Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday pledged $50 million to strengthen institutional mechanism for biodiversity conservation in the country. He made the announcement while launching the high-level segment of the 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad.
Stressing on the role played by biodiversity in food security and poverty alleviation,he said the funds will be used to achieve CBD objectives likes conserving biodiversity and equitable sharing of the benefits of biological resources.
Singh said that India is focusing on promoting and conserving biodiversity-based livelihoods and incentivising participation of local communities in conservation efforts and called for new models for inclusive conservation.
Placing importance on preserving traditional knowledge systems such as Ayurveda,he said India is trying to protect such knowledge by establishing a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library.
The PM said that India has started work on species recovery programmes for 16 identified endangered species such as snow leopard and lion.
The government is trying to realign existing schemes to do so as in the case of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme,which mostly provides green jobs, he said.
He urged countries to ratify the Nagoya Protocol as India has done and said the critical issue to achieve biodiversity targets is how to mobilise the necessary financial,technical and human resources,particularly the incubation,sharing and transfer of technology.
Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan urged the conference to suggest measures to raise more resources. Resource mobilisation is the most important unfinished agenda… I urge the parties to agree to some measures,commitments and targets on resource mobilisation. This is crucial because… (else it would make) it all the more difficult to achieve the targets by 2020. Our future generations will not forgive us if we fail again, she said.
However,members of civil society and community-based organisations such as Kalpavriksh,Greenpeace and Bombay Natural History Society earlier in the day said that Indias statements at CBD appeared to be doublespeak.
The Indian government has two faces. One is the compassionate face which bats for biodiversity conservation but the other sanctions mass destruction of forests for coal in the name of energy security, said Samit Aich,Executive Director,Greenpeace India.