Pope John Paul highlighted the need for biodiversity in his letter to the UN for World Food Day yesterday. His message has been seen by many as a rejection of GM agriculture. The Pope said: ". to reach the objective of adequate food security, what is necessary is the correct administration of biological diversity to be able to guarantee the diverse animal and vegetable species." "Unfortunately there are today many obstacles that are placed in the path of international action undertaken to safeguard biodiversity. ... Other interests seem to hinder the just equilibrium between the sovereignty of States over the resources present on its territory and the capacity of persons and communities to preserve or administer such resources as a function of real needs." The Pope underscores that the "foundations of international cooperation" should include "the principle that sovereignty over genetic resources present in different ecosystems cannot be exclusive nor can it become a cause for conflict." The Holy Father stressed the need to protect the rights of farmers, to "guarantee their participation in decision-making processes" and said that both quality and quantity of food are essential. He added that it was important to remember "the indigenous peoples and communities, whose vast patrimony of culture and knowledge linked to biodiversity, run the risk of disappearing because of a lack of adequate protection." John Paul II dedicated further reflections to the importance of sustainable development and "above all, solidarity. Solidarity, correctly understood as a model of unity capable of inspiring action by individuals, governments, international organizations and institutions and all members of civil society, works for a just growth of peoples and nations." He concluded that the Creator's mandate to mankind is to "dominate the earth and to use its fruits ... this involves respect for the project of creation itself, through a human action that does not presuppose challenges to the natural order." Source: VIS
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