Sunday January 11, 2004.
Some 3,000 delegates from governments, conservation
groups, indigenous peoples’ groups and civil society
organisations will gather here next month to debate on
measures to protect Earth’s biological treasures.
During the 7th Conference of
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity from
Feb 9 to 20, participants would review current and new
initiatives aimed at conserving biodiversity in
various habitats such as mountains, coastlines, oceans
They would also discuss issues
pertaining to the safe handling and transportation of
genetically modified organisms in a subsidiary
gathering, the First Meeting of the Parties to the
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety from Feb 23 to 27.
Science, Technology and
Environment Minister Datuk Seri Law Hieng Ding said
the Convention on Biological Diversity outlined global
commitments for preserving the world’s ecological
The global treaty, which has
been signed by 188 countries, has three objectives:
conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of
biodiversity, and fair and equitable sharing of
benefits from the use of genetic resources.
“Malaysia is considered a
biodiversity ‘hotspot’ as it has 15.7% of the world’s
classified species. As one of the 12 mega-diverse
countries of the world, hosting the meetings shows
Malaysia’s commitment to conservation and sustainable
use of our biological diversity,” said Law.
He said Malaysia recognised the
importance of biodiversity and had thus ratified the
convention in 1994 and launched the National Policy on
Biological Diversity in 1998.
“The policy envisages Malaysia
as a world centre in conservation, research and
utilisation of tropical biodiversity by 2020.”
Various events would be held in
conjunction with the meetings at Putra World Trade
Centre here. They include exhibitions on the
conservation efforts of different countries and
non-governmental organisations, seminars on
biodiversity and book launches.