The huge quantity of wealth of the coastal area must be protected for use in future, Director of CCMB and President of AP Akademi of Sciences Ch. Mohana Rao said here on Monday.

Visakhapatnam coast has rich biodiversity and should also be protected, Dr. Mohana Rao said during the inaugural session of a two-day National symposium on coastal natural resources: scientific strategies for development, conservation and management, being organised by the Regional Centre of APAS and Andhra University as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Akademi.

He felt it was time for the Akademi to focus more on taking science to society. “The young generation should be involved in visualising and taking up big projects involving state-of-the-art technology and innovation”, Dr. Mohana Rao said.

Vice-Chancellor of AU G.S.N. Raju, who inaugurated the symposium, said marine biology, marine geology and oceanography were involved in the development, management and conservation of coastal wealth. Advanced technology has to be used in this area, Prof. Raju said. He wanted the young members of the Akademi to take up investigations on the sustainability of coastal natural resources in a proper way.

Principal of AU College of Science and Technology G. Gnanamani wanted more research taken up in the area of extracting drugs from the marine wealth. There were many opportunities and a large scope to extract drugs from ocean and many of the natural resources could be used for scientific and societal use, he said.

HoD of Geophysics and organising secretary of the symposium P. Rama Rao gave details of the seminar and the deliberations to be held. Vice-President of the APAS and its Regional Coordinator K.V. Madhava Rao spoke about the centre and its activities.

APAS was started in 1963 at the initiative of the then Minister for Education P.V.G. Raju and was the first Akademi for science to be started and supported by a State government in the country. The main objective of the Akademi was to promote science and technology and popularise the same among different sectors of society and also to make efforts to apply science and technology to societal needs, Dr. Madhava Rao said. Some of its programmes were creating awareness and simple mitigation techniques on sea water intrusion, finding scientific reasons and solutions to chronic kidney diseases prevalent in specific parts of the Andhra Pradesh, etc.

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