India’s International cooperation in Environment & Biodiversity Conservation
India has participated in major international events on environment and biodiversity conservation since 1972. India has also contributed to developing the agreed texts, ratified, and complied with the commitments in various international conventions relating to biodiversity. These agreements are:
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Wild Species of Endangered Flora and Fauna (CITES), Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, World Heritage Convention, and the Bonn Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS).
Note: CBD: The Convention on Biological Diversity, known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international treaty that was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993.
Some other international agreements which have bearing on biodiversity to which India is a Party include UNFCCC, UNCCD, Commission on Sustainable Development, World Trade Organisation, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for food and agriculture and UN Law of the Seas. Major multilateral environment agreements (MEAs) ratified by India
- Convention on Wetlands of International Importance-1971 India ratified this convention in 1982. Issued covered in this convention were Conservation and wise use of wetlands,primarily as habitat for the water-birds.
- Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage-1972 India Ratified this convention on 04.11.1977
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species-1973 India ratified this convention on 20.07.1976
- Bonn Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals-1979 India ratified this convention on 01.11.1983 Issued covered were Conservation, management and wise use of migratory species of wild animals and their habitats.
- Vienna Convention for Protection of the Ozone Layer-1985 India ratified this convention on 18.03.1991Issues covered were Protection of atmospheric ozone layer above the planetary boundary layer.
- Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Laye-1987 India ratified this convention on 19.06.1992 Issues covered were Protection of atmospheric ozone layer above the planetary boundary layer
- Basel Convention on Tran boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal-1989 India ratified this convention on 24.06.1992 Issued covered were Regulation of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)-1992 India ratified this convention on 01.11.1993 The issues covered were Changes in the earth’s climate system due to anthropogenic interference
- Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC-1997 India ratified this convention on 26.08.2002 Quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments for Annex I Parties
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992 India ratified this convention on 18.02.1994 Issues covered were Biological diversity and biological resources
- Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety to the CBD- 2000 India ratified this convention on 11.09.2003 Issues covered were Regulation of trans boundary movement, transit, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs)
- United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 1994 India ratified this convention on 17.12.1996 Issues covered were Combating desertification and mitigate the effects of drought, particularly in Africa
- Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade-1998 India ratified this convention on 24.05.2005 Issues covered were Promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among the Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals, in order to protect human health and the environment from potential harm and to contribute to their environmentally sound use.
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants – 2001 India ratified this convention on 13.01.2006 Issues covered were Protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.
A ‘Global Tiger Forum’ of tiger range countries has been created for addressing international issues related to tiger conservation. India has also actively supported numerous regional and bilateral programmes on biodiversity.
The MoEF, the nodal Ministry for the CBD and other biodiversity related conventions, is also the nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), SACEP, ICIMOD, and IUCN. It has institutionalized the process for developing country’s position on major issues for negotiations under different international conventions.
In this context, the MoEF is continuously taking steps to harmonise national policies and programmes in implementation of various multilateral environment agreements, based on active involvement of various stakeholders.
The MoEF functions in partnership with a number of institutions for developing and implementing national strategies on conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. These partners include Ministries, State Government departments, universities, other academic institutions, autonomous bodies, women’s organizations and NGOs.
Like- Minded Mega diverse Countries (LMMCs): India along with sixteen other mega diverse countries, rich in biodiversity and traditional knowledge, has formed a group known as the Like- Minded Mega diverse Countries (LMMCs). These countries are Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela. The LMMCs hold nearly 70% of all biodiversity. India chaired the
LMMCs for a two-year period from March 2004 to March 2006,and coordinated the activities of this group focusing particularly on access and benefit sharing issues under the CBD.