India now gearing up to fight battle over bio-resources

"Nagoya meet is crucial for developing nations like India which is seeking a single legally binding international pact to deal with access and benefit sharing of bio-resources, a move vehemently opposed by the rich countries," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters here.

At the tenth Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), one of the major item for consideration is the adoption of an international protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and a text is being negotiated in this regard.

"This provides an opportunity to bio-diversity rich countries like India to realise benefits for its people from the use of this bio-diversity," he added.
Indicating that hectic negotiations await at Nagoya, Ramesh while equating Nigoya meet with Copenhagen, however, said, "but position of the developed and developing nations on the issue of bio-diversity is entirely opposite to what was at Copenhagen on climate change."

"What Kyoto Protocol was to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Nagoya Protocol will be to the CBD," Ramesh said and added that developed countries preferences ranged from voluntary guidelines to an international regime comprising legally binding and non-legally binding instruments but not a single agreement.

Developing countries are also worried at the attempt of most developed countries to shift matters related to traditional knowledge to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Ramesh said that India will be hosting the eleventh Conference of Parties to the CBD in 2012, which would mark the twentieth anniversary of the Rio-Earth summit.
"The hosting of this CoP shows not only India's role as a major mega-diverse country, but also its commitment to playing a global leadership role in bio-diversity conservation," Ramesh said.

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