Even as Hyderabad gears up for the prestigious Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from October 1, some intellectuals and non-governmental organisations have announced a parallel People’s Biodiversity Festival during October 13 and 16.

The four-day event will be held at Exhibition Grounds at Nampally. “The People’s Biodiversity Festival offers a holistic people’s perspectives on issues related to biodiversity. We will reach out to farmers, the youth, opinion and policy makers and international delegates to the Biodiversity convention, seeking suitable policy correction and collective initiatives at all levels to protect biodiversity,” Narasimha Reddy Donthi, a representative of People’s Biodiversity, said here in a statement on Friday.

He alleged that the CBD was dominated by business and industrial lobbies. “It favours these powerful groups and accommodates their interests. The access to germplasm and the benefits accruing from it are largely cornered by multinationals,” he said.

“In stark contrast to the CBD, the People’s Biodiversity Festival presents people’s voices in a resolve to protect our natural wealth and rich bio-cultural heritage,” the statement said.

On October 14, the organisers would conduct a seminar on ‘open source seeds and seed-savers’ network’. On October 15, they would organise conferences on ‘Adivasis and biodiversity and Climate change and biodiversity’.

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 28, 2012)
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