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Overview of the Programme

The Biodiversity Programme goal is to promote conservation of biodiversity and create sustainable livelihoods for the poor and vulnerable communities living in the biodiversity ‘hotspots’ of peninsular India. The rationale of the programme can be better captured in a statement made by Prof. M. S. Swaminathan in 1992. He said, “We can neither sustain a national food security system nor face the challenge of climate change, if we fail to conserve and utilize in a sustainable manner our genetic wealth in flora, fauna and micro-organisms”. This rationale still guides the programme.

The objectives set in 2015 to be achieved by 2020 are:

  1. succeed in dynamic conservation of the vanishing Plant Genetic Resources (PGRs) of the region;
  2. secure house-hold level food, nutrition and livelihood security by promoting sustainable use of locally important PGRs and
  3. mainstream eco-agricultural practices for food production.

Agrobiodiversity-a critical subset of biodiversity for reducing the impacts of climate change on agriculture and to increase the resilience of both the vulnerable communities, and the food production landscapes is the core focus of the programme.

A strategic framework known as C4 continuum that pays concurrent attention to conservation, cultivation, consumption, and commerce aspects of PGR management is the approach to achieve the programme’s goal and objectives.

The programme being implemented through the Community Agro-biodiversity Centre in Kerala, Biju Patnaik Medicinal Plants Garden & Research Centre in Odisha, Community Biodiversity Management Initiative in Kolli Hills, and Community Gene Bank facility in Chennai.