Global Biodiversity Framework Be Based Science Equity Poverty Eradication Sustainable Sevelopment India At UN Biodiversity Talks Canada

New Delhi: The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) must be framed considering science and equity and the sovereign right of countries over their resources, India has said at the UN biodiversity talks in Canada’s Montreal.

It has also said the GBF must recognise the responsibility of the developing countries towards poverty eradication and sustainable development.

The second part of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) started on December 7, with 196 parties coming together in the hope of finalising negotiations for a new GBF — a new set of goals and targets that will guide global action on nature through 2030.

Delivering the national statement at COP15 on Friday (Canada time), Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said: “The GBF must be framed in the light of science and equity and the sovereign right of nations over their resources, as provided for in the Convention on Biodiversity.” “It must recognise the responsibility of developing countries towards poverty eradication and sustainable development. If climate is profoundly linked to biodiversity, then the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities must equally apply to biodiversity,” he said.

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India has said nature-based solutions to global warming and other environmental challenges are not an answer without resolute action by developed countries to measure up to their historical and current responsibilities.

“Nature cannot protect, if it is not itself protected. We cannot only conserve, preserve and restore. We must also promote sustainable use,” Yadav said.

One of the contentious components of the GBF to be negotiated is the “30×30” conservation target. It calls for 30 per cent of the earth’s land and sea to be conserved through the establishment of protected areas and other area-based conservation measures.

India has said area-based targets for biodiversity conservation are a “one-size-fits-all approach that is not acceptable”.

It has also said essential support to vulnerable sectors, such as agriculture, cannot be described as subsidies and targeted for elimination.

The parties are also trying to achieve a consensus on eliminating subsidies that are harmful to the environment, such as subsidies for fossil fuel production, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and using this money for biodiversity conservation.

India has said “essential support to vulnerable sectors cannot be called subsidies and targeted for elimination”, while they may be rationalised. Biodiversity must be promoted through positive investment, it has added.

“Our agriculture, as for other developing countries, is the source of life, livelihoods and culture for hundreds of millions. Their food and nutrition security must be ensured, while supporting the modernisation of their activity,” Yadav said.

India has argued that a numerical global target for pesticide reduction is unnecessary and must be left to the countries to decide.

India takes numerous steps to keep invasive alien species at bay but a numerical target is not feasible without the necessary baseline and relevant scientific evidence, Yadav said.

The CBD confronts the threats to the survival of species and ecosystems around the world. It dates back to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and has been ratified by 195 countries and the European Union, but not by the United States or the Vatican.

COP15, the most important gathering on biodiversity in a decade, aims at achieving a historic deal to halt and reverse biodiversity loss on par with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, when all countries agreed to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

It comes after the world collectively failed to meet a single previous CBD-agreed target (known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets).

Yadav arrived at Montreal on Friday and will lead the Indian delegation through the final phase of the negotiations next week. 


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