Context: In a virtual celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2020, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, launched five key initiatives towards conservation of biodiversity.

More on the news: 

  • The year 2020 which is also the “SUPER YEAR FOR BIODIVERSITY”, as the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity with 20 global Aichi targets adopted in 2010 ends in 2020.
  • All the countries together are in the process of preparation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. 
  • As a mega biodiverse country, India welcomes those countries who are interested in improving their bio diversity scenarios,  by sharing experiences and best practices with them.  

About International Day for Biological Diversity(IDB):

  • The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 as The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. 
  • History: 
    • The Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993 designated 29 December (the date of entry into force of the Convention of Biological Diversity) as The International Day for Biological Diversity. 
    • In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 
  • Why change in date?: This was partly done because it was difficult for many countries to plan and carry out suitable celebrations for the date of 29 December, given the number of holidays that coincide around that time of year.
  • 2020 Theme: The slogan “Our solutions are in nature” emphasises hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

 Initiatives launched: 

  1.  Biodiversity Samrakshan Internship Programme: 
    1. A National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  Programme.
    2. It proposes to engage 20 students with postgraduate degrees for a period of one year through an open, transparent, online competitive process. 
  2. Not all Animals Migrate by Choice: 
    1. An UNEP Campaign on Illegal Trafficking of Endangered Species.
    2. The campaign launched by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, with UNEP, seeks to address these environmental challenges, to raise awareness, and to advocate solutions.
  3. A Webinar Series on ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Biological Diversity Act, 2002’ was also launched along with the WWF Model Conference of Parties (MCoP).
    1. WWF MCoP is an initiative which involves the younger generation to engage them in conversations around the impact of humanity’s footprint on biodiversity and also the importance of sustenance of biodiversity for our own survival. 
    2. An awareness campaign supported by WWF to highlight the crucial role played by nature through its free ecological services provided for humankind was also launched during the course of the event.

Key takeaways: 

  • As a mega biodiverse country, India welcomes those countries who are interested in improving their bio diversity scenarios, by sharing experiences and best practices with them. 
  • There is the need to limit our consumption and promote a sustainable lifestyle. 
  • This year’s theme “OUR SOLUTIONS ARE IN NATURE” highlights that nature is very important especially in the present context of COVID 19 as it shields us from various catastrophes including zoonotic diseases.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), entered into force on 29 December, 1993. It is a legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity and has 3 main objectives:
    • The conservation of biological diversity.
    • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.
    • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
  • The CBD Secretariat is based in Montreal, Canada and it operates under the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP).
  • The Parties or Countries under Convention of Biodiversity (CBD), meet at regular intervals and these meetings are called Conference of Parties (COP).
  • The convention has been ratified by nearly all countries, except the US. (signed but not ratified).

COP 10

Aichi Targets

  1. Outcome: Adopted Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  1. Date & Place: On 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan.
  1. In force: From 12 October 2014.
  1. Nagoya protocol on ABS:
    1. Provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
    2. Not only applies to genetic resources that are covered by the CBD, and to the benefits arising from their utilization but also covers traditional knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources that are covered by the CBD and the benefits arising from its utilization.
  • Along with the Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources, the COP-10 also adopted a ten-year framework for action by all countries to save biodiversity.
  • Officially known as Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, provide a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, 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.

Case of India

  • India enacted Biological Diversity Act in 2002 for giving effect to the provisions of the CBD.
  • The National Biodiversity Authority is a statutory body, which was established by the Central Government in 2003 to implement India’s Biological Diversity Act (2002).
    • It performs facilitative, regulatory and advisory functions for the Government of India on issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources.
    • The NBA is headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • The United Nations General Assembly had declared the period 2011-2020 to be the “United Nations Decade on Biodiversity”.


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