BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Biodiversity Board celebrated International Day for Biological Diversity at the office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Odisha Aranya Bhawan here Wednesday.
The event was organised to create awareness among students, researchers, scientists, academicians, foresters, policy makers, media personnel and general public on issues related to benefits arising out of the conservation of biological resources. The theme for this year’s celebration was ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food and Our Health’.
The organisers conducted an essay competition among the students of seven secondary schools situated near biodiversity rich sites of Odisha and a painting competition among BSc and MSc students of Forestry, OUAT, Bhubaneswar, on the day’s theme. It was step to increase awareness and understanding of participants on issues related to biodiversity of the state.
On the occasion, the chief guest released a book on ‘Turtles and Tortoise of Odisha’ and their conservation. He also spoke on issues related to the theme and role of local people, students and researchers and members of biodiversity management committees towards conservation of the state’s biodiversity.
Sandeep Tripathy, principal conservator of forest and head of Forest Force said, “We should provide training on local birds, medicinal plants, agriculture and wildlife. We have 6800 gram panchayats. However, we only have 2500 committees. We will build centers on all the districts.”
Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, IAS Additional Chief Secretary, Forest & Environment Department, said, “We should mainly focus on biodiversity and sensitise local people so that they can know more about the biodiversity. We will plant indigenous plants available locally. We should do mangrove plantation which would safeguard coastal areas during the time of cyclones. We should have a restoration program on vulnerable species to restore their genie.”
M Mohan, additional PCCF and chairman of the biodiversity board, said, “We will conduct more and more programmes and also make films on biodiversity so that we can spread more information to the people. There will be a display of poster on biodiversity on different public places to sensitise citizens. Various companies used to utilise forest products without paying incentives. However, they have to pay incentives henceforth.”