Increasingly Monsanto is drawing opposition across the globe. In The Times of India Laxmi Prasanna reports on a recent conference held in Thiruvananthapuram that attracted green activists and scientists from around the world.
As part of the global call against Monsanto, participants including green activists from 400 cities across the world including Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram will organise protest marches and rallies on October 12, calling for Safe Food to prevent contamination of food by genetically modified crops and toxic pesticides. “We have no crisis in food security, it is crisis in distribution of safe food and the government has to address that,” Green activist Sridhar Radhakrishnan told TOI on Friday. Later in the day leading freshwater conservation biologists got together calling for concrete strategies to conserve freshwater biodiversity in a symposium on ‘Aichi Targets and freshwater biodiversity conservation in the Western Ghats’. Though freshwater ecosystems occupy less than one per of the Earth’s surface, it harbors 10 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity. Yet they are one of the most poorly protected ecosystems on earth and face various threats including pollution, overexploitation and alien invasive species. Dr. Jorg Freyhof, Scientist at the Leibniz Institute of Inland Fisheries in Berlin, Germany stressed the need for larger holistic data bases to convince and prioritise arguments for biodiversity conservation. He said policy makers and conservationists need to collate data that is easily available including species description, ecological trait data, threatened biodiversity, Red List assessment, protected area network and priority areas for restoration.