Montreal: The Global Biodiversity Framework must be framed in the light of science and equity, and the sovereign right of nations over their resources, as provided for in the Convention on Biodiversity, said Bhupender Yadav at the Conference of Parties (COP 15) at Montreal, Canada.
Delivering India’s National Statement, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said, “If the climate is profoundly linked to biodiversity, then the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities must equally apply to biodiversity.”
Holding responsible the developed nations for putting “nature under stress” he said, “Because of the historically disproportionate and iniquitous Greenhouse Gases emissions of the developed countries, adding that nature-based solutions to global warming and other environmental challenges are not an answer without resolute action by developed countries to measure up to their historical and current responsibilities”.
“Nature cannot protect if it is not itself protected. Nature is the victim of global warming, and its protective features can do little against unchecked temperature rise” the minister noted.
Highlighting India’s efforts in restoring biodiversity, Yadav said, “Despite India having 17 per cent of the global population, but only 2.4 per cent of the land area and only 4 per cent of its water resources, we are forging ahead in our efforts”.
He said, “India’s balance sheet in implementing the Aichi targets is pro-active and forward-looking and India is on track to meeting its commitments”.
The Minister stated that India has taken a quantum jump in the number of declared Ramsar sites to the current figure of seventy-five. As a large developing country, our forest policy is challenging to implement but our forest surveys are testimony to its success.
“We cannot only conserve, preserve and restore. We must also promote sustainable use and it is in this context that Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi’s clarion call for a people’s movement centred on LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment launched on 20th October 2022 ” he said.
Talking about the SDGs and MDGs, he said “the provision of the means of implementation must match our ambition. The MDGs had 8 goals, the SDGs have 17 goals, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets were 20 and the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) may have 23 targets. The increased expectations through these targets call for matching means of implementation, especially through public finance. Our only source of funding remains the Global Environment Facility that caters to multiple Conventions” he said.
“The value of biodiversity to humankind also lies in its economic dimension alongside the cultural and social. Sustainable use and access and benefit sharing are key to promoting biodiversity, alongside the efforts to conserve, protect and restore” the minister said.
Modern technologies, especially information technology, can assist our goals. Hence the Digital Sequencing Information must be linked to access and benefit sharing in a just and fair manner.
The Minister reiterated that “India looks forward to fruitful deliberations that will preserve and enhance the natural heritage that our ancestors and traditions have provided us. We are but merely custodians of Planet Earth and our bounden duty is to further enrich the rich biodiversity of Mother Earth, restore its pristine glory and hand it over to the next generation for the benefit of one and all – mankind, nature, and all life forms”.
“What is needed today is Mindful and Deliberate Utilization, instead of Mindless and Destructive Consumption. It is in this context that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Mission LiFE which is a mass movement towards an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Embracing it, let us move forward towards an equitable and sustainable world by implementing the foundational principles of CBD, both in letter and spirit.” he said.