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Delhi Declaration on Agrobiodiversity Management adopted

The first International Agrobiodiversity Congress (IAC) held in New Delhi has adopted New Delhi Declaration on Agrobiodiversity Management.

In the declaration, 900 participants from 60 countries have urged researchers and policy-makers to strengthen and promote complementary conservation strategies to conserve and use agrobiodiversity.

Key Features of Declaration

  • Agrobiodiversity Conservation: Nations must accord top priority to the agrobiodiversity conservation and their sustainable use towards achieving targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to poverty alleviation, food and nutritional security, good health, gender equity and partnership.
  • Traditional knowledge: Recognises importance of traditional knowledge on agrobiodiversity of farm women and men, pastoralists and other tribal and rural communities and also their role in its conservation and use for a food and climate resilient world.
  • It calls upon nations to develop the necessary funding, legal and institutional mechanism to ensure and facilitate their continued active participation.
  • Conservation strategies: Urge policy-makers and researchers to initiate, strengthen, and promote complementary conservation strategies to conserve and use agrobiodiversity.
  • It must include wild relatives of crop to ensure a continuum between in situ, ex situ and on farm conservation strategies to combat food and nutrition insecurity as well as adverse effects of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss.
  • Modern technologies: Researchers must employ modern technologies including, but not limited to, space, genomic, computational and nano-technologies for characterization, evaluation and trait discovery using genetic resources.
  • Their aim should be to achieve equality, efficiency, economy and environmental security in agricultural production systems and landscapes.
  • Global exchange: It reemphasizes the necessity of global exchange of plant, animal, aquatic microbial and insect genetic resources for food and agriculture to meet the ever-growing food and nutritional needs of each country.
  • Countries need to harmonise their multiple legal systems and prioritize the improvement of their phytosanitary capacities to facilitate safe transfer of genetic resources using latest technologies and trans-boundary partnerships.
  • Agrobiodiversity index: It suggests developing and implementing an agrobiodiversity index to help monitor conservation and use of agrobiodiversity.

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PM Narendra Modi inaugurates first International Agro-biodiversity Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first International Agro-biodiversity Congress in New Delhi.

The 4-day Congress (from November 6 to 9, 2016) will be attended by 900 delegates from 60 countries to discuss conservation of genetic resources.

What is Agrobiodiversity?

  • Agrobiodiversity is defined as the variety and variability of plant, animals and micro-organism that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture. It includes all species that are closely inter-woven in an agricultural ecosystem.
  • India is one of the most diverse countries in the world possessing unique crop and animal diversity. It covers only 2.4% of the world’s land area and yet it harbours 7-8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals.

Key Facts

  • The conference has been organised by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources and Biodiversity International, a CGIAR Research Centre headquartered in Rome, Italy.
  • It will address the threats imposed by climate change and ways to achieve sustainable agriculture production. It may adopt ‘Delhi Declaration on Agrobiodiversity management and use’.
  • It will lead to discussion and knowledge sharing on issues for efficient management of gene banks, crop diversification, science-led innovations in genetic resources, issues relating to quarantine, intellectual property rights and biosafety and biosecurity.
  • It will also prepare a road map to enhance food, nutrition and health security by optimal utilisation of agrobiodiversity while protecting agro-ecosystems.
  • It also seeks to develop a network of partnerships to strengthen biodiversity management system at national, regional and global levels.

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