Biodiversity Board remains non-functional in J&K

Will soon formulate action plan: Secretary Forest

YOGESH SAGOTRA
Jammu, Publish Date: Nov 18 2018 1:07AM | Updated Date: Nov 18 2018 3:33AM
Biodiversity Board remains non-functional in J&KRepresentational Pic

Even as biodiversity conservation is becoming a priority elsewhere, Jammu and Kashmir state biodiversity board has remained non-functional for past three years.

Sources informed that Jammu and Kashmir government vide SRO-200 dated June 29, 2015 framed Jammu and Kashmir Biological Diversity Rules, 2015 and accordingly established J&K State Biodiversity Board to ensuring conservation of biological diversity after following the guidelines of union ministry of environment and forests.

However, sources said that the board did not convene any meeting since December 2015 and important decisions taken in its December 2015 meeting also remained confined to files due to absolute non-seriousness on the part of concerned authorities of the State.

As per the J&K Biological Diversity Rules, 2015, the State Biodiversity Board is required to advise the Government on any matter concerning conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components; commission studies and sponsor investigations and research; organize comprehensive awareness programme regarding conservation of biological diversity; give directions to local bodies and Biodiversity Management Committees for effective implementation of the Act; devise methods for ensuring protection of rights including intellectual property rights over biological resources and associated knowledge etc.

“The state is one among rich biodiversity hotspot in the country with numerous spices of flora and fauna. Thousands of migratory birds regularly visit its various parts throughout the year but authorities have even failed to generate public awareness regarding conservation of biodiversity in absence of Panchayat and Ward level Biodiversity Management Committees,” sources said.

“In the absence of regular meetings of the Board even action plan for conservation of biological diversity could not be prepared till date as such the objective behind setting up of Board stands defeated,” they added.

“It is a matter of concern that the Government is paying no attention towards biodiversity conservation especially when some of the rare and valuable flora and fauna are threatened with extinction in all the three regions of the State”, sources regretted.

When contacted, Commissioner Secretary to Government, Forest, Environment and Ecology Department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi admitted that State Biodiversity Board is not properly active yet.

“It is very important area and soon after I assumed charge of this office, I reconstituted State Biodiversity Board,” he said.

“In next few days we will call its meeting to work out the scope of the board by discussing the models of other states and conservation work done internationally under the guidelines and laws of ministry of environment, government of India,” he said, adding, “Accordingly we will make an agenda and formulate action plan for our biodiversity conservation.”

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