Activists:Directory of biodiversity will lead to plundering of resources

Activists:Directory of biodiversity will lead to plundering of resources

The National Alliance of People’s Movements on Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech at the COP-11 on Tuesday and described the work on creating a directory of traditional knowledge system and biodiversity and making it available in five international languages was a move aimed at helping global investors to plunder natural resources.

Activists Medha Patkar, P Chennaiah, Saraswati Kavula, Ramakrishnam Raju and Madhuresh said in a joint statement that the very principle of access and benefit sharing, one of the three principles of the Nagoya Protocol already ratified by India, was meant exactly to enable the monetary capital investors to reach out to the communities living amid natural eco systems and plunder their resources while offering them only crumbs.

They said: “The claim that the forming a directory of diverse resources is to prevent biopiracy is farcical. The prime minister, in his speech, referred to protecting the coastal and forest communities’ rights but, in fact, projects like the PCPIR and large dams like the Polavaram and others being built and proposed in the river basins of Bhramaputra, Narmada and Krishna have threatened precious ecosystems.”

Protecting environment

They said the prime minister “is talking about community participation” while in reality continuing the British legacy of forced land acquisition. The latest declaration of National Investment Board “will make the entire process totally undemocratic” as there “will be no checks to prevent the adverse impacts on environment which are now being monitored through” sanctioning processes.

“We, therefore, have to challenge any attempt by state or Union governments’ permission to corporations to enter into the communities’ resource space. Before closing the People’s Biodiversity Festival, NGOs, farmers, fisher folk and adivasi organisations have to pledge to save biodiversity into reality,” they added.