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  Issue no. 7 | May 2020  
  Indo-German Biodiversity Programme Newsletter  
Programme newsletter header
  This newsletter shares project updates and thematic news from our programme
A service by IGBP, GIZ
  Dear Reader

It’s close to two months in COVID-19 lockdown. With lockdown of industries and traffic over an extended period, people started noticing cleaner air, rivers and lakes and quieter surroundings. While the lockdown heightened our collective awareness of the environment, it also caused severe suffering for millions of people and migrant workers who lost their jobs and income and were forced to take desperate measures to return to their villages. To add to the misery cyclone Amphan has battered few millions in the states of Odisha and West Bengal and Bangladesh in the neighbourhood. Recovery from the unprecedented economic shock will be possible only with government stimulus and rebooting the economy. Can we prepare an economic recovery plan that provides jobs to the millions who have lost livelihoods during the lockdown, while at the same time furthering our collective awareness of the environment? Can there be a fiscal stimulus to implement nature-based solutions at scale, decarbonising economic sectors for economic, social and environmental benefits and help build resilience? These are some questions that policymakers and practitioners across all sectors and scale need to ponder upon.

This seventh issue marks the completion of one year of the IGBP newsletter. The anniversary issue is a bit different from the previous ones. This issue features articles and a poem on wetlands by a colleague on the themes of the International Day for Biological Diversity - “Our solutions are in nature” and the World Environment Day – “Biodiversity”, which emphasise the importance of working together to build a future in harmony with nature. We’ve featured articles on the interlinkages of biodiversity with science, conservation, health and culture. We've also included experiences shared by our partners and beneficiaries who have worked with us.

We thank you for your continuous support and welcome your feedback and ideas towards further improving our engagement with you.

Stay safe and healthy.

Ravindra Singh, Programme Director
Updates from the Projects
» Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation
» Science and Knowledge: The world has gone viral!
» Conservation of Biodiversity: How birds can help us save forests and livelihoods
» Health, Food and Biodiversity: Sustainable agri-supply chains
» People, Culture and Biodiversity: Benefit-sharing and bioresource traceability
» Diversity of Life and Values: A poem on wetlands
Experiences from Partners and Beneficiaries
» Testimony for the ABS Project
» Testimony for the HP-FES Project
About the Programme
  Updates from the Projects  
Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation
©GIZ/Neeraj Khera
Virtual Discussion with SFS Officer Trainees at CASFOS Dehradun on Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation was organised from 22-24 April 2020 as part of the ‘2018-20 State Forest Services Induction Course’ under the project. GIZ and Directorate of Forest Edu…
  News »  
The world has gone viral!
Reimagining development post-COVID-19 lockdown
Science and knowledge ©
With more than 4.5 million confirmed cases and over 300,000 deaths across 216 countries due to COVID-19 over the last 4-5 months, the world has gone viral. With no treatment or vaccine in store to prevent or manage the spread of the novel coronavirus, countries after countries responded to the pandemic by imposing economic and social lockdown as the only viable option to break the chain of transmission, contain spread of the disease and prevent health systems from collapsing under an exponentially rising patient load. The lockdown caused disruption in most of the economic activities – industrial production almost came to a halt, surface and air traffic stopped, and global and local supply chains except for essential commodities and services broke down. Consequently, the environmental externalities of these economic activities – carbon emission, pollution, effluent discharge and noise declined remarkably. Cities across the world experienced improved air quality, rivers and lakes became cleaner with reduced industrial effluents, and people stated witnessing birds and wildlife..
  Keep reading »  
How birds can help us save forests and provide livelihood
A Case Study from HP-FES Project
Conservation of Biodiversity ©
Human beings have always been fascinated by birds and for good reason. Be it due to the sheer variety of colours, shapes and sizes or their captivating songs. But little, do we realise that birds are an integral part of the ecosystem where they play an important role in providing a wide range of ecosystem services. Since birds inhabit all habitats on earth, their mere presence/absence can indicate the health of any ecosystem.

Birds play an important role in maintaining the diversity of flora and fauna because they occupy nearly all the trophic levels in the food chain from consumers to predators. For example, frugivorous or fruit-eating birds, such as blackbirds, act as consumers and influence the germination process of a seed..
  Keep reading »  
Grey-hooded Warbler©GIZ/Jyoti Kashyap
Biodiversity-Friendly Practices for Sustainable Agri-Supply Chains
A Case Study from the Spice Sector
Health, Food and Biodiversity ©
The agriculture sector can play a vital role in the rapid transition to a green economy. This sector includes crops, agroforestry and food processing. Most of the Agri and Food sector is dependent directly on natural resources for production and processes, and have a huge impact on it. Moreover, the current practices followed by producers are not very sustainable, and create challenges of biodiversity loss, soil erosion, water contamination and pests. Various studies have reported that overexploitation of nature and unsustainable use of natural resources destroys habitats, biodiversity and results in unsustainable supply chains, thus increasing competition for both businesses and producers who rely upon it.

The agriculture sector is a major natural resource-based trade that has the potential to provide biodiversity benefits by applying sustainable management systems and adopting innovative technologies and practices..
  Keep reading »  
sustainable agrisupply
Benefit Sharing and Bioresource Traceability
Digital Application to Trace the Origin of Bioresources
People, Culture and Biodiversity ©
India’s Biological Diversity Act recognises the crucial role of local communities in conserving and managing bioresources that occur in their vicinity. Their lives are closely interlinked with these bioresources which serve as an important source of food and livelihood. The provision of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) in the Biodiversity Act is a key tool to empower such communities to generate resources for the management of their local biodiversity.

Ensuring fair and equitable sharing of benefits for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is one of the core objectives of the Biodiversity Act. To fulfil this objective, identifying the benefit-claimers with whom these benefits or ABS is shared requires tracing the origin of the bio-resource to the place of genesis. However, lack of traceability in the supply chain doesn’t allow either the State Biodiversity Boards or companies trace the origin of a bio-resource..
  Keep reading »  
Wetlands - Diversity of Life, Diversity of Services
Special feature on the occasion of IDB 2020
What is so special about the ‘land which is wet’,
The places where ‘terra’ and ‘aqua’ have ceremoniously met.
From cradling civilizations thousands of years ago,
To nourishing billions; the wetlands bestow.

With especially ‘tailored’ plants and soil ‘unique’,
Keeping the water and nutrients in motion, just so to speak.
Not ‘mosquito-infested wastelands’ but biodiversity’s abode,
Guarding the coastline and stowing away carbon load.

Rivers and lakes, to lagoons and peatlands,
Reefs, marshes, and mangroves, and even salt pans.
From Tundra to Tropics they range so wide,
Just like the multitude of services they provide.
  Keep reading »  
  Experiences from Partners and Beneficiaries  
Testimony for the ABS Project
By SS Rasaily, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board
©GIZ/Pradeep Mehta
“The Indo-German ABS project in Uttarakhand was of great help and support to UBB, I wish the project could have lasted longer so that we could jointly take up more work on ABS.”

The concept of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) in the Convention of Biological Diversity is not very difficult to understand. But when it comes to implementation, both the concerned officials and the Users of bioresources face many challenges. The Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) has been at the forefront of signing many ABS agreements with the User industrial units. Over the years, we’ve realised that the industries willingly come forward to share benefits if they understand the ABS concept properly. Since UBB enforces the implementation of the ABS provisions..
  Keep reading »  
Testimony for the HP-FES Project
By Hansa Kumar, Resident, Pathrevi
©GIZ/Harish Kumar
“I look forward to self-dependency by selling pine needle products”

Pathrevi is a scenic village, situated to the North-East of Karsog, in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. There are patches of Chir Pine trees across the village. Pine needles are a source of fuel for forest fires during the summer months. The Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystem Services (HP-FES) project encouraged the village communities to use pine needles as a resource for making artefacts and earn cash-income. More importantly, the direct dependence of the community on forest resources ensures their active participation in forest protection and conservation. Thus, pine-needle weaving was identified as an entry-point for using the FES approach in microplanning. The capacity development progra..
  Keep reading »  
  About the Programme  
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, in partnership with GIZ India is implementing the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme (IGBP).

Commissioned in India on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the programme addresses the challenges of biodiversity conservation in five projects:

• Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
• Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystem Services (HPFES)
• Private Business Action for Biodiversity (PBAB)
• Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation (HWC)
Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection
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