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India pledges $50 million for biodiversity initiatives at Hyderabad conference

The "Hyderabad pledge" came during the eleventh annual biodiversity initiatives conference known as COPP, which took place in India this year.

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holds up commemorative postage stamps on the environment as other delegates applaud during the opening session of the high level segment of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) during the Convention on Biodiversity in Hyderabad on October 16, 2012. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)

India said Tuesday that it would put $50 million towards biodiversity conservation over the next two years.

The "Hyderabad pledge" came during the eleventh annual biodiversity initiatives conference known as COPP, which took place in India this year.

Along with the announcement, the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, said that countries should take environmental issues to heart despite economic woes.

Singh said: "It is this consciousness that should provoke us to greater action even as we cope with the pressures of the current global economic downturn."

"We will use these funds to enhance the technical and human capabilities of our national and state-level mechanisms to attain the Convention on Biological Diversity objectives," he added, according to the Times of India.

The move is a break from India's policy on environmental initiatives such as those that seek to reverse climate change, insisting that they should not stymie economic growth in developing countries.

This makes India the first country to make a pledge under new biodiversity initiative created Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COPP).

The treaty stemmed from a UN conference in the early 1990s.

The New York Times reported that the pledge by India is only a fraction of the $80 billion necessary to protect endangered species and maintain biodiversity worldwide.

GlobalPost has already reported on another major announcement out of the conference, specifically, the list of the 25 most endangered primates.

Primates are humans' closest relatives.

The most endangered include the Red Ruffed Lemur, Rondo dwarf galago, Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur, Roloway monkey, and Grauer’s gorilla.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/121016/india-pledges-50-million-biodiversity-initiatives-at