Monday, July 15, 2024

UN proposes to share DNA sequences of plants, animals & microbes at COP16


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Shillong, July 1: The UN on Monday released proposals to share the use of “digital sequence information on genetic resources (DSI)” — the DNA sequences of plants, animals and microbes — to support communities supporting nature.


The documents are published six weeks before nations meet in Montreal, Canada, from August 12-16 for final negotiations within the DSI intergovernmental negotiating group before the matter comes up for decision at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 16) in October in Colombia, US.


The goal is to equitably share revenues from products such as drugs, cosmetics, and agricultural biotechnology. However, agreement is needed on several questions, including which industrial sectors using DSI should share its benefits.


According to Co-Chairs of the negotiations, Mphatso Kalemba of Malawi and William Lockhart of the UK, the sectors that depend most on DSI generate from “one to a few trillion dollars annually;” just 0.1 per cent of US $1 trillion would yield $1 billion for the global fund; 1 per cent would amount to $10 billion.


The funds will support the conservation and sustainable use of nature, including related activities of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, and building capacity worldwide to generate and use DSI.


“The world has been presented with an opportunity to mobilise additional resources for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use whilst enhancing benefits from the use of DSI through this mechanism and its fund. I hope that delegates will work hard in Montreal to unpack that solution to the world,” Kalemba said. (IANS)


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