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International Day for Biological Diversity with the theme, "our solutions are in nature" was held on 22th May 2020 at Forest Office Complex, Kohima.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Justice & Law, C.M. Chang stated that biological resources provide the basis of life on earth. He stated that human society depends on biological resources for almost all the food supply, medicines, clothing, fuel, building materials besides recreational and spiritual aspects. He stated that Nagaland is very rich in biodiversity having variety of flora and fauna and despite being a small state has six types of forest.

"Biological resources are required to be nurtured for their sustained supply to our future generation. There in need of working in mission mode for biodiversity conservation with an objective of turning the tide of destruction into a new positive relationship between people and nature. Thus, the policy and planning mechanism in every sphere of development should accommodate the concept/aspect of biodiversity conservation", he stated.

He stated that the theme "Our solutions are in nature" is very important as we are facing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the support from the Centre, the State has upgraded the Conference Hall of Forest Offices Complex at Dimapur, Nagaland Zoological Park Rangapahar and Botanical Garden at Kohima into Nature Learning Centres under the National Mission of Himalayan Studies (NMHS) for imparting training to children, students and communities on "Co-existence of human beings with nature", the Minister stated.

Chang urged to introspect ourselves and co-exist with nature and made an appeal to all citizens to conserve nature, forest and wildlife, biodiversity and take significance of biodiversity conservation in planning and implementing development programme.

Meanwhile, CCF and Member Secretary NSBB, Supongnukshi Ao IFS stated that due to excessive consumerism and over exploitation of the biological resources, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity was formed on 29th June 1993 as a pledge to conserve biodiversity. As mandated by the convention, India formulated the Biological Diversity Act in 2002 and Biological Diversity Rules in 2004 which was followed by Nagaland State Biological Diversity Rules in 2012, he stated.

He briefly highlighted the structure of the Nagaland State Biodiversity Board (NSBB) and some of its mandates which includes formation of Biodiversity Committees in all local bodies i.e., villages and documentation of bio-resources like plants, animals and traditional knowledge. He stated that documented resources belongs to the villages and if infringed upon can be appealed in the court hence providing legal protection. He also stressed on the importance of nature and stated that according to research 40 percent of the world's economy is nature based and 80 percent of the needs of the poor are provided by nature. He furthermore stated that there are 17 mega biodiversity hotspots in the world of which one is in India where Nagaland falls under an area called Indo-Burma Bio-Diversity Hotspot. Falling under a bio-diversity hotspot, he stated that there is huge natural potential and opportunity to be tapped by the State while simultaneously stressing on the urgent need to conserve and protect nature with proper planning and assessment and awareness outreach.

Also speaking at the event, Chairman NSBB Satya Prakash Tripathi stated that, "Biodiversity is a very vast subject involving many departments like Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries and other stakeholders". He stated that the ownership of forest land in Nagaland is different compared to other parts of the country with 88.3 percent forest area under private ownership. Hence, he stressed on the importance of educating and spreading awareness about the conservation and protection of nature and bio resources to the people and community especially the students.

At the event, C.M. Chang also released a short film and illustrative booklet on "Our solutions are in nature" aimed at spreading awareness about conservation and protection of nature and biodiversity.

The event was organized by Nagaland State Biodiversity Board in collaboration with Kohima Press Club (KPC). It was chaired by General Secretary KPC, Atono Kense while words of gratitude was delivered by President KPC, Alice Yhoshü.


(Shahlong & Renbenthung, IA)