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Celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity 

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By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 22 May: School of Environment and Natural Resources, Doon University in association with Indian Society of Agro forestry, Jhansi and Society for Science of Climate Change & Sustainable Environment , New Delhi  celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22nd May, 2021 by organizing a webinar that focused attention on a particularly pressing biodiversity concern theme.“WE’RE THE PART OF THE SOLUTION” , for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our biodiversity. The webinar was dedicated to noted Environmentalist, Padmvibhushan, Sri Sunderlal Bahuguna as a tribute for his lifelong efforts for the Biodiversity conservation and Environmental protection in the Himalayas.  The webinar was chaired by Prof. Surekha Dangwal, Vice Chancellor, DoonUniversity. The event had Prof. C. R. Babu, Emeritus Professor, Delhi University, Prof. J.K.Sharma, Shiv Nandan University, and Prof. S. Dayanand, Concordia University, Canada as the keynote speakers.
Prof. Kusum Arunachalam in her welcome address threw light on the reason and relevance of celebrating Biodiversity Day. She said that the United Nations proclaimed 22 May as International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) to increase the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Biodiversity day 2021 is being celebrated under the slogan: “WE’RE THE PART OF THE SOLUTION #FOR NATURE” the slogan was chosen to be a continuation of the momentum generated last year under the overarching theme, “OUR SOLUTION ARE IN NATURE”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development changes. In her address Prof. Kusum Arunachalam highlighted how Uttarakhand can take a lead in in harnessing the rich biodiversity to boost its economy which can be based on its rich wealth of natural resources and long history of conservation and community-based management of natural resources.
Prof. Surekha Dangwal, Hon’ble vice Chancellor Doon University, in her presidential address said that since prehistory, literature and the arts have been drawn to portrayals of physical environments and human-environment interactions. The modern environmentalist movement as it emerged first in the late-nineteenth century and, in its more recent incarnation, in the 1960s, gave rise to a rich array of fictional and nonfictional writings concerned with humans’ changing relationship to the natural world. She stressed on documenting the rich traditional knowledge associated with the biodiversity conservation in the region.
Professor C.R Babu in his keynote confers about Biodiversity parks as a model for urban environment sustainability and resilience. As they are unique landscape of wilderness where ecology assemblages of native species occur it would provide recreational as well as aesthetic values to the urban environment. He spoke from his experiences of Aravali and Yamuna Biodiversity Park in New Delhi which were developed under his supervision.
Prof. J.K Sharma spoke about the role of butterflies in the ecosystem functioning. He said that the butterflies can be used to study the impact of habitat loss and they support the range of other predators as well as parasites, they act as a pollinator, acting as important connector in a thriving ecosystem web.
Prof. S. Dayanand divulge about the evolution and conservation of biodiversity in the forest and agriculture landscape. He mentioned about the new area of research emerging in the field of biodiversity. He said that the new techniques of agriculture and forestry are saver to the biodiversity and food security for the growing human population.
Prof R.P Singh in his concluding remarks talk about the importance of biodiversity and how humans are important in its functioning. He said humans are the one who can protect the biodiversity and with proper knowledge, research and technologies the goal can be achieved.
Dr A. Arunachalam director ICAR, President, ISAF and secretary, SSCE delivered vote of thanks on the occasion. He highlighted the importance of agroforestry in climate change mitigation and restoration of degraded lands, particularly in Himalayas.
In addition to webinar, activities based on the theme of the day, Poster Making, Photography/Short Videos and Article writing for the students was also organized by “Prakriti-The Nature Club”, an initiative of Doon University students, to mark the celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity. About 200 participants from different educational institution of the country participated in the events and the prizes were sponsored by the ISAF.