International Biodiversity Day this time is observed under the theme Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods. Even May 22 is observed as Biodiversity Day with the aim to halting biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is the foundation for life and for the essential services provided by ecosystems. It therefore underpins peoples’ livelihoods and sustainable development in all areas of activity, including economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism, among others.
As part of the observation ceremony held at the Manipur State Film Development Society's auditorium, a photo exhibition hosted by the Envis Centre Manipur, under the aegis of Directorate of Environment. Comprising 175 photos, the exhibiton depicted the rich biodiversity of Manipur. Photographs of medicinal plants, birds, snakes, orchids are also on display.
Manipur is one of the richest Indian state in terms of biodiversity. The state is rich in natural resources with vast and varied floral heritage. Many of the flora and fauna species of animals found in Manipur are endemic such as Siroi Lily and Sangai, the brow-antlered Deer. Sadly, in the state’s annual budget, Forest & Environment dept’s joint allocation put together do not account for even one percentage.
Stated Dr. Homeshwar Singh, director, Directorate of Environment of the government of Manipur. His statement not only indicates how constrain the dept is in terms of doing many of the things it is mandated to do in terms of preserving and conserving the state’s rich bio-diversity.
The Directorate of Environment, Director who was addressing at the International Day for Biological diversity observation in Imphal, said his department has quietly being initiating setting up biodiversity parks across the state of Manipur to protect the rich biodiversity heritage. His asserted that setting up of these parks would protect the habitats of the state’s rare floral and fauna and in so doing keep intact the biodiversity.
Environmentalist Dr. Samugou Singh who also spoke at the function held on Sunday, lamented that the state is losing its biodiversity at a alarming rate and called on the people to join action in the fight to protect the biodiversity as human survival is impossible without it.
Forest & Environment Minister who launched 5 mobile applications and digital tools on environment for students, teachers and young people of Manipur during the International biodiversity Day observation praised the organizers for bringing technology in its stride and targeting the students and teachers as stakeholders in biodiversity conservation. The minister also said that the proposal to set up Bio-diversity park is a brilliant one and added that it would not only conserve and preserve biodiversity but could become revenue grosser for the state as these could become hot tourist destination. Supporting his argument, he mentioned that the Keibul Lamjao National Park is the world’s only floating national park and the only habitat of Sangai, the rare state deer and could be one such park.
Mobile Apps - ‘Bird Find’, ‘Pollinators', 'Tree Watch', 'Butterflies & Bees' and 'Frof Find' are applications developed by the Earthwatch Institute of India with the help of field scientists. I hope many students and teachers will use it to connect with the nature and it is developed as field guides to help increase public awareness on environmental issues and strengthen keenness to observe nature.
said Raghuvanash Saxena, CEO of Earthwatch, India.
With meagre funds the ecology dept has been setting up biodiversity parks and at least five are shaping well. They are the Biodiversity Park at Awang Potsangbam, Conservation Park at Yaralpat, Community based Eco-Preservation Park at Dilong, Tamenglong, Ningshingkhun Biodiversity Park at Jiribam and the Kangla Heritge Park in the heart of Imphal.
Other spot where the biodiversity parks can be set up, just to mention a few, are Shirui hill in Ukhrul district, the lone habitat of Siroi lily, the Dzuku valley in Senapati district and the Bunning Valley in Tamenglong district. Etc.