International Day for Biodiversity celebrated across country

Cautioning that protecting the environment was of utmost importance, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor E S L Narasimhan today said the only inheritance the children sought was a clean environment.

He was speaking at the national level celebrations of the International Day for Biodiversity (IBD) 2018 at the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University auditorium in Hyderabad.

The IBD 2018 was celebrated all over the country today under the theme of "Celebrating 25 years of action on biodiversity". The celebrations were organised to mark the 25th year of the Convention on Biological Diversity coming into force.

An official statement said Narasimhan highlighted that India had been conserving its rich biodiversity for ages. "We worship trees, animals and rivers, because we want to protect them. The celebration today reminds us to go back to our roots to conserve the nature in our traditional ways. For us in India, it is not the 25th year of conservation, as we should be celebrating thousands of years of conserving the nature and living in harmony," the statement, quoting Narasimhan, said.

He also cautioned that environment protection was of utmost importance today, "as the only inheritance our children seek from us is a clean environment for good health", the statement said.

Telangana Environment Minister Jogu Ramanna underlined the efforts of the state to conserve biodiversity, while highlighting the effective functioning of the Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at the community level.

Additional Secretary, Union Environment Ministry, Arun Kumar Mehta, pointed out that India had contributed significantly towards achieving the global "Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11 and 16". However, he also cautioned that the continuing loss of species might lead to the sixth mass extinction. Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DACFW), S K Pattanayak, highlighted the high production of foodgrains, fruits and vegetables in the country. He referred to biodiversity as the fundamental substratum upon which India's food security stood.

Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority, B Meenakumari, highlighted that conserving biodiversity was for securing our own future. "Our actions can be small, yet significant, towards conservation of biodiversity," Meenakumari said.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Marina Walter, in her address, highlighted that conservation of biodiversity in India would have a global impact and it would be central to the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to food security, health, livelihood security, poverty alleviation, among others.

The IBD 2018 celebrations were organised by the Union Environment Ministry, in coordination with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and the Telangana State Biodiversity Board.



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