Jammu and Kashmir Biodiversity Council observes International Biodiversity Day
Srinagar: J&K Biodiversity Council today observed International Day for Biological Diversity by organising a webinar with the theme “We’re part of the solution#ForNature”.
The event was organised with University of Kashmir and University of Jammu as knowledge partners. Former IAS officer and Chairman, Advisory Board Smart City for Jammu and Srinagar, Keshav Varma, was the chief guest while Commissioner Secretary, Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma, was the guest of honor on the occasion.
Keshav Varma shared his experience on benefit of alliance of partners to achieve convergence and direction for biodiversity conservation.
He cited the example of Global Tiger Recovery Program wherein 13 countries, 65 NGOs joined hands for Tiger Conservation.
He expressed serious concern over threats of unplanned urbanisation.
He highlighted the importance of high mountain ecology, high altitude wetlands and need for conservation of biodiversity and ecology of these areas besides stressing the need for monetisation of biological resources.
He spoke on Singapore model of Urban Development and need to learn from it.
He also shared his experience of Sabarmati River Front Project and appreciated the e-launch of awareness materials and newly created webpage by the J&K Biodiversity Council on the occasion and advised for reaching out to youth at country level for bright ideas and updation on use of this important wealth of knowledge.
Sanjeev Verma highlighted the role of Biodiversity Council in providing foundation for steering path of sustainable development.
He elaborated the role of different agencies and departments especially the Biodiversity Council who should involve all Universities, Institutions and adopt an integrated approach for Biodiversity Conservation.
He advised the Council to meet frequently and lay out goals for achieving the objectives of Biological Diversity Act, 2002. Vice Chancellor, Jammu University Professor Manoj Dhar, Dean Kashmir University and other dignitaries briefed about activities of Biodiversity Council.
They informed on constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees and preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers and future plans of the council. Professor Shakil Ahmad Romshoo highlighted the importance of glacial biodiversity, high mountain ecology and need for its documentation and conservation.
Professor Manoj Dhar gave a detailed description of Biodiversity of India and deliberated upon issues and challenges on biodiversity conservation at all levels.
He advocated addressing gaps in conservation, giving importance to field work, creation of awareness etc. He also informed that Jammu University is in process of establishing Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and establishment of seed bank. Earlier, the Biodiversity Council conducted competitions on ‘Painting on Biodiversity of J&K’; Essay writing on ‘How Biodiversity is important for all species including human beings’; (for students) and competition on ‘Innovative ways of creating awareness on Biodiversity Conservation in BMCs’ (for staff of Forest Department). B.V Umadevi, Additional Secretary Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, Climate Change, announced the name of winners of these competitions. She also launched the Elibrary of books written by Om Parkash Vidyarthi, former PCCF. The event was attended by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Biodiversity Council, Dr. Mohit Gera, Roshan Jaggi, APCCF, Suresh Kumar Gupta Chief Wildlife Warden, Veteran Forest Officers Lal Chand, Former PCCF, Dr. C.M Seth, Former Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Sh. O.P Sharma, former PCCF and Member Secretary SBB, Dr. Yash Pal Sharma, Deptt. of Botany, Jammu University, Dr. Anzar A. Khuroo, Asst. Prof. Kashmir University, Nadeem Qadri, Environmental Lawyer & Activist, Sh. Nazir-Be-Nazir, who also shared their views on the theme of the event.
The program was also attended by concerned senior officers and other dignitaries besides members of 8 Biodiversity Management Committees from across Jammu and Kashmir and frontline staff of Forest Department who shared their views on functioning of Biodiversity Management Committees and creation of awareness.