22 May, 2019
22nd May was proclaimed by United Nations as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness on biodiversity issues. This year’s celebrations in India were held at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The event was organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, in coordination with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), in cooperation with the Tamil Nadu State Biodiversity Board. The theme for 2019 was “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”.
Launch of ABS IT Monitoring Tool
The Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, was the chief guest of the event and launched various initiatives contributing to biodiversity conservation. An IT monitoring tool called ABS Monitoring System (ABS-MS), which has been developed in cooperation with GIZ, was also launched during the event. The objective of the tool is to improve the monitoring of the utilisation of bio-resources in India.
A thematic exhibition was also inaugurated by the Hon’be Vice President, which saw the participation of over 32 different institutions. The exhibition showcased their achievements and work in the field of biodiversity conservation. GIZ had also set up a stall for the event, providing information related to various projects of the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme.
Participation of Pilot BMCs under the ABS Partnership Project
The ABS Partnership Project had invited member representatives 10 pilot BMCs in Tamil Nadu. 13 serving members representing BMCs from Thiruppuvanam (Sivaganga), Natham (Dindigul), Periyakulam (Theni), Kariyapatti (Virudhunagar), Sedapatti (Madurai), Shanarpatti (Dindigul) and Thiruporur (Kanchipuram) blocks, attended the event.
Mr. Nithyanantham, member of the Periyakulam Biodiversity Management Committee appreciated the opportunity of participating in the event and learning about government initiatives for the protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of biological resources in India. He admitted that he was inspired by the exhibition and would be taking home several ideas on spreading awareness about biodiversity conservation through BMC activities in his block.
Ms. N. Lakshmi, member of Kariyapatti Biodiversity Management Committee applauded the effort of organising the event at a national level. She admitted learning more about biodiversity conservation as well as the different stakeholders involved in fulfilling the mandate of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
The ABS partnership project has initiated capacity development activities for the members of 10 pilot BMCs to support them in fulfilling their mandates as per the Act.
The IDB 2019 event saw participation of officers from the MoEFCC, National Biodiversity Authority, Government of Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu State Biodiversity Board, representatives from other States, Officers and Scientists from Central and State Government institutions, NGOs, academics, school students and biodiversity enthusiasts, among others.
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