The first meeting of J&K Biodiversity Council was today held here at Van Bhawan, Jammu under the Chairmanship of Principal Chief Conservator Forests/HoFF & Chairman Biodiversity Council, J&K, Dr. Mohit Gera.The Biodiversity Council was constituted by Government of Jammu & Kashmir with the objective of conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and knowledge.During the meeting, the council was apprised of the progress made on constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees and status on preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers in UT of Jammu & Kashmir.
The BMCs have been constituted for 276 Intermediate Panchayats (Block Level), 4290 Village Panchayats and 71 Urban Local Bodies. The preparation of PBRs has also been completed in 4290 Village Panchayats and 71 Urban Local Bodies with the help of nine different line departments and consultation with members of Biodiversity Management Committees and other people and experts in biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and traditional practices.This challenging task could be accomplished with the guidance and support provided by the Commissioner/Secretary to Government, Department of Forests, Ecology & Environment.
The important agenda points discussed during the meeting of the Council were up-dation of People’s Biodiversity Registers; Restoration and Rehabilitation of the plant and animal species on verge of extinction; procedures for sustainable utilization of Biodiversity; updation of strategy and action plan for Biodiversity conservation and collaboration with Universities and other Institutions for studies related to Biodiversity conservation in Jammu & Kashmir.The important decisions taken during the meeting were time bound up-dation of People’s Biodiversity Registers and initiating collaboration with National Biodiversity Authority for upgradation to e-PBRs; identification of Biodiversity Heritage Sites; studies to be taken for Insitu and Exsitu conservation of threatened species and creation of mass awareness on benefits of Biodiversity and its conservation. The meeting was moderated by Asaf Mehmood, APCCF/Director JKFRI/ Member Secretary J&K Biodiversity Council. Other Members of the J&K Biodiversity Council including Suresh Gupta, APCCF/ Chief Wildlife Warden J&K; representative of Administrative Department of Agriculture Production, Dr. Pankaj Khajuria, Addl. Secretary; Department of Forests, Ecology & Environment, Dr. Harpreet Kaur, I/c Special Secretary; and non-official members Dr. C.M. Seth, IFS (Retd.), Om Prakash Sharma, IFS (Retd.), Professor Geeta Sumbli (Retd.), Dr. Anzar Khuroo, Department of Botany, University of Kashmir and Dr. Sushil Verma, Division of Biodiversity, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, besides special invitees and other senior officers attended the meeting.