India will focus on access to genetic resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization at the Meeting of Parties (MoP) on biosafety, which kicked off in the city on Monday.
“We will discuss issues related to access and benefit sharing (ABS) as part of the final outcome of the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP) which was held in Delhi in July. Around 92 countries have signed the terms of the Nagoya Protocol,” said M.F Farooqui, additional secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) and chairman of National Biodiversity Authority (NBA).
He added that awareness regarding Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) and Biosafety Clearing House Mechanism (BCH) in order to raise awareness regarding the release of LMOs will be a focal point of India’s agenda at the MoP.
Though India has not yet ratified the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Protocol on liability and redressal, the government will remain compliant to the provisions of the protocol, assured M.F Farooqui.
“India is among the 10-odd countries which have laws for the enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol. The discussions have been initiated and the process of ratification will follow after conclusion of inter-ministerial discussions,” he added.
In transactions between parties to the protocol and non-parties, which include countries such as the United States which is a major producer of LMOs, the parties will have the right to seek required information for effective risk assessment.
Addressing the concern on import of LMOs in India and risks to human health and biodiversity, Farooqui added that it was dealt with on a case-on-case basis.