National seminar inaugurated
Thrissur: Revenue Minister K. P. Rajendran has said that conservation of biodiversity is possible only by rational land use planning and sustainable development activities.
He was speaking after inaugurating a two-day national seminar on ‘Land use planning for bio-diversity’ organised by Kerala State Land Use Board, here, on Thursday.
“Recognising the importance of land use planning, the State government has published a draft land policy. A high-level committee consisting of scientists and experts are finalising it after taking public opinion into consideration.”
Development of a comprehensive land information system, evolving suitable land utilisation strategies and preventing exploitation of natural resources are the main objectives of the proposed land policy, he said.
“Environmental degradation and bio-diversity loss pose serious threat to development. A better coordination among scientists, professionals and policy makers is needed,” he added.
C. Raveendranath, MLA, said that faulty development concepts were harming the conservation of biodiversity. “Even when we claim that the country is progressing in a fast pace in respect of GDP rate and per capita income, the human development index shows that we stand at 127th position among 170 countries,” he pointed out.
Jose Issac, Commissioner, Kerala State Land Use Board, said that many natural and man-made interventions posed a great challenge to the fragile ecosystem of the State. “The Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Kerala suggest banning the reclamation of wetlands and protection of mangroves. Unsustainable exploitation of wild plant species and their products has to be checked. The biodiversity conservation has to be recognised as national objective to prevent depletion of wildlife biodiversity resources,” he pointed out. The seminar provided a platform for researchers, professionals, planners and activists to share their ideas on biodiversity conservation for improving people’s livelihood and food security.
The participants include representatives of various State Land Use Boards and scientists from department of Space and various research institutes. About 30 research papers would be presented at the two-day seminar.