National congress to discuss biodiversity’s benefits

Thiruvananthapuram : The upcoming second edition of the National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) will see a lot of light thrown on the most keenly debated topic of biodiversity’s access and benefit sharing (ABS), an expert said here.

The focal theme of the NBC 2015 is ‘Biodiversity: Access and Benefit Sharing’.

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The discussion around the ABS across the globe began after it was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its 10th meet Oct 29, 2010, in Japan’s Nagoya city, and it is now referred to as the Nagoya Protocol.

“This is an agreement that aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way besides taking into account all rights over those resources,” said K.P. Laladhas, member-secretary of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB), the main organiser of the NBC meeting.

The biennial event will be held in the state capital city over five days from Feb 23 and will have leading experts from the field of biodiversity participating.

“The event will be a common platform to exchange knowledge, share experiences, discuss issues, showcase green innovations and more importantly spread the message of biodiversity conservation,” Laladhas added.

The KSBB has the distinction of the being the only state board which has been successful in constituting a functional Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) in all panchayats, corporations and municipalities of Kerala.

The first step towards conservation and sustainable utilisation of biodiversity is its documentation. People Biodiversity Register (PBR) is one of the most comprehensive register of natural resources at panchayat-level, which has been prepared in 600 panchayats of Kerala.