State-wide Workshops for Block Development Officers across 32 districts in Tamil Nadu

11 Jul, 2019

As per the Section 41(1) local bodies are mandated to constitute of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC). However, in the absence of elected local bodies in Tamil Nadu, the Block Development Officer (BDO) have been entrusted with the responsibility of establishing BMCs. In keeping with the objective of ensuring adequate capacity at various levels of the government for BMCs to fulfil their roles and responsibilities, the Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Board, in partnership with the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Partnership Project, conducted a series of 10 workshops for all BDOs in the state.



The workshops were aimed at informing the BDOs about various mandates under Biological Diversity Act, 2002. They were also sensitised on the critical role of BMCs in ensuring the sustainable utilisation of bio-resources, Access and Benefit Sharing provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and documentation of the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR). BDOs have an important role in capacity building of BMCs, including providing office space for BMCs, constitution of Local Biodiversity Fund (LBF), and provide support to BMCs to oversee the conservation and preservation of biodiversity and traditional knowledge in their local areas.



The trainings were conducted at 10 locations in the state, starting with an inaugural workshop at Coimbatore, moving through the heart of Tamil Nadu to districts like Tiruchi, Madurai and Villupuram, completing this series of workshops at the Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Board in Chennai. These capacity building workshops follow a series of other workshops for Line Department Officials, District Forest Officers, and BMC Secretaries.



The workshops were attended by 304 participants from 30 districts. Feedback from the participants indicated that workshops helped the BDOs achieve a better understanding of the various aspects of BMC functions (see figure 1).

Figure 1

Details of the workshops:

  • 7 June 2019, Coimbatore: With participation of BDOs from Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Erode and Tiruppur districts and was presided over by Mr. D Venkatesh, IFS, District Forest Officer, Coimbatore Division, Mr. Badrasamy C., District Forest Officer (Retd.) and Mr. J. Rooban Sankar Raj, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Coimbatore
  • 12 June 2019, Vellore: With participation of BDOs from Vellore, Krishnagiri, and Dharmapuri districts and was presided over by Mr. S. A. Raman, IAS, District Collector, Vellore and Mr. K. Bharava Teja, IFS, District Forest Officer, Vellore Division.
  • 14 June 2019, Villupuram: With participation of BDOs from Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai districts and was presided over by Mr. Abhishek Thomar, IFS, District Forest Officer, Villupuram Division
  • 19 June 2019, Thanjavur: With participation of BDOs from Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Ariyalur districts and was presided over by Mr. S. Gurusamy, IFS, District Forest Officer, Thanjavur, Mr. Sakthivel, District Revenue Officer, Thanjavur and Mr. M. Murugesan, Assistant Director of Panchayat, Thanjavur.
  • 21 June 2019, Namakkal: With participation of BDOs from Salem, Karur and Namakkal districts and was presided over by Dr. R. Kanchana, IFS, District Forest Officer, Namakkal and Mrs. S. Maheswari, Assistant Project Officer, DRDA, Namakkal
  • 26 June 2019, Tiruchi: With participation of BDOs from Tiruchi, Perambalur, Pudukkottai, and Cuddalore districts and was presided over by Mr. T. V. Manjunatha, IFS, APCCF, Working Plan & CCF, Tiruchi, Mrs. D. Sujatha, IFS, District Forest Officer, and Mr. R. Shankar, Project Director, DRDA, Tiruchi
  • 28 June 2019, Madurai: With participation of BDOs from Dindigul, Madurai and Theni districts.
  • 3 July 2019, Ramanathapuram: With participation of BDOs from Sivagangai, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts and was presided over by Mr. P. Arun Kumar, State Forest Service, District Forest Officer, Ramanathapuram and Mr. V. Kesavanesan, Assistant Director of Panchayat, Ramanathapuram
  • 5 July 2019, Thoothukudi: With participation of BDOs from Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts and was presided over by Mr. Sandeep Nanduri, IAS, District Collector, Thoothukudi and Dr. N. Senthil Kumar IFS, District Forest Officer, Thoothukudi
  • 10 July 2019, Chennai: With participation of BDOs from Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts and was presided over by Mr. Yogesh Dwivedi, IFS, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Secretary, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Board.