Launch of The Kalpavriksh – Grain – IIED Biodiversity Information Pack
The Kalpavriksh – Grain – IIED Biodiversity Information Pack was launched on 22 May 2007 in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity. This package includes three components: Understanding the Biological Diversity Act, 2002; A Simple Guide to Intellectual Property Rights, Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge; and A Guide to the Biological Diversity Act 2002. This guide was developed in an attempt to explain the provisions of the Act to the people directly affected by it in a simple manner. The focus is largely on the rights and responsibilities of communities in biodiversity conservation.
A one-hour public forum was conducted live on Lok Sabha TV, a channel devoted exclusively for the Lower House of Parliament, which showcased the CBD film on Biodiversity and Climate Change. This was followed by a panel discussion comprised of: Mr. G. Balachandhran, Joint Secretary and India’s National CBD Focal Point; Dr. R.S. Rana, Ex-Director of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources; and Ms. Shalini Bhutani, Regional Programme Coordinator, GRAIN. Telephone calls from viewers across the country were received.
Advertisment to raise awareness
An advertisement was placed in The Times of India by the Government of Delhi to raise awareness of the day in the general public.
Workshop at the Aravalli Biodiversity Park
The Delhi Government organized a workshop at the Aravalli Biodiversity Park, which is currently under development, where the Chief Minister of Delhi addressed participants. Two thousand copies of the CBD poster were printed and distributed amongst schools and Resident Welfare Associations. In addition, 100 copies of the CBD Climate Change and Biodiversity Video were made and distributed to schools.
National Seminar on Biodiversity and Climate Change
A national seminar on Biodiversity and Climate Change was organized by the State Biodiversity Board of Uttar Pradesh (one of the federal states of India), and took place in its capital city of Lucknow. Mr. Desh Deepak Verma, Country Director of IUCN delivered the keynote address at this seminar attended by policy makers, scientists, NGO’s and research scholars.
Centre for Environmental Education
The Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), Himalaya celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity simultaneously in 3 Himalayan states. Celebrations were organized for the orphans at Baramulla, for the NGOs at Dhyarighat and Kandaghat, and for students at Bhowali.
In Kashmir the celebrations took place at the Institution for Orphans run by the People’s Education Trust, Baramulla. Just over fifty orphan girls participated in this event that included a lesson on local biodiversity, the importance of IBD, and educational games to help learn about biodiversity and related issues in a joyful and interactive manner. The children were also gifted with a set of indoor and outdoor games such as badminton sets, skipping ropes, baseball bats and balls etc.
In Himachal Pradesh, CEE Himalaya collaborated with Paryavaran Avam Gramin Vikas Sansthan from Solan and MDV Jeev Sewa Sansthan, Dhyarighat to celebrate IBD. More than 30 people representing local NGOs, village panchayat members, women’s groups, villagers and youth participated in the celebrations. The event included presentations about the importance of biodiversity, goods and ecological services provided by biodiversity rich ecosystems, loss of 30% of the world’s biodiversity and future threats to it as well as climate change and related issues.
In Uttarakhand, IBD was celebrated with the students from local schools. This programme was organized in collaboration with the local NGO Sanyon ka Sangathan. Approximately 150 students from 3 local schools, representing grades 6 through 12, participated in the programmes. There was brief presentation about IBD, the importance of biodiversity and the threats to it due to global climate change. A drawing competition was organized under this year’s theme. The Bhowali branch of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources organized an exhibition on local biodiversity of grains, pulses, and medicinal and aromatic plants. The day concluded with a prayer to thank God for providing this beautiful world.
Gujarat Science City
Gujarat Science City organized various activities to mark the celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity on 22nd May 2007. The celebration included a poster exhibition on the theme, student’s arts competitions and hands on activities, a one-day workshop with scientists in the biodiversity and climate change fields and the screening of biodiversity movies.
Gujarat Science City used this celebration as a way of sensitizing the visitors about the wonder world of science and technology. Visitors were able to explore the marvel of science in the Hall of Science, experience an IMAX 3D movie, explore Children Activity Centre, learn all about energy in the Energy Education Park, and end the evening at the Grand Musical Fountain inside the Science City campus. The multimedia exhibition on Eternal Gandhi is also open till 31st May 2007.
The take-home message of the celebration was that the science of biodiversity is the science of our future.