07 November 2016 Current Affairs: 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.
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.
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.