Come October 1, the city of Hyderabad is going to host the biggest ever global summit in the history of independent India – the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The event, which is the 11th edition of Conference of Parties (CoP-11) for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), will take place in Hyderabad from 1 Oct’12 – 19 Oct’12 and is expected to attract more than 8,000 delegates from 193 nations across the globe.
However, except for few, most of the citizens are not aware of this conference. Though GHMC is trying its best by installing unique billboards and hoardings at several stretches in the city, filling potholes on city roads, beautifying the flyovers, and planting saplings, there is not much being done to spread awareness about CoP 11, leaving the locals with no clue on what’s going to happen. But here at HIOC, we never leave our audience clueless, we want them to be knowledgeable. Thus, we compiled a brief summary to help you know the whys, whats, and whens of the event.
Biodiversity: Biological diversity or biodiversity is all about the variety of life on earth. It includes species (living organisms) diversity, genetic (genetic variation within species) diversity, and ecosystem (habitats, biological communities and ecological processes) diversity.
India’s biodiversity: India is rich in biodiversity and is popularly known as a megadiverse country. India accounts for nearly 7% of world’s biodiversity with about 7.6% of mammalian species, 12.6% of avian species, 6.2% of reptilian species, and 6% of flowering plant species.
India also established a network of 668 Protected Areas (PAs) extending over 1,61,221.57 sq.kms. which comprises of 102 National Parks, 515 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 47 Conservation Reserves and 4 Community Reserves. We have 40 Tiger Reserves and 28 Elephant Reserves. Five Indian PAs are recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, due to their uniqueness and richness in flora and fauna.
Also, India is one of the eight primary centres of origin of cultivated plants with diversity of crops including 375 closely related wild species mainly of rice, several important pulses, millets, vegetables, fruits and fibre plants. Around 140 breeds of domestic animals are also found in India.
Covering just 2.4% of the world’s land area, India accounts for over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals while supporting almost 18% of human population and a large livestock population.
In the last three decades while most developing countries have lost forests, Indian has added 3 million hectares of forests and tree cover.
Convention on Biodiversity (CBD): Over the last few decades, due to several factors such as habitat fragmentation, development imperatives, unsustainable consumption pattern and various human activities there was concern over the decline in biodiversity all across the world. This global concern over the loss found expression in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Of all the international treatises, the CBD stands as the major convention which is at the heart of the human well-being. 193 countries from all across the world are members of the convention as parties.
Objectives of CBD: As a first comprehensive global agreement to address all aspects relating to biodiversity, CBD has three major objectives.
- Conservation of biodiversity
- Sustainable use of components of biodiversity and
- A fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources
Conference of the Parties (CoP)
To regulate the Convention, a governing body known as the Conference of the Parties (CoP) is formed which plans the implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings. All the countries/parties of the Convention meet to reaffirm their commitment to the objectives of CBD. CoPs are critical global conferences on biodiversity which are held at different parts of the world every two years.
Since 1992, ten meetings of the CoPs to the CBD have been held. CoP 1 was held in 1994 at Nassau, Bahamas and the last, CoP – 10 was held in 2010 at Nagoya, Japan. So, the next CoP – 11 will be hosted by India at Hyderabad, from October 1 to 19, 2012.
Eleventh International CoP at India
CoP – 11 will be a prestigious event for both central and state governments of India with the participation of nearly 8,000 delegates from 193 global countries. An estimated amount of Rs 1,000 crores is being funded for the event collectively by the United Nations, Government of India and Andhra Pradesh State Govt.
- CoP – 11 will be held between 1st to 19th Oct.
- The event begins on Oct. 1 with Meeting of Parties (MoP) on Bio-safety Cartigena Protocol and continues till Oct. 5
- From Oct. 8 – 19 Conference of Parties (CoP) will take place
- From Oct. 12 – 19 – High level segment meeting on Biodiverstiy and livelihoods; Integration of value of Biodiversity in national planning and accounting process; Strategy for resource mobilisation; and Operationalisation of Nagoya Protocol will take place.
- Hyderabad has been declared as the Biodiversity capital of the country
- The venue for CoP – 11 is Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC). Exhibitions and a few other events of CoP-11 will be organised at Hyderabad International Trade Expositions Ltd. (HITEX) which is adjacent to HICC.
The Agenda of CoP – 11
The agenda of CoP meetings is primarily drawn from the decisions of the previous CoP. The key issues on the agenda of CoP-11 are:
- Strategic Plan: Setting national targets and updating National Biodiversity Action Plans (NBAPs)
- Status of Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing
- Strategy for Resource Mobilisation: Establishment of targets, review of implementation
High Level Segment of (HLS) CoP-11
High level segment of CoP – will be held from 17-19 Oct. Unlike the agenda of CoP, which is mostly from the decisions of previous CoP, the HLS is decided by the host government in consultation with the CBD.
- Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Progress at National Level and Resource Mobilization
- Biodiversity for sustainable development, livelihoods, poverty reduction and food security
- Coastal and Marine Biodiversity
- Implementation of Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing
Importance of the CoP
- The slogan of CoP – 11 : Prakruthi Rakshati Rakshita (“Nature protects if she is protected”) reflects the need of conservation of bio-diversity.
- The event gives India an opportunity to combine, scale-up and project her initiatives and strengths on biodiversity.
- CoP-11 would not only bring focus on need for balancing economic development, demographic pressures and environmental conservation in developing countries such as India, but also urges the need to spread awareness for better use and management of biological resources among different stakeholders
- It also provides an unique platform for all the countries to display, promote, interact, learn and network from each other’s experiences and knowledge relating to biodiversity.
- Especially for India, CoP-11 helps in the process to emerge as a leading voice in biodiversity conservation as it has to define and drive the global agenda for the next few years.
How Hyderabad is preparing for CoP – 11?
As a mark for the occasion the state government is planning to set up a biodiversity museum, pylon, and park on a 15-acre land on the Gachibowli-Mehdipatnam road, Hyderabad. The foundation stone for the Rs 100 crore museum will be laid during the meet.
- Around Rs 180 crores has been sanctioned for the beautification works in the city which includes beautification works at Necklace Road, PVNR Elevated Expressway and Langer Houz flyovers, development of Nehru Zoological Park, re-carpeting the roads on 21 corridors, footpaths, storm water drains, greenery, street lights, signage boards, etc.
- Repairs to six historic clock towers, lining up of stone sculptures, murals on different road stretches, water fountains, etc. are a part of beautification works.
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) specialists will be part of the foolproof security system for the CoP-11.
- A special team from the Indian Army will be at the conference venue to tackle any CBRN threat from terror outfits
- Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the monitoring system and trained the specialists.
- All gates at the venue will be equipped with under vehicle scanners so that all vehicles would be automatically scanned
Hyderabad traffic cops even urged the city auto drivers to follow proper etiquette with the international delegates visiting to the conference. Surprisingly, all of them assured the city police that they will dress properly, follow traffic rules, avoid rude behaviours, and will not fleece visitors.
Sources: cbdcop11india.in, Hindu, DC
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