By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 22 May: The School of Environment and Natural Resources, Doon University, celebrated the International Day of Biological Diversity here, today, by organising a webinar on the theme, “Our Solutions are in nature, nurture nature for the future”.
The webinar was chaired by Prof AK Karnataka, Vice Chancellor, Doon University. The keynote address was delivered by Prof SK Barik, Director, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.
Prof Kusum Arunachalam, in her welcome address, threw light on the reasons for and relevance of celebrating biodiversity day. She said that the United Nations in February this year declared 2020 as a “Super Year” for biodiversity as it marked the completion of the UN decade on Biodiversity initiated in 2011 at Aichi in Japan. She highlighted how Uttarakhand could take the lead 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 SK Barih, in his keynote address, highlighted linking human wellbeing and biodiversity. He said that Biodiversity is at centre-stage of 17 sustainable development goals and would play a key role in eliminating hunger and poverty from the planet, apart from health and well being. He spoke on the new area of research emerging in the field of Biodiversity, i.e. Chemical ecology and how it can be bio-prospected in future to boost the economy of the nation. He said that no longer can we look at development only from the economic perspective; it has to be looked in totality on an ecological perspective. He also highlighted the role of traditional knowledge and its scientific validation for finding out solutions for biodiversity conservation.
Prof AK Karnataka, in his presidential address, spoke about the link between biodiversity and the pandemics. He said that the present COVID crisis was not something new. Research in the past has shown whenever there has been damage to the natural ecosystems, infectious diseases appear. The link between the two is becoming better understood and appreciated. So much so that we’re seeing growth in an emerging discipline, planetary health, focusing on the connections among the well-being of humans, other living things and nature’s ecosystems.
Dr Archana Sharma proposed the vote of thanks on the occasion. In addition to the webinar, activities based on the theme of the day, Poster making, Photography, videography and creative writing for the students were also organised to mark the celebration of International Day of Biological Diversity. About 50 participants from different educational institutions of the country participated in these activities which will be evaluated and the results will be announced on World Environment Day on 5 June.