Non – Aligned Movement and Conservation of Biological Diversity

Biodiversity or Biological diversity is a term that describes the variety of living beings on earth. In short, it is described as degree of variation of life. Biological diversity encompasses microorganism, plants, animals and ecosystems such as coral reefs, forests, rainforests, deserts etc. Biodiversity also refers to the number or abundance of different species living within a particular region.
It represents the wealth of biological resources available to us. It’s all about sustaining the natural area made up of community of plants, animals, and other living things that are being diminished at a steady rate because of habitat destruction activities planned and undertaken by human beings. Thus, conservation of biodiversity is one of the major components of sustainable development. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), developed countries have promised to make available new and additional financial resources to developing countries but to date this has not happened on the scale required to carry out this job. A large part of this investment is needed to go into correcting the imbalance in the way that the costs and benefits of biodiversity conservation are distributed. By and large, the costs are borne locally—often by poor people in rural areas forgoing the benefits they would otherwise gain from converting natural habitats or exploiting natural resources.
The benefits from conservation, in contrast, accrue on a much wider scale, nationally and globally. “In view of this, Non Aligned Movement has recognized the importance of conservation of biological diversity in the developing nations. In the last few successive summits and ministerial declarations, leaders of the Non Aligned Movement have repeatedly expressed that the land, forests, rivers, sea, biodiversity, atmosphere, glaciers and other components are vital parts of those systems that need to be preserved, and regenerated to maintain the balance of life. The movement recognizes the importance of strengthening the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the establishment of a fair and just international regime on access and benefit sharing that respects the sovereign rights, of States over their natural resources and promotes the fair and equitable benefit sharing from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity and other related international instruments. “In the Tehran Summit of 2012, Non Aligned Movement reaffirmed its commitment to the achievement of the three objectives of the CBD and called for urgent actions to effectively slow, halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity, and accordingly called for necessary means of implementation for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.“NAM has called upon the international community to support developing countries in their efforts to conserve and manage their biological resources including all types of forests on a sustainable basis, through international financial mechanisms, as well as through technical assistance, capacity building and transfer of technology, and in this regard stressed the need to create a global fund on forests to provide predictable adequate financial resources, without conditionality and fully respecting their sovereign right over their resources .
NAM has also advocated the formation of United Nations Forum on Forests to establish a Global Forest Fund. “Many of the member states of Non-Aligned Movement have implemented various programmes for the conservation of marine diversity, including protection of coral reefs and related ecosystems. Examples of the such programmes for protection of marine ecosystems include the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), the Micronesia Challenge, the Caribbean Challenge, the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape Project, and the Indian Ocean Challenge, West-African Conservation on Challenge and the Regional Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of Man groves and Coral Reefs for the Americas Region. NAM has called on all countries to promote and cooperate in the full, open and prompt exchange of relevant scientific, technological, technical, socio-economic and legal information related to the protection of coral reefs and related marine ecosystems.“India, one of the leading Non-Aligned Nations was one of the early signatories to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Even prior to CBD, India has already been having legal provisions dealing with aspects relating to biodiversity. India Forest Act and Forest (Conservation) Act deal with management of forests and conservation of forestland respectively. Wildlife (Protection) Act is for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants, and basically aims at protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environs through national parks, sanctuaries etc. In addition, the Act has a provision to prohibit picking and uprooting etc. of specified plants.
At the 2011 convention of Biological Diversity held in Hyderabad, India launched the Hyderabad Pledge and announced that the country’s Government will earmark a sum of US$ 50 million during India’s presidency of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to strengthen the institutional mechanism for biodiversity conservation in India. India will use these funds to enhance the technical and human capabilities of our national and state-level mechanisms to attain the Convention on Biological Diversity objectives. Moreover, in accordance of it being a major voice of the Non Aligned World, India also earmarked funds to promote similar capacity building in developing countries.“It can thus be seen that the domain of Non Aligned Movement has expanded beyond the political domain and has also focused on the issues pertaining to environment that affect the developing countries. Conservation of biological diversity is one such pertinent issue and as the largest collective voice of developing world, NAM has taken steps to promote and cooperate in the full, open and prompt exchange of relevant scientific, technological, technical, socio-economic and legal information to achieve this objective.

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