COP15: India seeks global finance, counters move to reduce subsidies on fertilisers, pesticides

India has sought more public finance to protect its biodiversity and strongly opposed proposals to reduce subsidies on fertilisers and pesticides for the sake of biodiversity, asserting that the livelihood of hundreds of millions of farmers in the developing world depend on farming.

“Our agriculture … is the source of life, livelihoods and culture for hundreds of millions. Such essential support to vulnerable sections cannot be called subsidies and targeted for elimination,” Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal on Friday.  

“A numerical global target for pesticide reduction is unnecessary and must be left to countries to decide,” Yadav said delivering India’s national statement at the convention.

Also Read — Area-based targets for biodiversity conservation not acceptable: India

One of the proposals under debate at Montreal is a call for slashing harmful subsidies by at least $500 billion annually from the estimated $1.8 trillion. A part of the plan is a proposed reduction of subsidies on fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture, but many farming powerhouses such as Brazil and Argentina have opposed the plan.

This is part of a set of 23 global biodiversity protection targets that are being worked out as there are no global goals on the protection of nature and biodiversity after the expiry of Aichi biodiversity targets – a set of nature conservation…

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