Home Detail News

'Mainstreaming Coastal and Marine Biodiversity of India' Three day National Workshop gets underway at ZSI

Port Blair ,

         The three day National Workshop on Mainstreaming Coastal and Marine Biodiversity of India got underway in the Zoological Survey of India hall here today. The Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), GoI, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha inaugurated the workshop as the chief guest while the Chief Secretary, A & N Administration, Shri Anindo Majumdar presided over the function. The workshop is being organized by the Zoological Survey of India & Botanical Survey of India, under the aegis of AICOPTAX programme of MoEF&CC, Govt. of India.
          Inaugurating the workshop, the chief guest said that conservation of biodiversity is a global concern that exists in term of threats on the natural resources and various initiatives have been taken up by the world body to conserve these natural resources, in which India was the first country to sign a treaty on Conservation of Biodiversity and various regulations were formulated such as wildlife trade and commerce etc. India has robust regulating frameworks, such as the Forest Conservation Act, National Biodiversity Act etc. yet it is still found that threats on the Indian biodiversity is continuing, which need to be checked, he said, underscoring the need for mainstreaming the coastal and marine biodiversity for appropriate conservation. 
Stating that there are various challenges in conservation, the Secretary said, there is need to find out a balanced plan of action to carry out the developmental works as also to conserve the biodiversity, in which the roles of institutions like ZSI, BSI etc are vital. Such institutes need to integrate the knowledge base, which they have collected as a result of survey works, disseminate them to the people and convey them to policy makers so that a balanced policy can be formulated, he said urging the scholars to leap forward and take up international leadership in augmenting knowledge and information about the rich biodiversity to attract foreign scholars interested in biodiversity research works.
          Shri Jha expressed hope that the seminar will come out with a positive results which will help in formulating regulation for mainstreaming coastal and marine biodiversity for future conservation.
 The chief guest and other dignitaries released five books, which are series of publication by ZSI. These included Glimpses of Marine Biodiversity of India, Gorgonians of Indian Seas, Reef associated common crustaceans of A & N Islands, Lakshadweep and Gulf of Mannar, Reef associated Ascidians of A & N Islands and Sponges of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Four pamphlets and ten charts were also released on the occasion.
           Earlier, the chief guest and the Chief Secretary unveiled a plaque to mark the foundation laying ceremony for a National Repository Building for Islands Faunal Diversity in the premises of the ZSI Port Blair.
         In his presidential address, the Chief Secretary, Shri Anindo Majumdar said that these Islands are biodiversity hotspots and need to be preserved in a scientific manner. The eco-system of these Islands is fragile and unique in nature as there are lots of endemic species here, of which many are endangered. It is a great challenge to protect the biodiversity and to carry out developmental works, which are required by the people. Various characteristics like growing population, growing economical needs, the need for jobs for livelihood, agriculture, fisheries also have impacts on the natural resources. He also underlined the need to carry out tourism activities while maintaining the Isles' biodiversity. 
The Chief Secretary also stressed the need to educate the people about the wealth that are available in the Islands and the need to conserve them. He said that scientific knowledge on biodiversity and protection measures should be shared with the people, especially students through institutions such as ZSI so that they can become part of the conservation process. He also mentioned about the conservation methods the vulnerable tribal groups adopted in the Islands, which helps large area of biodiversity is being preserved.
          Dr. Alok Saxena, PCCF & Principal Secretary Deptt of Environment & Forests, A & N Admn., Dr. B Meenakumari, Chairperson NBC, Dr. Anil Sant, Jt. Secretary, MoEF&CC and Dr. Kailash Chandra, Director ZSI also highlighted the significance of the workshop and the need for mainstreaming coastal and marine biodiversity.
         Earlier, Dr. C Raghunathan, Officer in-charge, ZSI Port Blair welcomed the gathering and the inaugural function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Madhumita Biswas, Director RE Division MoEF&CC.