RCE Srinagar Celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) 2018

Photo credits: RCE Srinagar

On 22 May, 2018, RCE Srinagar, with support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Give2Asia, organised celebrations for the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) in the districts of four states in India: Baramulla (Jammu & Kashmir); Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand); Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh); and Kokrajhar (Assam).

The event in the Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir state involved a special programme at Delina village focussing on driving awareness to farmers whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and horticulture. Free soil health cards and seeds were distributed.

In the district of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, the link between biodiversity and a safe and protective environment was discussed, as well as the crucial role that the community plays in building up an environment that will ensure economically sustainable biodiversity. Losing this biodiversity will only increase the occurrence of natural disasters such as floods, droughts, heat waves and storms. Therefore the conversation of trees, flora, fauna, soil, air quality, water, oceans, and rivers will go a long way to safeguarding their lives and livelihood.  

More than 100 people in the Bahraich district, part of the Uttar Pradesh region, attended the celebration organised there. The day-long programme in the village focused on biodiversity conservation, DRR preparedness, improving WASH and skill development. Sanitation and hygiene was a primary concern raised by the villagers, with open defecation still being practiced and more than 80% of the population of the village without household toilets.

In Kokrajhar, Assam, the celebration was held in a village community centre in the Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary, the habitat of the critically endangered golden langur. Topics discussed ranged from integrated community participation, awareness campaigns, formation of protection groups, rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, sharing of Traditional Knowledge systems, the identification of unknown species, and outreach programmes towards conservation and development.