Regional Consultation on Mainstreaming Biodiversity, Guwahati

Aug 18, 2017

Biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use is the stated policy of the government of India to fulfill its obligations under the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the nodal ministry has initiated steps to prepare sixth National Report to CBD due to be submitted in 2018. In association with the National Biodiversity Authority  with support from the United Nations Development Programme, the Ministry has scheduled series of regional Consultation Workshops on Mainstreaming Biodiversity and seeking inputs for India’s Sixth National Report to Convention on Biological Diversity. The first consultation workshop in the series commenced in Guwahati, Assam on 17-18 August 2017. The workshop was organised with support from the host Government of Assam and State Biodiversity Board, Assam.

 The workshop has received participation from nine states from North East India, represented by various departments including Agriculture, Rural Development, Tourism, Forest, Commerce and Industry etc. Key organisations working in the area of biodiversity conservation including Wildlife Institute of India, Zoological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India and several local Non-Government Organisations and academia participated in the two day consultation.

In the inaugural session on day one, Shri. Abhay Kumar Johri, Member Secretary, Assam State Biodiversity Board welcomed the participants and expressed his happiness that the consultation process for preparation of India’s Sixth National Report to the CBD has been initiated in North East region, one of the global biodiversity hotspots .  He indicated that while on one hand the region is rich in Biodiversity, there are significant challenges for ensuring its conservation.

The message from UNDP focused on the important role played by biodiversity and natural resource management in achieving various Sustainable Development Goals and its associated targets. It was indicated that stakeholder participation including government, philanthropic organizations, businesses and other stakeholders, is key to achieve the SDGs.

UNDP appreciated the consultative approach adopted by MOEFCC and expressed support in developing the Sixth National Report of India to the CBD which is due in December 2018.

Mr. Bikash Brahma, Principle Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) & Head of Forest Force (HOFF), Assam, highlighted the activities undertaken by the state of Assam with the focus on awareness particularly among the young stakeholders through educational programmes in the area of biodiversity conservation. Mr D.Mathur, Chairman, Assam State Biodiversity Board also participated in the opening session.

Dr. Amita Prasad, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, in her inaugural remarks informed about the objective of holding these workshops. Briefing the participants about the importance of biodiversity and initiatives taken by the GoI, she stressed that significant efforts are required from various stakeholders particularly the state governments in ensuring the successful implementation of plans and policies. She also indicated that managing the balance between development and conservation is crucial for harnessing positive biodiversity outcomes. She conveyed that these workshops will help the states in familiarizing with the national targets, policies and programmes for biodiversity conservation and its linkage to other developmental priorities.  She also stressed that resource mobilization is important for achieving targets for biodiversity conservation and related SDGs and both public and private sectors need to play an important role for the same.

Dr. Prasad informed on India’s commitment to the global Convention on Biodiversity for submission of National reports, which are also a means to assess the ongoing work in the area of biodiversity conservation and management and to address gaps for effective biodiversity outcomes.

She released a brochure on “Mainstreaming biodiversity: National Biodiversity Action Plan, National Biodiversity Targets and India’s Sixth National Report to Convention on Biological Diversity” which will serve as a background for the regional consultations.

 In line with the initiatives under Digital India, MoEFCC has created a specific web portal for seeking inputs for India’s Sixth National Report to the CBD. The web portal was formally launched at the event and can be accessed by all to share initiatives and actions being taken for achieving the 12 National Biodiversity Targets and inclusion of the same in the report to be developed for the Sixth National Report.

The inaugural session ended with Vote of Thanks by Secretary, National Biodiversity Authority and felicitation of distinguished guest by Dr. Sujata Arora, Adviser, MoEFCC.

Contact information

Manisha Choudhary
Project Officer, Strengthening Natural Resource Management
Energy and Environment Unit
UNDP India
55, Lodi Estate
New Delhi-110 003