Training of Trainers for the Implementation of Biodiversity Action Plan for Western Ghats of India

31 Oct, 2018

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organised a three days Training of Trainers on Implementation of Biodiversity Action Plan for Spices in Western Ghats of India from 31st October to 2nd November 2018 at Courtyard by Marriot, Cochin.

The ‘Private Business Action for Biodiversity’ (PBAB) proj¬ect pursues to identify and analyse promising mechanisms and instruments for promoting biodiversity-friendly pro¬duction and commercialisation and to test pilot approaches in three partner countries – India, Brazil and Mexico. The project aims to learn from the pilot implementation to further develop the mechanisms and instruments where required and to systemise the experiences gained in a way that enables both private and public actors to use them. The results will be discussed on the national and interna¬tional level. The focus of the PBAB project lies on supporting micro- small and medium enterprises that are particularly dependent on ecosystem services and biodiversity and oftentimes face challenges when introducing innovations.

The project aims to disseminate existing examples of biodiversity-friendly production and commercialization by introducing management tools that improve the integration of biodiversity aspects. These tools are not yet widely acknowledged and have not yet been adapted to the context of Indian smallholder producers. The project has identified Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP) as a promising management tool for the integration of biodiversity aspects on farm. These Biodiversity Action Plans are currently in a pilot implementation phase with some Voluntary Sustainability Standards for crops grown within the European Union. As a first step, the project adapted the Biodiversity Action Plan-method to the Indian context with a group of Indian and international experts (including Union for Ethical Biotrade and Global Nature Fund). Further, a train¬ing of trainers was organised to develop capacities on biodiversity aspects in general and on the application of this management tool at intermediary level for the implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan with agricultural advisors to spice companies, standard organisations, government institutes, NGOs, and consultants. Candidates from key institutions with commitment for future trainings were selected by the PBAB project. As a next step, the project will accompany smallholder producers during pilot imple¬mentations of Biodiversity Action Plans on selected areas together with partners from private sector.

The event launch was represented by many stakeholders extending from government, private sector as well as non-governmental organisations. More than 40 participants from different organizations attended the training.

Dr Remashree, Director, Research, Spice Board of India in her key note address emphasised the need of sustainable practices for spice production and role of businesses for combating the causes of biodiversity loss. She elaborates the schemes of spice board of India that is helping small producers in the region. Also, support is being provided for the organic cultivation of spices in the region.

Ms Charlotte Haeusler, welcomed the participants and provided an overview of the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme. This was further elaborated by providing information on the structure and functioning of Private Business Action on Biodiversity Project in three countries. Prior to the training, a field visit to spice cultivation region was organised to understand the practices being followed by the farmers. Trainers from Global Nature Fund (GNF), Union for Ethical Bio trade (UEBT), Rain Forest Alliance (RA) and Peermade Development Society (PDS) took various sessions and hand on experiences were provided to the trainers.