‘Access & benefit sharing’ must for conserving biodiversity : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 18

Pushpa Gujral Science City is celebrating ‘International Biodiversity Day’ by organising campaign on Biodiversity as per UN Guidelines on 22 actions for 22 days. During the campaign PGSC organised a webinar on “Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) provisions under the Biological Diversity Act’”. J Justin Mohan, IFS, Secretary, National Biodiversity Authority was the chief guest on the occasion. Sharing his views during the webinar J Justin Mohan, highlighted that biological resources and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, provides for conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits of these bio-resources. The Access and Benefit Sharing mechanism enables fair distribution of these benefits between users and providers of bio-resources for commercial benefit. He highlighted the importance of awareness on procedures for gaining access to genetic resources, and provisions under the ABS Guidelines. He noted that several industries were now coming forward voluntarily to implement these guidelines and their achievements needed to be acknowledged, appreciated and emulated. Such industries could become role models for their counterparts.

Dr. J.Soundrapandi, Project Officer Finance Initiative, National Biodiversity Authority underlined the significance of ABS in the national and international perspective in his talk. He highlighted that ABS could become a powerful tool to achieve the objectives of conservation and sustainable use and its adoption would lead communities towards the path of sustainable growth. He informed that India was a world leader in enacting and implementing the Biological Diversity Act and countries were looking up to us for implementing the ABS mechanism also.

Dr. Neelima Jerath, Director General, Pushpa Gujral Science City, informed that it has been estimated that bio-resources provide services worth US$ 125 trillion per annum globally. Hence, the importance of recognising sovereign rights of every country on its biological resources. India is in the elite group of mega-diverse countries. She said human actions including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change, have pushed nature beyond its limit. If we continue on this path, biodiversity loss could have severe implications for humanity.

Beside this, Pushpa Gujral Science City Kapurthala also celebrated ‘International Museum Day’ today, in virtual mode. Around 100 persons, majority from museums and educational institutions from all over India participated. The theme for this year celebration was “The Power of Museums”. Giving introductory remarks at the occasion, Dr Neelima Jerath, Director General, Science City said museums can be strategic partners in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations as these are essential for community building through their exhibits, collections and programmes.

Science Museums contribute towards shaping an informed and engaged civil society by providing life-long learning opportunities to all.

Dr Jayanta Sthanapati, Former Deputy Director General, NCSM was the key speaker at this occasion. Delivering his talk, he said that Public has increasingly become aware of and interested in scientific development such as medicine, climate change, telecom, etc. which directly affect them. However, inadequate science literacy and gap in knowledge of common people needs to be bridged where Science Centres can play a crucial role. He pointed out that Science Cities and Science Centres across the country have led to increase in understanding and appreciation of science and technology and are empowering people with authentic knowledge and skills for sustainable development. GS Rautela Former DG, NCSM was also present on the occasion.

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