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Going Hungry for Biodiversity

March 1, 2010

by Shinsuke Uno

What’s hot on the plate? Biodiversity. There is much talk about it as COP10 is coming up in October 2010 to be held in Nagoyo, Japan. One of the main topics of the conference is ABS or Access and Benefit-Sharing. That is, how to be fair about the use of genetic diversity as resource. While profit-hungry corporate interests may be lurking behind the scene (to be subtle, that is) of ABS negotiations and COP10, there is a Korean monk who went literally hungry to protect a piece of biodiversity.

A Buddhist monk, Jiyul Sunim went on a hunger strike in February 2003 protesting South Korean government’s high-speed train project that was to run through Mt. Cheonsung, home to many rare species and habitats. Monk Jiyul’s repeated hunger strikes brought her nearly to death and her determination once halted the tunnel project. However, in the end, her voice, the voice of life on Mt. Cheonsung, went unheard; the Mt. Cheonsung tunnel is to be completed in 2010.

What does it take to make the voice of biodiversity heard? Whose voice are we going to hear at COP10?  

for more details on Jiyul Sunim’s activities, follow the links below.,8052,0,0,1,0


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