Come October 2012, environment ministers from every country - and some heads of state – will converge upon the Andhra Pradesh capital, Hyderabad, for a major biodiversity conference.
The city has been chosen ahead of Delhi to host the 11th conference of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the sixth meeting on the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety from 1-19 October next year.
Making the announcement in Hyderabad on Monday, union environment minister Jairam Ramesh said apart from the environment ministers, delegates from international organisations like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will participate in the event.
After calling on state chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Ramesh said Hyderabad was selected after considering various factors like facilities for hosting international conventions, transportation and connectivity. It seems to have scored over the national capital – usually the automatic choice of politicians for such conventions – on all these factors.
Ramesh said Andhra Pradesh would benefits from the conference in three ways. ''First, it will create a major impetus for tourism, as we plan to develop Buddhist circuits for attracting foreign tourists. Second, the conference will provide an opportunity for the craftsmen and tribal people to exhibit their handicrafts and forest-based products for an international audience. And finally, Hyderabad will get a permanent place on the map of international conventions.''
Ramesh said it would be the largest international conference ever to be hosted by India. Some 8,000-10,000 participants are expected to attend the twin events, to be held mainly at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC).