Village Taxonomist programme to be launched in March

The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) will launch a Village Taxonomist programme in March this year.

Giving details about the programme to The Hindu, Balakrishna Pisupati, NBA Chairman, said that the programme was aimed at imparting training to identify and categorise various plants and other species found in and around their villages.

The programme does not merely end with imparting training to the selected villagers. It will also document the traditional user, inventorise the local name for the species, take up activity on specimen collection and finally an easy-to-use reference guide on local biodiversity will be prepared with the collected data.

Dr. Pisupati said: “In the present day context, taxonomy as a subject of study is not as attractive as it used to be two decades ago. Moreover, the students are not aware of the plants, trees, birds or animals found close to their homes. So the programme will provide an opportunity to the locals to learn on the biodiversity found in their area, how to identify them and on how to collect and record the local names used by the farmers.”

The programme will be initially launched in Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh. A total of 25 villagers from each State would be imparted training by a team of resource persons, numbering four per State. They will cover subjects such as medicinal plants, agricultural biodiversity, fodder crops, birds and endemic animals.

The duration of the training programme is totally four months.

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