Convention of Biological Diversity (Biodiversity Convention)

The Biodiversity Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992) and entered into force on 29th December, 1993. The year 2010 was declared by the UNO as the International Year of Biodiversity. The Biodiversity Convention was held at Nagoya (Japan) in December, 2010.

The main objectives of the convention were: (i) Conservation of Biological Diversity, (ii) Sustainable use of components, (iii) Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

The convention covers all ecosystems, species and genetic resources. It links traditional conservation efforts to the economic goal of using biological resources sustainable. It is also the rapidly expanding of biotechnology, through its Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety, addressing technology development and transfer, benefit sharing and biosafety issues. Importantly, the convention is legally binding and countries that joined it are obliged to implement its provisions. There are 193 parties to this convention, but Andorra, and the states with limited recognition including the United States are non-parties to this convention. The US has signed but not ratified the treaty.

Cartegena Protocol

The Cartegena Protocol on Bio-safety is an international treaty governing the movements of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another. It was adopted on 29th January, 2000 and entered into force on 11th September, 2003. It was under the aegis of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). India acceded to the Biodiversity Protocol on 17th January, 2003. 157 countries are parties to the protocol.

The main objective of the protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of production in the field of safer transfer, handling of LMOs resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity taking into account risk to human health. The Bio-safety Protocol makes clear that products from new technologies must be based on the precautionary principle and allow developing nations to balance public health against economic benefits.

The Protocol promotes bio-safety by establishing rules and procedures for the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs. Parties to the protocol must ensure that LMOs are handled, packaged and transported under conditions of safety. Furthermore, the shipment of LMOs subject to trans-boundary movement must be accompanied by appropriate documentation, specifying among other things, identity of LMOs and contact for further information. These procedures and requirements are designated to provide importing parties.

Nagoya Protocol

The 10th Conference of parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held at Nagoya in October, 2010. Delegates from more than 100 countries agreed on the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization.

Rotterdam Convention

This convention was signed on 10th September, 1998 at Rotterdam. It is multilateral treaty on Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. The convention promotes open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labelling and directions on safe handling and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans. There are 73 signatories to this convention.

Stockholm Convention

This convention was about the persistent organic pollutants. This treaty was signed on 23rd May, 2001 at Stockholm. The main objective of the convention was to restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants. As of January 2011, there are 172 parties to the convention. Parties to the convention have agreed to a process by which persistent toxic compounds can be reviewed and added to the convention, if they meet certain criteria for persistence and trans-boundary threat.

Initially, there were only 12 distinct chemicals listed in the three categories. But subsequently the use of DDT to malaria control, and curtail in advertent production of dioxins and furans-Aldrin, Chlordane, Dieldring, Heptachior, Hexachlora, Mirex, etc. were also added.

Basel Convention

The Basel Convention was held to control the trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes. It mainly focused on the transfer of hazardous wastes from the developed to the developing countries. The convention was opened for signature on 22nd March, 1989 and it entered 175 parties to the convention. Only Afghanistan, Hatti and United States have signed the convention but not yet ratified it.

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (2004 is treaty covers all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. It specially covers 64 crops. The main objectives of the treaty are the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Written by princy

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