A photographic exhibition on miniature paintings organised by the National Museum, Delhi, will be one of the highlights of the first Indian Biodiversity Congress (IBC) 2010 beginning in Thiruvananthapuram on December 27.

The exhibition will feature 50 paintings on palm leaf, cloth, wood, leather, painted manuscripts and covers on wood, hardboard and canvas drawn from the National Museum’s treasured collection of Indian miniatures.

A host of national institutes and research and development organisations across the country have confirmed participation in the five-day Congress hosted by the University of Kerala on its campus. The National Natural History Museum, Delhi, WWF-India, the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), the Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA), M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems (CIKS) and C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer Foundation will be represented at the event.

The Congress is being jointly organised by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), in association with the Kerala Biodiversity Board, National Biodiversity Authority, University of Kerala and Navadanya.

The Indian Biodiversity Expo being organised in connection with the Congress will showcase India’s rich biodiversity heritage and contribution to biodiversity conservation. Universities, R&D centres, corporations, consulting firms, non-profit organisations, and others working on various aspects of biodiversity and biodiversity-related product development are expected to exhibit their research, education, technologies, products, and information.

The exhibition will seek to highlight the biodiversity heritage of the country and its role in poverty alleviation and sustainable development. There will be an exclusive pavilion on biodiversity education.

A documentary film festival on biodiversity is another major attraction. The festival will screen award-winning documentaries on the subject, and there will be discussions on each topic. Renowned film maker Suresh Elamon is coordinating the event.

A national photography competition on biodiversity and people, and a book fair are also being organised along with a national seminar in 12 sessions.

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh is expected to deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session of the Indian Biodiversity Congress on December 28. He will also inaugurate a civil society meet organised in connection with the IBC.