Biodiversity sites in State await recognition

The Great Banyan tree – Thimmamma Marrimanu – and the Veerapuram hamlet in Anantapur are in contention to be declared Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS)

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:26 am IST

Published - May 22, 2014 11:55 pm IST - HYDERABAD:

Every year Painted Siberian Storks visit Anantapur’s great Banyan tree – the ‘Thimmamma Marrimanu’ – and the Veerapuram hamlet. And yet, they are not recognised as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) by the State and Central Government. If they had been, it would have provided an impetus to the conservation of these rare biological sites.

On its part, AP State Biodiversity Board (APSBB) had already sent the prop-osal to the government for declaring Thimmamma Marrimanu, a tree spread over 2.5 acres near Kadiri, and the village of Veera-puram in Anantapur district, for recognition as BHS sites.

APSBB authorities said that once the proposals were approved by the State Government, they would be sent to Centre for being declared as BHS sites.

“After declaring a place as BHS site, its maintenance will fall on the local biodiversity management committee that comprises the villagers, and is headed by the sarpanch. The funding would be done by Central and State Governments. We are hoping a decision would be taken soon,” said APSBB Member Secretary S.N. Jadhav.

Agro Site

The APSBB has also recommended recognising a cluster of local village communities in Zaheerabad region, involved in cultivation of wide variety of agricultural corps including sorghum, a range of millets, pulses and oilseeds, all of which grow in rain-fed conditions, as Agro Biodiversity Heritage Site.

“The diversity of crops grown in highly infertile soils with very little irrigation support is an achievement. That’s why we had proposed recognising these communities managed by women as Agri-Biodiversity Heritage Sites,” APSBB Chairman R. Hampaiah said.

APSBB officials said offic-ials of the Agriculture and Forest departments needed to take up feasibility studies in these proposed sites before State Govern-ment recognised them as BHS.

“We are hoping that these places would get their due recognition, which will empower locals – because the maintenance and profits from such sites will go into the hands of the local comm-ittees,” Mr. Jadhav said.

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