Convention On Biological Diversity UPSC | Explained

Convention On Biological Diversity UPSC | Explained – The Convention on Biological Diversity, known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty. The convention has three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

Convention On Biological Diversity UPSC | Explained
Convention On Biological Diversity UPSC | Explained

What is Biological Diversity or Biodiversity?

The term biodiversity refers to the variety of all forms of life on this planet. It can mainly be categorized into three types:

  • Species Diversity: based on the number and type of organisms.
  • Genetic Diversity: based on the genetic variation in a particular domain of species.
  • Ecosystem Diversity: based on the habitats and linked ecological processes of the organisms.

About Convention On Biological Diversity :

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993.
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (a multilateral treaty) was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into effect in 1993.
  • The CBD Secretariat is based in Montreal, Canada.
  • It comes under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • 195 UN states and the European Union are parties to the convention.
  • All UN member states, with the exception of the United States, have ratified the treaty.
  • United Nations General Assembly had declared the period 2011-2020 to be the “United Nations Decade on Biodiversity”.

It has two supplementary agreements : 

  • The Cartagena Protocol
  • Nagoya Protocol.

It has 3 main objectives:

  1. The conservation of biological diversity
  2. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  3. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

What is the aim of the Convention on Biological Diversity?

The main aims of the Convention on Biological Diversity are as follows:

  • Sustainable development of the currently available resources.
  • Fairly distributing the benefits obtained from the genetic resources.
  • Increasing the value of biodiversity, i.e. make it more productive.
  • Introduce the importance of the term biodiversity to the human race in general.
  • State out the sovereign rights of the nations over their biological resources
  • Maintain Precautions to promote and practice biodiversity conservation
  • To keep a record of all the biodiversity losses and try to compensate them in any form possible.

Parties of Convention on biological diversity :

  • There are 198 countries/territories who are parties of Convention on biological diversity.
  • India is also a part of this convention.
  • The USA has signed this convention but has not ratified it.

India And Biodiversity Conservation :

Two supplementary agreements :

  • The Cartagena Protocol
  • Nagoya Protocol.

Cartagena Protocol

 

Came Into Force 

  • On 29 January 2000, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP5) adopted a supplementary agreement to the Convention known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
  • It came into force on 11 September 2003.
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Cover Which Area 
  • CBD covers the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology.
  • It addresses technology development and transfer, benefit-sharing, and biosafety issues.
  • The Biosafety Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.
  • The Protocol includes a clause that makes clear the Parties’ intent that the agreement does not alter the rights and obligations of governments under the World Trade Organization (WTO) or other existing international agreements.
Advanced informed agreement (AIA)
  • It creates an advanced informed agreement (AIA) procedure.
  • AIA requires exporters to seek consent from importing countries before the first shipment of LMOs meant to be introduced into the environment
Biosafety Clearing-House
  • It establishes an internet-based “Biosafety Clearing-House to help countries exchange scientific, technical, environmental, and legal information about LMOs.

Nagoya Protocol

 

About Nagoya Protocol 

  • It is a 2010 supplementary agreement to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • It is the second Protocol to the CBD
  • The first is the 2000 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
  • The Nagoya Protocol is about “Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization”, one of the three objectives of the CBD.
Objective of Nagoya Protocol
  • Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Importance of Nagoya Protocol The Nagoya Protocol will create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources by:

  1. Establishing more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources.
  2. Helping to ensure benefit-sharing when genetic resources leave the country providing the genetic resources
What does the Nagoya Protocol cover?
  • The Nagoya Protocol applies to genetic resources that are covered by the CBD, and to the benefits arising from their utilization.
  • The Nagoya Protocol also covers traditional knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources that are covered by the CBD and the benefits arising from its utilization.
Core obligations of the Nagoya Protocol
  • The Nagoya Protocol sets out core obligations for its contracting Parties to take measures in relation to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing and compliance.
COP-10
  • Along with Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources, the COP-10 also adopted a ten-year framework for action by all countries to save biodiversity.
Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020
  • Officially known as “Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020”, provide a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets (divided into 5 sections: A to E), collectively known as the Aichi Targets for biodiversity.

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets are:

  • Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
  • Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.
  • Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species, and genetic diversity
  • Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management, and capacity building.

Questions And Answers Based On This Topic : 

Q 1 . The Nagoya Protocol sets out core obligations for its contracting Parties to take measures in relation to 

  1. Access to genetic resources
  2. Benefit-sharing
  3. Compliance

Which among the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 & 2
  2. 1 & 3
  3. 2 & 3
  4. 1 , 2 & 3

Q. 2  Consider the following pairs: (2016)

Terms sometimes seen in the news Their origin
1. Annex-I Countries Cartagena Protocol
2. Certified Emissions Reductions Nagoya Protocol
3. Clean Development Mechanism Kyoto Protocol

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
Q 3 : Consider the following statements about Nagoya Protocol

  1. It is related with Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS).
  2. It is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  3. The Nagoya Protocol on ABS was adopted on 12 October 2014 in Nagoya, Japan.

Which among the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 & 2
  2. 1 & 3
  3. 2 & 3
  4. 1 , 2 & 3

 

Solution :

  1. D
  2. C
  3. A
Clean Development Mechanism : 
  • The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries.
  • Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.

The Kyoto mechanisms are:

  • Clean development mechanism (CDM) at UNFCCC negotiations
  • Joint implementation (JI) at UNFCCC negotiations
  • Emissions trading (ET)

Source : CBD

 

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