Chatterjee said.

The Protocol needs 50 nations to sign up before it can come into force.Chatterjee said that Japanese companies in India were already following the rules of the Protocol and compensative the relevant villages for use of a specific resource.
"The market is already responding," he said.

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