KMC sets up panel to conserve biodiversity
TimesOfIndia 2015-09-18 03:33
KOLHAPUR: The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) has finally constituted a biodiversity management board, which was delayed for years owing to the reluctance of experts to join the panel.

The board will be helpful in mapping the city's biodiversity and planning measures to conserve the flora and fauna of the city.

The central government enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002, making it mandatory for every local body to constitute a committee of activists and experts in environment studies, agriculture science, forestry and botany. The main objective of the committee is to look into conservation of biodiversity, including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivars, and domesticated stocks, breed animals and micro-organisms, and chronicling of knowledge relating to diverse elements.

A civic official said, "The delay in forming the committee was due to the poor interest of experts. The formal announcement of the committee will be made as soon as we get the nominations from the elected representatives."

So far, very few municipal corporations in the state have formed the biodiversity boards which are effectively functioning and submitting periodic reports to the administration.

The committee consists of one expert each from various fields such as botany, agriculture science, forestry, fishery and environmental education, besides NGOs and citizens. Seven local officials from the departments of forest, irrigation, health, animal husbandry, fishery, education and tribal welfare are also invited to participate in the panel, along with two special invitees such as MLAs and MPs.

"The KMC's mayor will be the chairman of the committee, who will nominate seven corporators, one-third of which should be women. The list of the nominations of the elected representatives has been provided," the official said.

According to the Act, the basic functions of the board will be to document biodiversity, keep register for resources and traditional knowledge, and to support cultural diversity and indigenous knowledge.
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