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Eco-delegates to meet in KL
Sunday January 11, 2004. The Star. Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: 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 and forests. 

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 wealth.  

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.


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