GoI yesterday announced that the Union Cabinet had approved the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, which India had signed in May, 2011. The Nagoya Protocol, as we’ve written before was a step in the right direction, but a very small one. India, along with other countries like Brazil, is considered to be ‘mega-diverse’ and the Nagoya Protocol is expected to benefit such countries the most – or more correctly, to protect these countries which are most vulnerable to biopiracy and misappropriation of biological resources. As per PIB’s press release,
“India is one of the identified megadiverse countries rich in biodiversity. With only 2.4 per cent of the earth’s land area, India accounts for 7-8 per cent of the recorded species of the world. India is also rich in associated traditional knowledge, which is both coded as in ancient texts of Indian systems of medicines such as Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha, and also non-coded, as it exists in oral undocumented traditions. ”
The protocol which addresses bio-piracy and benefit-sharing concerns has so far been controversially received and is expected to receive a lot of attention during the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Bio Diversity, which India is hosting in Hyderabad from 8-19th October.
The provisional agenda of the meeting is available here.