One-Size-Fits-All Approach For Biodiversity Conservation Is Not Acceptable: India At UN Biodiversity Talks In Canada

Area-based targets for biodiversity conservation are a one-size-fits-all approach that is not acceptable, India has said at the UN biodiversity talks in Canada’s Montreal. It has also said essential support to vulnerable sectors, such as agriculture, cannot be described as subsidies and targeted for elimination.

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 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) — a new set of goals and targets that will guide global action on nature through 2030.

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

Delivering the national statement at COP15 on Friday, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said: “Our experience shows that area-based targets are a one-size-fits-all approach that is not acceptable.” 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.

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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.

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

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)