Kerala to participate in world’s biggest biodiversity event

March 31st, 2012 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, March 31 (IANS) Kerala has made huge strides in the field of biodiversity, and is now set to participate in the 11th Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) slated to be held in Hyderabad Oct 1-19, said an official Saturday.

Both CoP (Conference of Parities) and MoP (Meeting of Parties) are held once in two years to review and take decisions on implementation of provisions in CBD.

The importance of biodiversity and improving livelihood will be highlighted in this mega conference.

Speaking to IANS, Dr. K.P. Laladhas, member secretary of the state-owned Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB), the implementing agency of all environment related programmes said this is the biggest event till date, where participants from 193 countries, represented by even heads of states will take part.

“We will be actively involved in the preparation of exhibits to be placed in the special train called ‘Biodiversity Express’, which will have 10 coaches each depicting why and how crucial environment is. This train will travel to almost every state,” said Laladhas.

Dozens of documentary films are being readied to be screened on what Kerala has achieved in this field, which include mapping of the entire resources of the state’s only village councils of tribals in Idukki district, which is rich in biodiversity.

At the conference, a miniature of Kerala’s biodiversity would be showcased and it includes, traditional knowledge, food besides the cultural segment which would be handled by the Kerala Kalamandalam, the world renowned institute that imparts training in and conducting performances of the classical arts like Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Mohiniyaattam, Thullal and Panchavaadyam.

“Kerala leads the rest of the states in this sector because KSBB was instrumental in forming the Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) in all the 978 village councils in the state. And in 500 of these village councils, the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) has already been prepared. This is a rare distinction in the country for any state,” said Laladhas.

BMC is an elected body from the village council and includes experts from the concerned area - who will be the custodians of the biodiversity of the village.

PBR would have the minute details of all the flora and fauna besides documenting the traditional knowledge of each village.

Incidentally, Kerala is home to nearly 10,035 plant species (22 percent of national plant diversity). Out of the 4,600 flowering plants found in Kerala, 1,500 are endemic.

The National Biodiversity Authority is the nodal agency in the country which looks after the setting of an independent board similar to KSBB in each and every state, and provides all financial assistance to the state boards for the conduct of numerous programmes at state level.

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