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PM pledges $50 million to strengthen, protect biodiversity

PM pledges $50 million to strengthen, protect biodiversity

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launches "the Hyderabad Pledge" and announced that his government had decided to earmark $50 million "to strengthen the institutional mechanism for biodiversity conservation in India."

E. Kumar Sharma
E. Kumar Sharma
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday launched "the Hyderabad Pledge" and announced that his government had decided to earmark $50 million "to strengthen the institutional mechanism for biodiversity conservation in India."  

Inaugurating a high level segment of the 11th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological diversity Conference in Hyderabad, the first such conference to be held since the launch of the United Nations 'Decade of biodiversity' last year, he said: "We will use these funds to enhance the technical and human capabilities of our national and state mechanisms to attain the Convention on biological diversity objectives." He also said funds had been earmarked to promote similar capacity building in other developing countries.

India is currently the president of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological diversity.

"Despite global efforts, the 2010 biodiversity target we had set ourselves under the Convention on biological diversity was not fully met," said Singh. "This situation needs to change." The critical issue, he said, was " how to mobilise the necessary financial, technical and human resources, particularly the incubation, sharing and transfer of technology."

He said India had tried a unique approach to protect traditional knowledge by establishing a "Traditional knowledge digital library." This database, he said, "has 34 million pages of information in five international languages in formats easily accessible by patent examiners. This library promotes the objectives of the Nagoya Protocol on the issue of protection of codified traditional knowledge systems such as Ayurveda."

He also pointed out that "despite the pressure on land in our densely populated country, India has designated a total of 605 protected areas, covering approximately 4.74 per cent of the total geographical area of the country, in a network of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves." The challenge, going forward, he felt, was "to develop new models of inclusive conservation."