MSSRF and NBA collaborate on capacity strengthening initiatives
A three-day capacity building programme on Biodiversity Governance in India with special focus on the Indian Biological Diversity Act 2002 and Global Biodiversity Framework
From December 27 to 29, 2023, the programme will focus on strengthening the capacity of Class II and Class III officials of Forest Departments and other stakeholders is essential to deal with recent amendments in Biodiversity Act, coordinate conservation activities with local communities, and the implementation of national commitments under the Global Biodiversity Framework. MSSRF is hosting the three-day training programme in Chennai.
At the inaugural function, Dr GN Hariharan, Executive Director – MSSRF, while welcoming the experts and participants, spoke of MSSRF’s long-standing collaboration with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, and the late Prof M S Swaminathan’s contribution towards shaping the Biodiversity Act and the Framework.
Dr B Balaji IFS., Secretary – NBA, during opening remarks thanked MSSRF for the collaboration, while iterating the importance and significance of the Biodiversity Act for sustainable development in India. He recalled that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992 and its three components – conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of its components; and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources – are actively practiced till this day. Dr Balaji also noted the importance and role of common citizens in saving local biodiversity.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chairperson – MSSRF, gave special remarks on the occasion. She stressed on the importance of understanding field-worker’s inputs during the exposure visits organised for the trainees on December 28th, while noting that the traditional knowledge is with the indigenous communities, and such knowledge can create both opportunities and revenue for the environment and the people.
The special address was delivered by Dr Shekhar Kumar Niraj IFS, Secretary – Tamil Nadu State Biodiversity Board. He emphasised on having more importance on third-tier BMCs for better results, adding that communications between the NBA, SBB and BMC is key for the successful implementation of the Act.
In the Inaugural address, Shri Subrat Mohapatra IFS, PCCF, and HoFF – Tamil Nadu, explained the Biodiversity Act and listing the challenges in implementing the Act, especially since it is the ‘umbrella Art’ for various other Acts. He voiced that his belief in the interaction and communication between the higher and lower officials as the key to a successful training programme.
Shri C Achalender Reddy, IFS (Retd), Chairperson – NBA, during his Presidential Address, spoke of the vastness of the Act and how nationwide implementation is a difficult task. He flagged some of the issues faced by the Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC), Eco Management Committee (EMC), and Joint Forest Management committees (JFMC) and how the convergence between them can help in solving the problems.
The inaugural session came to end with Dr Oliver King, Director Biodiversity –MSSRF, thanking dignitaries and the 30 participants.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.