Dr. R.S. Paroda, Chairman,(TAAS) Interview ..
It was recommended that there should be a global continuing committee and Biodiversity International(BI), being the key global organization under the CGIAR, agreed to facilitate the process of holding the second International Agro biodiversity Congress in 2020.
The Congress also highlighted that agro biodiversity consists of crop varieties, livestock, fish breeds and agriculturally useful insect and microbial species. Although significant progress has been made towards documentation, collection, conservation and use of genetic resources, yet it became evident that more efforts are needed towards sustainable use of available agro bioresearches, while ensuring greater exchange of genetic resources and the associated knowledge and technologies available.
The congress also highlighted the concern for erosion of biodiversity, which is taking place at a faster rate than before and the need to arrest it through joint efforts of all stakeholders. Also need for global awareness was considered necessary. Further, it was felt that these losses are irreversible and even if one species is lost, it is lost forever. Agro biodiversity is an area where maximum interference of human being takes place and in the pursuit to produce more, available genetic diversity gets reduced in wake of monoculture etc. It is, therefore, quite important for all nations to accord top priority to have a shared vision on agro biodiversity conservation through use and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
During the congress, it was recommended that researchers and policymakers must initiate, strengthen and promote complimentary strategies to conserve agro biodiversity. Further, it was recommended that researchers should employ modern technologies like genomics, biotechnology, space, computational and nano-technologies for genetic resources characterization, evaluation and trait discovery. The countries need to be catalyzed to adopt both multi-lateral as envisaged in ITPGRFA and bilateral (as per Nagoya protocol) instruments to facilitate exchange of genetic resources while ensuring equitable benefit sharing.
It was proposed that governments, civil societies and the private sector should put more emphasis on public awareness as well as capacity enhancement programs relating to agro biodiversity conservation.
During the congress it was strongly recommended that an “International Agro biodiversity Fund” is created for assisting countries for scientific conservation and use of available agro biodiversity and the documentation of available rich traditional knowledge. In this context, there is a requirement of building strong public-private partnership to increase investments towards greater use of agro biodiversity for much needed genetic enhancement will be critical for human welfare.
Finally, the United Nations has been urged through Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to consider declaring on priority an ‘Year of Agro biodiversity’ in order to draw worldwide attention.
Q- where and when will the next conference take place?
Q- Talking about agri-biotechnology what is your take on the current issue on GM Mustard as there has been lot of negativity coming in?