Custodian farmers across several states of India were in the limelight for their invaluable work during the three day international consultation on ‘Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Strengthening Science for Climate Resilience’. The work of these farmers preserving biodiversity for posterity was among several different themes of work explored by scientists, students and development practioners from across the globe. The three main themes of the technical sessions Climate Change and Coastal Zone Management, Sustainable Livelihood, Nutrition and Health Security, Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Climate Resilience and Sustainable Development brought eminent speakers sharing their research and their experiences during the discussions.
Side events included a photo exhibition that portrayed the 30-year journey of MSSRF – from biodiversity, coastal research to biotechnology – a farmers’ pavilion provided space to farmers to market to showcase their value additions and their products, a gallery exhibited the important events in of Prof M S Swaminathan’s life and work. Students participated in an interactive session with Prof Swaminathan and raised queries related to agriculture and development. During the second day of the international consultation, as a tribute to custodian farmers, some farmers from Kerala, Odisha and Tamil Nadu were felicitated as ‘Plant Genome Saviors of Biodiversity Hotspots.’ MSSRF Science & Society Research Innovation Space visually explained activities of the institution and its research to the participants. On the third day of the event, a session was organised for the reminiscence of MSSRF by former colleagues and friends of MSSRF to recall the path travelled.