The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) to raise awareness about the underlying threats to and the need for biodiversity conservation.

Advances in biotechnology and associated areas have increased the value of biodiversity and related knowledge of indigenous communities and lent impetus to global bioprospecting activities. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) put in place a framework for regulation of such activities and replaced the existing regime of free access to bioresources with a framework where indigenous communities would be compensated for use of their knowledge, innovation and practices.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the first international instrument to deal with issues of ethics and equity with regard to the sharing of benefits derived from genetic resources between those who have conserved them and those who exploit them.

Who were the first Indians? Were they the chocolate-hued Dravidian southerners or the dark-skinned tribals that inhabit East India and the Andaman islands? Was the relatively fair Indo-European population of the North the original settler? Or did the Mongoloid-featured Tibetan-Burmans beat the rest to it? When and how did the pioneers reach India? What routes did they take?

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are strung out in isolated emerald splendour across the Bay of Bengal. It is their inaccessibility that has helped put them on the global genetic map.

GANDHINAGAR: Special task force formed by state government after 2007 poaching incidents has suggested that apart from use of GPS-based tracking and other modern surveillance systems, establishment of gene pool population and a genetic laboratory for cryopreservation of genetic material is needed to save lions.

This document provides an overview of the main kinds of agricultural biotechnologies that have been used in the crop, forestry, livestock, fishery and agro-industry sectors in developing countries in the past and that were covered in a e-mail conference which runned from 8 June to 5 July 2009.

Biodiversity measurement is necessary to evaluate conservation alternatives and understand how to maximize biodiversity returns on conservation budgets. In the economics literature, most studies focus on species level diversity. Existing measures based on species' pairwise genetic differences do not perform optimally.

Biotechnology in agriculture has generated a great deal of controversy in recent years. Of the many scientific advances that have occurred in plant breeding since Gregor Mendel conducted his experiments about 150 years ago, crops with genetic modifications seem to have been accorded a unique status.

Authored by MS Suneetha and Balakrishna Pisupati and presented during a side-event at ABS 7, this report attempts to assess and analyze the issues related to benefit sharing, the entry points for discussions on the issues and the possible considerations that national implementing authorities should make before deciding on benefit sharing principles and policies.