Convention on Biological Diversity Current Affairs - 2020

Facts Box: Cheetah Reintroduction Project

Cheetah has become extinct in India for more than 70 years now due to over hunting. Hence, several steps are being taken for the reintroduction of the cat in the country. It was brought up at CMS-COP 13 as well.

Highlights

On January 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of India cleared way for the reintroduction of Cheetah Project. It is expected that the National Tiger Conservation Authority will reintroduce the mammal in Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary after conducting an assessment.

Cheetah is the only flagship species to become extinct in India.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List has categorized Cheetah as Vulnerable.

Cheetah in India

Cheetah has become extinct in India mainly because of hunting. The last Cheetah was shot in Chhattisgarh in 1947. In 2000, scientists proposed to clone Asiatic Cheetah from Iran. However, the plan was dropped as Iran demanded for an Asiatic lion in return. After such several hurdles, Cheetah is being reintroduced in the country.

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India attends International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

India attended the eighth session of the International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) at Rome, Italy. Agriculture Minister Shri Narendra Tomar attended the session representing India.

The Treaty is in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity. The treaty was negotiated through FAO.

About the session

  • The Governing sessions of the treaty are biennial.
  • Around 146 countries participated in the session
  • International organizations such as FAO, UN were also part of the session

About the Treaty

It is also known as the “Seed Treaty”. It is an international agreement to ensure food security by exchange of world’s plant genetic resources of food and agriculture. It also aims at conservation and sustainable use of seed varieties

Objectives

The International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is based on the following principles

  • Countries depend on plant genetic resources to produce food
  • To provide a broad integrated global system that will provide easy access of genetic materials to scientists, farmers and plant breeders
  • To help farmers on crop selection that adapts to unpredictable environmental changes and human needs.

The treaty provides a list of 64 crop species and their facilitated access.

India’s Nodal Agencies of the Treaty

In India, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is the nodal agency that fulfills the objective of the treaty. However, the ministry responsible to fulfil the treaty is Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as the guidelines of the treaty are completely based on environment resilience.

India’s Legislation

The Indian laws that abide by the treaty are as follows

  • Protection of plant varieties and farmers rights act
  • Biological Diversity Act, 2002. Along with the treaty, the act is also pursuant to India’s commitment towards United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity.

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