Guwahati: Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati’s (IIT Guwahati) Center for the Environment celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 with an event on campus. The day promotes understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues and encourages actions to conserve and sustainably use natural resources. This year’s theme is ‘From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity’.
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Addressing the event, Professor Parameswar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati said,
The entire North-East Region is a biodiversity hotspot. It is our responsibility to preserve our diversity for future generations and bring awareness to society. Celebrating biodiversity should be part of our everyday lives. Every small being and every microorganism should be preserved. IIT Guwahati is taking initiatives through its Centre for Indian Knowledge System to document the traditional knowledge of local communities and tribal areas.
Professor Iyer further highlighted the importance of ‘circular economy’ that should be practiced to ensure a better future for the next generation.
Jon Jyoti Kalita, Research Scholar, gave an awareness lecture on LiFE(Lifestyle for Environment), an India-led global mass movement curated and piloted by NITI Aayog and implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), Government of India, to nudge individual and community action to protect and preserve the environment.
Delivering the welcome address, Professor Utpal Bora, Head, Centre for The Environment, IIT Guwahati and Organising Chairperson of the Conference, said,
North-East India is a conjunction of two important biodiversity hotspots. We should celebrate this International Biodiversity Day by discussing science in popular science mode and creating awareness. Without biodiversity all ecosystem services will disappear.
Dr Tarali Bhuyan, Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, Cotton University, led an exhibition of handicrafts from silkworm waste cocoons from different government sericulture farms in Assam as well as from traditional silkworm rearers. The team has converted them into beautiful pieces of art with a touch of creative crafting promoting ‘waste into wealth’.
Arun Mitra, a Beekeeper and Entrepreneur, highlighted the importance of honey and how it is a profitable venture. The documentary “The Man Who ‘Speaks’ Nature”, was showcased highlighting conservation efforts by Manoj Gogoi, an Indian wildlife conservationist and wildlife rehabilitationist based in Kaziranga, Assam.
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Documentaries were also showcased on Pobitora wildlife sanctuary and Greater Adjutant story. Roshan Upadhaya, a policeman by profession but also popularly known as ‘Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh’ spoke on conservation livelihood and the scope of butterfly tourism in Northeast India.
He led a biodiversity walk in the morning and documented 20-25 butterfly species in IITG Campus. Dr. Dipjyoti Rajkhowa spoke on agricultural biodiversity.
Speaking during the event, Chief Guest, Dr. Tarun Chandra Bora, Vice Chancellor, Krishnaguru Adhyatmik Visvavidyalaya, said,
With these events we can sensitize the young generation who are custodians of our biodiversity. The young students should love nature. It is the lifeline of humanity and it should be protected. Half of our food material comes from bees because of which 80% of plants are alive. Pollinators are the backbone of food security.
Speaking during the event, Guest of Honour Dr. Kartik Neog, Director of Muga Eri Silkworm Seed Organization, Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, said,
We have been aware since childhood to conserve and protect nature. Our villages still have immense diversity of butterflies and other species but we can no longer see them in the cities.
The United Nations dedicates 22 May every year as ‘International Day for Biological Diversity’ to create awareness about biodiversity issues. It serves as an occasion to highlight the importance of biodiversity for the planet’s well-being as well as the urgent need to protect and conserve it.
The event saw participation from 112 students from Cotton University, Guwahati University, Madanpur MV School, Assam Downtown University, Dr Ambedkar Secondary School and IIT Guwahati.
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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.