Call for local action plans to conserve biodiversity

Steps on to digitise people’s biodiversity register

June 16, 2017 08:14 am | Updated 08:16 am IST - Kozhikode

Mavoor wetland. (file photo)

Mavoor wetland. (file photo)

Against the backdrop of one of the worst droughts in recent history and plummeting of water table across the State, the Kerala State Biodiversity Board has come up with a series of workshops to sensitise local bodies to prepare an action plan to face the vagaries of nature. The third such programme was held in Kozhikode on Thursday.

Officials said Kerala was the first State to set up biodiversity management committees in local bodies. However, only 10% of them are active. Dinesan Cheruvat, member-secretary of the board, said one of the main tasks of the committees was to prepare a people’s biodiversity register (PBR) as per the provisions of the Biodiversity Act.

At a time when the State is bearing the brunt of changing climatic conditions in the form of drought and irregular rainfall, the committees could work towards sustainable use of natural resources and prevent their exploitation.

“As per the 13th Five-Year Plan, environmental conservation is a priority area. The State government too is coming up with projects such as the Haritha Keralam Mission. The committees can work in association with the government departments, non-governmental organisations and agencies and prepare projects,” he said.

Mr. Cheruvat said the local bodies could prepare action plans suited to the topography of their region based on the PBR. “The cooperation of the Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Animal Husbandry could be sought. The board has also initiated a process to digitise the register so that the details about a particular region could be available at the click of a mouse,” he said.

Oommen V. Oommen, chairman of the board, who spoke to the elected representatives on the provisions of the Biodiversity Act, said the local bodies had a major role in conserving biodiversity as only they could chalk out grass-root level programmes.

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