Knowledge for Development

Biodiversity

 

Biological resources are the pillars upon which ACP countries can build their economic development. Nature's products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. However, the loss of biodiversity threatens food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy in many ACP countries. The Convention on Biological Diversity, as an international treaty, identifies common problems, sets overall goals and policies and general obligations, and organizes technical and financial cooperation. However, the responsibility for achieving these goals rests largely with the ACP themselves (and of course with other countries on the planet). This dossier provides background information on issues pertaining to the protection of biodiversity that are of special interest to ACP countries.

The 2012-2021 research agenda for Bioversity International identifies two strategic priorities to guide the activities. Theses priorities include: (1) to improve the use of biodiversity by smallholder farmers and; (2) to improve the conservation and availability of plant diversity. For details in the 10 year agenda please visit the following link: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/bioversity/publications/pdfs/1506_2012-2021_Research_agenda.pdf?cache=1332850936 10/04/2012
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Broussonetia-papyrifera Genetic resources have become topical issue in international agricultural, environmental, Intellectual Property, and trade policy circles. It has gained an overwhelming prominence in these areas of endeavour, not only for its conservation significance, but also the unprecedented benefits that accrue from the sustainable use of these resources. Specifically, plant genetic resources are any material of plant, containing functional units of heredity of actual and potential value. Genetic resources generally at the local, national and international levels, play a critical role in the lives of the people of African, Caribbean and Pacific Island (ACP) countries. The people and the communities, in general, of these countries depend on these resources for their economic, social and cultural well-being. Yet, the full potential of PGR is yet to be tapped. The ACP countries and other economies could benefit significantly in the global search for new sources of food stocks, medicines, fiber etc. 05/06/2006
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Solving the problem of environmental threats and a dwindling biodiversity has been on the international agenda for some decades now. The formulation of environmental questions, however, is changing slowly. There has been a tendency to define those questions in sectoral environmental terms, like soil, air, water, and nature (conservation). This approach indeed has been an important first step, because solving these questions contributed to the direct conservation of nature being threatened.In the meantime the majority of national states have decided (WSSD, Johannesburg 2002) to make a next step in conservation - and poverty alleviation - by adopting the idea of ‘sustainable’ societies (see the Plan of Implementation). The basis for this concept came largely from two other United Nations views: those on development and those on biodiversity issues. The former were expressed in the Millennium Development Goals and the Declaration of the UN General Assembly, September 2000. The latter find their basis in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, Rio de Janeiro, 1992). The objectives of this convention are threefold, interalia: ’The conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, which should include appropriate access to genetic resources and appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and technologies, and access to appropriate funding’. 26/02/2006
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Biodiversity is the natural biological capital of the earth and is the basis for survival for mankind as it provides essential goods and services including food, fuel, medicine, shelter and fodder. Biodiversity maintains ecosystems that support biological productivity, regulate climate, maintain soil fertility and cleanse water and air. It is important for recreation, tourism, science and education and provides opportunities for human societies to adapt to changing needs and circumstances, and to discover new products and technologies. Socio-economic development and poverty reduction strategies are dependent on biodiversity. Achievement of development initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals is also related to sustainable management and use of biodiversity. 01/02/2006
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ACP Governments are encouraged to put mechanisms in place that will promote the collection, characterisation and conservation of biological resources and facilitate exploration of new food and industrial product opportunities so that indigenous resources are not over exploited and indigenous people do not lose access to their traditional livelihoods. 30/11/2005
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