Biodiversity can be core competency for development: KalamJune 5th, 2010 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Saturday appealed to the central government to partner with public-private institutions to create national biodiversity zones across the nation to ensure all-round development.
“The biodiversity of the nation can be a core competency which can be the basis of achieving a triangular growth mission of ecological conservation, societal empowerment and economic development,” said Kalam at a function at Vigyan Bhawan on the occasion of World Environment Day.
The United Nations has declared the year 2010 as the ‘International Year of Biodiversity’ and the theme for this year’s environment day is ‘Biodiversity: Connecting with Nature’.
Talking about the country’s rich biodiversity, Kalam said: “India occupies only 2.4 percent of the world land area, but its contribution to the world biodiversity is eight percent of the total number of species. India has 10 distinct biodiversity zones covering varying terrains, rainfall patterns and climatic conditions.”
“India is one of the 12 mega diversity in the world. Environment and biodiversity conservation will indeed be a collective mission of the 21st century for all humanity, across cities, across states, across nations and across continents,” he added.
Kalam also released a set of two commemorative postage stamps depicting the rich biodiversity of the country.
Three books — “Animal Discoveries 2009: New Species and New Records”, “Plant Discoveries 2009: New Species and New Records” and “Green Law Book” - were also released on the occasion.
Kalam also gave away environment awards under various categories.
Ishita Vishnoi, a class 10 student of St. Thomas School, New Delhi, was given the Young Environment Award for winning a written quiz contest on biodiversity.
The Janaki Ammal National Award in Taxonomy was given to V. Jayachandran Nair for plant taxonomy and to Ramakrishna for animal taxonomy.
Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar was awarded to Isha Foundation for its contribution to environmental conservation and awareness.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was not present at the function as he is in Andhra Pradesh in connection with work related to his Rajya Sabha nomination.
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