Conference on Biotechnology for Asian Development  

RIS in collaboration with CII and IUCN (Regional Biodiversity Programme-Asia) organized the Second Conference on Biotechnology for Asian Development: Regional Cooperation for Ensuring Access and Capacity Building, on April 7-8, 2004 in New Delhi. The Conference was supported by UNESCO and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. Shri K.C. Pant, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and Chairman, RIS inaugurated the Conference.

Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Director General, RIS; Mr. Mohsen Tawfik, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi, Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati, Head, Regional Biodiversity Programme, IUCN, Asia; and Mr. Raju B. Barwale, Member CII, National Committee on Biotechnology and Managing Director, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited also addressed the inaugural session.

The Conference began with session on Biotechnology and Food Security in Asia: Priorities and Challenges, chaired by Prof. Naiyyum Choudhury, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS), Bangladesh. The panelists included Dr Gerard Barry, International Rice Research Institute ( IRRI), Philippines; Dr Daniel Gustafson, FAO, New Delhi; Dr. Ajay Parida, M.S. Swaminathan Foundation, Chennai; and Dr. Kiran K. Sharma, ICRISAT, Hydrabad.

Dr. Suman Sahai, Gene Campaign, New Delhi chaired the second session on Biotechnology and IPR Regime: International Developments and Policy Options. Dr. Jayashree Wattal, WTO, Geneva;Dr. Mikyung Yun, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, South Korea; Dr Balakrishna Pisupati, IUCN Regional Biodiversity Programme Asia, Sri Lanka;Mr. Praveen Anand, Anand and Anand, New Delhi; and Dr K. K. Tripathi, Advisor, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India were the main panelists.

The third session on Trade, Labeling, Traceability and Issues in Biosafety Management was chaired by Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati, Regional Biodiversity Programme, IUCN Asia. The panelists were: Dr. Heike Baumuller, ICTSD, Geneva; Dr. Suman Sahai, Gene Campaign, New Delhi; Dr. S. R. Rao, Department of Biotechnology, India;Mrs. Gothami Indikadahena, Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka; Prof. Liu Yan, Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences China; and Dr. Paresh Verma, Shriram Bioseed Genetics (I) Ltd., Hyderabad.

Dr. S. R. Rao chaired the Special Panel discussion on Agricultural Biotechnology in India. The main panelists in the session were: Mr. Vivek Singhal, President, All India Biotech Association (AIBA), New Delhi; Dr Vibha Dhawan, Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi; Dr. A. R. Sadananda, E. G. Technologies & Service Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad; Dr. Sandhya Tewari, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), New Delhi ; Ms. Sonu Jain, Indian Express, New Delhi; and Dr. Sivramiah Shanthu Shantharam, Biologistics International, USA.

Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Director-General, RIS chaired the session on Socio-Economic Analysis and Studies on Biotechnology. The main panelists in the session were: Dr. Halla Thorsteinsdottir, University of Toronto, Canada; Dr. Brigitte van Beuzekom, OECD, France; Dr. Josť B. Falck-Zepeda, ISNAR/IBS, the Netherlands; Dr. Derek Russell, National Resource Institute, Australia; Prof. Bharat Ramaswami, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi and Dr. Raju B Barwale, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited.

The session on Public-Private Partnerships in Biotechnology: Issues, Modalities and Lessons was chaired by Dr. S. R. Nair, Managing Director, Biotech Consortium India Ltd. Dr. Ben Peczon, Coalition of Biotechnology, The Philippines; Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, RIS,; Dr. Lakshmi V. Venkatesan, Oppoutunia, New Delhi; andDr Rajeswari Raina, NISTADS, New Delhi were the panelists.

Dr A.P. Kulshreshtha, Director, Centre for Science Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries chaired the session on Country Specific Experiences and Options for Asian Regional Cooperation in Biotechnology. The Panelists in this session were: Dr. Nares Damrongchai, APEC Center for Technology Foresight, Thailand; Prof. Naiyyum Choudhury, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS), Bangladesh; Mr. Rana Nazir Mehmood, WWF, Pakistan; Prof. Bui Chi Buu, Director, CLRRI, Vietnam; andDr. Manoranjan Hota, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

The session on Perspectives from International Agencies was chaired byMr. Mohsen Tawfik, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi. Dr. Josť B. Falck-Zepeda, and Dr Joel Cohen, ISNAR/IBS, IFPRI/ISNAR the Netherlands; Dr. Eija Pehu, World Bank, Washington D.C.; Dr. Paul Sidhu Singh, Senior Agricultural Specialist, World Bank, New Delhi; Dr. Peter H. Chase, US State Department, Washington D.C.; Ms. Liz Fajber, International Development Research Centre, New Delhi; and Capt. K. Vishwanathan, Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation, New Delhi were the panelists.

In the Concluding Session: Future Agenda, Dr. M.K. Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, New Delhi delivered the valedictory address. Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Director-General, RIS; Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati, Head, Regional Biodiversity Programme, IUCN Asia; Dr. Ben Peczon, President, Coalition of Biotechnology, The Philippines; Dr. Nares Damrongchai, APEC Center for Technology Foresight, Thailand; and Dr. Sandhya Tewari, CII, New Delhi also addressed the concluding session. 

For access to Background Note, Presentations and other material from the conference, please visit the RIS website www.ris.org.in