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Various kisan unions and health groups today came together to express shock and dismay at the Punjab Government’s decision to sign MoUs with Monsanto in the name of diversification.

The National Biodiversity Authority has filed the country’s first ever bio-piracy criminal case against US agrochemicals giant Monsanto and its Indian partner Mahyco on the Bt brinjal issue in a Ka

A committee set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests has suggested new parameters to declare pristine forested areas as 'inviolate' and thus out of bounds for mining or other harmful non-forest activities.

The panel, headed by former environment secretary T Chatterjee, has recommended that national parks and wildlife sanctuaries; areas within a kilometre of protected areas; compact patches of very dense forests; last remnants of forest types located in direct draining catchment of first order perennial streams being utilised as water source or feeder stream for water supply schemes; areas in direct draining catchment of first-order perennial streams feeding hydro-power projects and boundaries of important wetlands "shall be automatically labeled inviolate".

Panel calls for 10-year moratorium on field trials of Bt food crops

Citing India’s obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity — whose global conference is now underway here — a Supreme Court-appointed panel has recommended a ban on genetically modified (GM) field trials until the regulatory system is completely overhauled. It also called for a ten-year moratorium on field trials of Bt food crops (which are modified with the Bacillus thuringiensis gene, such as the proposed Bt Brinjal), and a complete ban on field trials of transgenics in crops which originate in India.

A Division Bench of High Court of Karnataka headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen said on Tuesday that dharnas must be organised against the United States of America for its ‘continued intransigence in complying with global biodiversity norms.’

“This might perhaps be the best solution to the problems of global biodiversity conservation,” the Division Bench noted during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by the Environment Support Group (ESG) alleging large-scale violation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, various related laws and the convention on Biological Diversity, 1992.

It will travel to various countries and reach South Korea for the next CoP meeting in 2014

“Green Kumbh Yatra”, a unique pilgrimage that will travel across various countries to highlight the importance of conserving biodiversity, was launched here on Sunday with Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swami handing over a brass pitcher containing pearls to Dr. Braulio Ferrriera de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Institutionalised mechanism forbenefit sharing mooted

As India gets ready to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) arising from utilisation of genetic resources, scientists and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) experts point to the dangers of opening up the country’s rich biodiversity for exploitation by foreign powers without a domestic regulatory framework in place. The first meeting of the signatories to the protocol is being held in connection with the 11{+t}{+h}Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity which began in Hyderabad on Monday.

National Biodiversity Authority chairman Dr Balakrishna Pisupati said the abundant biodiversity of India exists to be shared with public and private scientific research organisations, both inland and abroad.

Speaking on the sidelines of the MoP-6, Dr Pisupati said, “While we agree that there has been unregulated use of our plants by multinationals that saw biopiracy cases filed against them, it will be foolish to restrict ethical access to the rich biodiversity of India by closing our doors to research. We have to keep aside the storms of sensational debate and look into the science of it.”