International Biodiversity Congress 2018
The UN General Assembly declared the period 2011-2020 as “United Nations Decade on Biodiversity” to promote the implementation of a strategic plan on biodiversity and its overall vision of living in harmony with nature. It is also a period in which the governments have to take concerted efforts to achieve “Aichi Target” or the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for addressing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, reduce the pressures on biodiversity, safeguard biodiversity at all levels, enhance the benefits provided by biodiversity. The importance of biodiversity and ecosystems is therefore reflected in many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.
In the Anthropocene, however, the trends of habitat loss, over exploitation, invasive alien species, pollution and climate change coupled with the ever-growing demand of bioresources continue to threaten the functioning of our life-sustaining biosphere. As the very functioning of life in the planet centers around biodiversity and the ecosystem services and livelihood security offered by it, the loss and destabilisation of the web of life hurt us in multiple ways.
Living in harmony with nature has been an integral part of Indian culture. This has been abundantly reflected in a variety of traditional practices, religious beliefs, rituals, folklore, arts and crafts, and in the daily lives of the Indian. Our cultural identity is deeply rooted in our biological environment. Therefore, this era demands collective action, from global to national to local levels towards biodiversity conservation and education, deeply rooted in our ecological civilizations, with a strong philosophical thinking on conservation. The concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” inscribed in Maha Upanishad, which means ‘the world is one family’, is essentially the Indian philosophy towards living in harmony with every living being in the planet, and an appeal towards undertaking a transformation from industrial civilization to biodiversity civilization, a human civilization strongly rooted in biodiversity consciousness.
In this context, the International Biodiversity Congress (IBC 2018) is being organised as a joint initiative of Navdanya, Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board and Uttarakhand Council for Science and Technology, with the support of various international and national governmental and non-governmental organisations. IBC 2018 will be held at Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun during 4-6th October 2018.
IBC 2018 is organised in Dehradun, the capital city of the Himalayan state Uttarakhand, where ecology is highly synonymous with the cultural practices. Further, IBC is being organised during the Wildlife Week (2-8 October) celebrations in India, starting with Gandhi Jayanti, the birth day of the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who always propagated the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.