IUCN urges time out for genetically modified organisms

BANGKOK, Thailand, November 22, 2004 (ENS): Members of the world's largest conservation organization today called for a halt to the release of genetically modified organisms. Meeting in Bangkok, delegates from 1,000 organizations at the IUCN World Conservation Congress are debating 114 motions to decide the future direction of IUCN – The World Conservation Union.

The question with respect to genetically modified organisms boiled down to whether the IUCN should encourage a moratorium on genetically modified organisms, or help establish a sound body of knowledge on their environmental risks and impacts. At the Members Business Assembly today, delegates from both the government and the NGO sectors approved a moratorium by a wide margin.

Other major issues before the IUCN Congress delegates this week:

International trade in wild animals and plants

The governance and conservation of the high seas

The promotion of eco-agriculture as a promising path to ensure food security and conserve biodiversity

Actions to ensure survival of the tiger, Panthera tigris and Panthera pantheris

Conservation of boreal forests

Inscribing the Mont Blanc on the UNESCO World Heritage List
The Plenary of the Members Business Assembly will vote on these motions before the Closing Ceremony of the Congress set for 2 pm Bangkok time on November 25.

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