While Genetically Modified (GM) crops are engulfing agricultural market across the globe, one part of China seems to be resistant to it. Hong Kong, which holds a special status under the principle “One Country Two Systems”, is against the GM Crops.
“We do not promote GM crops in Hong Kong,” senior conservation officer of agriculture, fisheries and conservation department of the Hong Kong government Chan Kin-Fung said. He is representing China at the ongoing Convention on Biological Diversity.
“In Hong Kong, small farmers import rice from China or other neighbouring countries. If one wants to introduce a GM variety, he has to conduct and present a report of risk assessment tests before the approval, and later, advise the farmer directly on how to sow the seeds, what kind of fertilisers to be used and in what quantity in addition to the technique of using pesticides,” he explained.
Chan also said that his country was focusing on organic farming.
“We always emphasise on traditional farming techniques as they help gain a better price and are risk-free,” he said.
China may develop high-yielding non-GM, hybrid seeds and also setup large seed companies and reservoirs to ensure food security in the coming decades. When asked what their action plan for the convention is, Chan replied, “We are here to emphasise on the Aichi Biodiversity targets. We believe in the principles and want to stress on its importance. We are also here to hold dialogue with other countries and get to learn about their country.”
Talking about the importance of saving forest areas and wildlife, Chan said, “In Hong Kong, 40 percent of the land is dedicated to parks, which is one of the highest percentage in the world.”
* Address underlying causes of biodiversity loss
* Reduce direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use. Improving status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.
* Enhance benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.
* Enhancing implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.