Capital to host International Biodiversity Congress

The theme of the conference is ‘Biodiversity Targets 2020 and Beyond: Status and Aspirations’.

Published: 14th January 2020 07:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2020 07:21 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: International Biodiversity Congress (IBC), the biannual get-together of researchers, academicians and civil society to discuss the strategies to conserve and ensure sustainable use of biodiversity resources, will be held on the Kariyavattom campus of the University of Kerala from November 25 to 27. This was announced by environmental activist Vandana Shiva here on Monday. The theme of the conference is ‘Biodiversity Targets 2020 and Beyond: Status and Aspirations’.

The topic was chosen since the UN General Assembly had declared 2011-2020 as ‘United Nations Decade on Biodiversity’. Representatives of UN bodies, including the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD), The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are expected for the upcoming edition of the biodiversity congress. Participants will include representatives of academicians, researchers, students, citizen scientists, farmers, social activists and community members. The IBC’s general objective is to facilitate a shift towards ecological civilisation that value, cherish and conserve biodiversity to achieve sustainable development goals, the organisers said. Discussions will be held on developing a network to popularise the philosophy of biodiversity for ecological civilisation.

The congress will provide an interdisciplinary platform on matters related to the status, conservation and sustainable utilisation of biodiversity. The congress will have a special symposium on ‘biodiversity, development and eco-restoration’, in the context of increasing biodiversity loss. A G Pandurangan, former director, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment- Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute; C Sureshkumar, general secretary, Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action were among those who attended press meet.

Twin threats

Vandana Shiva said biodiversity in present-day India faced twin threats—fake food and generic mapping. ‘Fake foods’ like genetically modified(GM)crops flood the market. These fake foods have triggered serious health concerns, she said. The second is the widespread attempt to develop new seed varieties through generic mapping under the garb of seed research. It is a new form of piracy done through the convergence of information technology and biotechnology. Those behind such attempts are trying to secure patent for similarly developed crops. Shiva praised Kerala for being the first regional government in the world to ban GM crops.


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