Students from 22 city schools made aware of the importance of conservation

Students from 22 city schools took part in the Marine Biodiversity Conservation Festival organised here to make them aware of, at an early age, the importance of conservation of marine resources.

Organised by the Tree Foundation, the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, and the National Biodiversity Authority of India, the meet featured marine conservationists from the U.S., Australia, Seychelles and Trinidad. They shared their experiences with the aid of documentaries and speeches to inspire the students.

Supraja Dharini, Tree Foundation chairperson, said: “since 2010 is being celebrated as the ‘International year of biodiversity', we decided to hold this festival to enhance awareness among the public the threats to marine life and the importance of conserving biodiversity. The festival will explain the vital link between human life and the health of our oceans.”

As part of the festival, Tree Foundation screened a seven minute documentary that explained how an injured sea turtle was treated and sent back into the sea.

In his message, U.S. Consul General, Andrew T. Simkin said that the U.S. government supported a range of efforts to conserve marine biodiversity and participated in number of multilateral and bilateral agreements to protect whales and other cetaceans, polar bears and seabirds.

“Ocean and coastal marine ecosystems play an important role in the health and welfare of human communities. There is, however, growing alarm about the impact of human activity on communities of life in the sea. Major threats to marine and coastal ecosystems include coastal development, global climate change, invasive species, overfishing and pollution. A large number of marine species may be under threat of extinction due to the convergence of these threats,” he said.