Consultation meeting organized on J&K Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan

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Consultation meeting organized on J&K Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan

Srinagar, ,13-Sept; A Stakeholders Consultation meeting on J&K Biodiversity Strategy &

Action Plan – a roadmap for biodiversity conservation was today organised by J&K Biodiversity Council in Forest Complex, Sheikh Bagh Srinagar.

The meeting began with inaugural address of Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner/Secretary to Government, Forest, Ecology& Environment Department, J&K and the deliberations /consultations were chaired by Dr. Mohit Gera PCCF&HoFF/ Chairman J&K Biodiversity Council and Asaf Mehmood Sagar, Member Secretary J&K Biodiversity Council/ Director JKFRI.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of line departments/Institutions related to conservation of biodiversity, viz.,

Department of Horticulture, Jal Shakti, Urban Local Bodies, Floriculture, PDD, Agriculture Production, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Revenue, Health & Medical Education, Soil & Water Conservation, Wildlife Protection, Handicrafts, Education, Tourism as well as representatives from SKUAST-K.

The Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan (BSAP) is a dynamic document and aims to preserve and upscale the conservation efforts made by the Forest and allied departments. Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner/Secretary to Government, Forest, Ecology & Environment Department, J&K during his online address appreciated the efforts of Biodiversity Council in developing BSAP and advised to follow roadmap given in the document for conservation of biodiversity and laid stress on coordinated efforts of the departments towards biodiversity conservation. He urged all the departments to create a robust strategy by mutual cooperation and understanding to attain the desired objectives.

While deliberating about Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan Dr. Mohit Gera, PCCF HoFF/ Chairman J&K Biodiversity Council said that the Stakeholders Consultation meeting aims to get inputs from all the stakeholder departments/agencies so as to address the strategies of BSAP collectively and deliberate on action points .He further added that in order to accomplish the activities proposed under BSAP the stakeholder departments/agencies are required to evaluate the proposed strategies at their end and carry out the desired actions like financial planning, understanding the priorities, facilitating the availability of adequate resources for meeting the expected outcomes in BSAP.

The Chairman appraised that the final draft of J&K Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan has been submitted to the Govt for Consideration and the Administrative Department had recommended having this consultation with all the stakeholder departments/agencies. He highlighted that BSAP comprises of 11 Themes, 38 Strategies and 161 Activities covering all the aspects of conservation of biodiversity and involves all the major departments to play a role towards biodiversity conservation. He also appraised that the earlier draft BSAP underwent elaborate refining and review including during earlier consultation held on 28 th August 2021.He mentioned that the BSAP will be a key document in years to come keeping in view the vulnerability of J&K to climate change and its linkage to biodiversity.

Earlier the welcome address was delivered by Asaf Mehmood Sagar, Member Secretary J&K Biodiversity Council/ Director JKFRI. During his address he gave a brief background about the process involved in the preparation of BSAP and the efforts made by Biodiversity Council to refine the document.

It is pertinent to mention here that the process for making of draft Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan (BSAP) for UT of Jammu and Kashmir was initiated in the year 2020 and “The Celestial Earth” was assigned this task for developing BSAP. The BSAP was developed in the backdrop of the national guideline issued by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF& CC) in 1999 to develop national as well as State Level Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan.

The process involved consultation with all the concerned departments like Agriculture Department, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Department of Horticulture, Department of Floriculture, Department of Fisheries, Department of Wildlife Protection, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department for developing BSAP.

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