Union minister for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan on Monday called for effective coordination among countries on providing protection to biological diversity from harmful effects of living modified organisms (LMOs).
While inaugurating the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity which began here at the HICC, Natarajan said balancing technology and management with environment safety is no easy task.
“There are no shortcuts. LMOs is a controversial issue with concerns of its longterm impact on ecology,” she said, adding that the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) recognises the countries’ international obligations on protecting the ecology from adverse effects of modified organisms.
Urging the members to reach on consensus in dealing with such organism and allay people’s apprehension, she said, investment in biotechnology in the Asia-Pacific region is fast increasing and the need for biosafety can not be overstated.
The Union minister suggested that a balanced way should be adopted to ensure that the prescribed measures do not become an hindrance for innovations. She also urged the countries to fast-track the ratification of Cartagena Protocol.
Over the next four days, the Meeting of Parties (MOP-6) to Cartagena Protocol will discuss, review and adopt further decisions on safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs resulting from modern biotechnology.
Earlier, President of COPMOP- 5 Masamichi Saigo from Japan declared the 19- day conference open and handed over the chair of the event to Jayanthi Natarajan, new president of CoP-11. “We have taken key decisions such as adoption of the Nagoya Kuala Lampur Supplementary Protocol on fixing liability on LMOs manfacturers in 2010 and adoption of novel online tools to share information,” he said.
Braulio Ferreira De Souza Dias, executive secretary of CBD, also urged the parties to intensify efforts to implement the protocol.
Bakery Kante, executive director of UNEP, said there was an urgent need to strengthen the capacities of developing countries in adopting or developing the protocol on Biosafety.
Governor ESL Narasimhan, who also attended the inaugural session, pointed out that though advancement in biotechnology has been boosting production of food resources, it must be used with adequate preventive measures to ensuring sustainability in development.
harles Gbedemah, principal officer, biosafety, CBD, UN, Bakary Kante, director, division of environmental law and conservation, UNEP, T Chatterjee, secretary, MoEF, Hem Pandey, joint secretary, MoEF, MF Farooqui, special secretary, MoEF, Minnie Mathew, chief secretary of AP were also present.