By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 22 May: The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to create awareness on the importance of biodiversity conservation. Each year, IDB is celebrated on some theme declared by the CBD Secretariat. This year, “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” has been selected as the theme.
An event was organised by Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board in collaboration with UCOST at Vigyan Dham, Jhajhra. The Chief Guest was Anand Vardhan, Principal Secretary, Forest and Environment. The programme began with Deputy Director, UBB, welcoming the Chief Guest and other dignitaries. The Member Secretary, UBB, addressed the role of UBB in conservation of biodiversity in Uttarakhand. Chairman, UBB, also addressed the audience and explained the importance of International Biodiversity Day in biodiversity conservation.
The keynote speaker was Dr Rajendra Dhobhal, Director General, UCOST. Various institutes and organisations working on Biodiversity conservation issues also participated in the event. A book, titled “Valley of Flowers”, written by Dr HB Naithani, ex-Senior Scientist, FRI, and published by UBB along with PBR of Khola and Srikot, was released by the Chief Guest and others.
On the occasion, UBB presented Sarojani Pundir, President, Shri Nanda Devi Smiriti Santhan, Nandasain, Karnprayag, Chamoli, the Second Gaura Devi Jaiv Vividhta Sanraksan Award-2019 for spreading awareness in society to conserve local bio-resources and other appreciable contributions by developing the Nanda Devi Smriti Van, Gaura Devi Smriti Van and Priti Van.
The Board also organised a photography exhibition for students. The exhibition presented the plight of River Ganga due to human activities. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr DP Uniyal, Senior Scientist, UCOST.
This year’s celebrations focus on Biodiversity as the formation for food, health and a key catalyst to transforming food systems to improving human health. The theme aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness on the dependency of humans on Biodiversity and Healthy ecosystems. The theme celebrates the diversity provided by natural systems for human existence and contributing to other sustainable development goals including climate change mitigation and adaptaton, ecosystems restoration and cleaner water.
The Guidelines aim at making food, health and ecosystems more mutually supportive on the principles of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It provides technical guidance to policy makers, decision makers and managers with responsibilities covering food and health situation in developing countries as well as in developed world.