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3rd meeting of J&K Biodiversity Council held in Jammu

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Draft Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan recommended to Govt for approval

Jammu: The third meeting of J&K Biodiversity Council was held today at Van Bhawan, Jammu under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mohit Gera, PCCF/HoFF & Chairman J&K Biodiversity Council.

The Biodiversity Council was constituted by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir with the objective of conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of use of biological resources and knowledge.

During the meeting, the Council was apprised of the progress made on constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees and status of preparation and updation of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) in UT of Jammu & Kashmir. The BMCs have been constituted for 276 Intermediate Panchayats (Block Level), 4290 Village Panchayats and 76 Urban Local Bodies. The preparation of PBRs has also been completed in 4290 Village Panchayats and 76 Urban Local Bodies with the help of nine different line departments and consultation with members of Biodiversity Management Committees and other people and experts in biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and traditional practices. The Council is now updating the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) and 1426 PBRs have been updated so far.

The important agenda points discussed during the meeting of the Council included the recommendation of draft Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan (BSAP) for approval of UT of Jammu and Kashmir, Operationalization of Biodiversity Management Committees and activation of ABS mechanism. The new website of J&K Biodiversity Council was also released during the meeting.

The process for making a draft Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan (BSAP) for UT of Jammu and Kashmir was initiated in the year 2020 and “The Celestial Earth” was assigned this task for developing BSAP. The process involved consultation with all the concerned departments like Agriculture Department, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Department of Horticulture, Department of Floriculture, Department of Fisheries, Department of Wildlife Protection, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department for developing BSAP.

The BSAP shall now be submitted to the Government for its final approval so that the UT of J&K has the strategy and action plan on Biodiversity Conservation and the related issues for the years 2022-2030.

The meeting was moderated by Asaf Mehmood Sagar, APCCF/Director JKFRI/ Member Secretary J&K Biodiversity Council. Other Members of the J&K Biodiversity Council including  Suresh Gupta, PCCF/ Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, representative of Administrative Department of Agriculture Production  T.K Bhat, Special Secretary, representative of  Department of Forest, Ecology & Environment Miss. Harpreet Kour, Special Secretary, representative of Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj  Sheetal Pandita, Deputy Secretary and non-official members Dr. C.M. Seth, IFS (Retd.),  Om Parkash Sharma, IFS (Retd.), Prof. Geeta Sumbli (Retd.), Dr. Anzar Khuroo, Department of Botany, University of Kashmir and Dr. Sushil Verma, Division of Biodiversity, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri, besides special invitees, senior officers and staff of J&K Biodiversity Council attended the meeting.

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