Workshops on capacity needs assessments for Biodiversity Management Committees held in November 2018 at Madurai, Tuticorin and Namakkal, Tamil Nadu

23 Nov, 2018

The Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Partnership Project is supporting three pilot states: Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. The objectives of the project include strengthening statutory institutions, State Biodiversity Boards, and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) for effective implementation of ABS provisions under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The project conducted workshops to identify capacity development needs of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in Tamil Nadu. These workshops were held in three districts, Madurai (14 November 2018), Tuticorin (16 November 2018) and Namakkal (23 November 2018).

The District Forest Officers (DFOs) of the host districts, Mr. Samartha JR, IFS at Madurai, Mr. D. Sampath, IFS at Tuticorin, Dr. R. Kanchana, IFS at Namakkal, and officials from the District Rural Development Agency, Mr. S. S. Thanapathi, Project Director, Tuticorin and Ms. S. Maheswari, Assistant Project Officer, Namakkal, presided over the workshops. Mr. G. Balasubramanian, Assistant Conservator of Forests and Mr. N. Sakthivel, Forest Extension Officer were present at Tuticorin and Namakkal, respectively.

Participants at the Workshop at Madurai on 14 Nov 2018

Workshop at Tuticorin on 16 Nov 2018

Capacity needs assessment was conducted through focus group discussions and self-assessment questionnaires. The focus group discussions assessed BMC member’s understanding of biodiversity, the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, their impression of the role of BMC members, skills they currently possess, and other skills required for effective functioning of BMCs. Also discussed, were process of decision-making in the committee, report preparation, their knowledge of bio-resources traded, major traders and research institutions in the area, and further training they require to facilitate functioning of BMCs.

Self-assessment questionnaires followed the focal group discussions and focused on the individual’s knowledge and skills such as their educational and professional background, their relevant experiences as part of other committees, dealing with local communities or natural resources.

Ms. Sugantha Priscilla, GIZ, speaking at the Workshop at Madurai

Workshop in Namakkal on 23 Nov 2018

The workshops were well-attended by over 50 participants, representing 13 and 12 block-level BMCs at Madurai and Tuticorin respectively, and over 70 participants from 15 block-level BMCs at Namakkal. The ABS Partnership Project will use the outcome of the assessment to prepare customised trainings and communication tools to operationalise ABS through BMCs.