International Biodiversity Congress (IBC 2018)

By October 17, 2018General


4-6 October 2018; Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

 International Biodiversity Congress call upon policies to shift to biodiversity-based Ecological Civilization to achieve sustainable development goals

 The International Biodiversity Congress (IBC 2018) was organised as a joint initiative of Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA, Thiruvananthapuram), Navdanya (Dehradun), Forest Research Institute (FRI), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE, Dehradun), Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board, Uttarakhand Council for Science and Technology, and Wildlife Institute of India (WII, Dehradun), at FRI during 4th to 6th October 2018. About 1,000 delegates and biodiversity experts from India and abroad attended the historic event at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. The Congress was inaugurated by the honourable Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri. Pawan Kumar Chamling.  Presenting the successful model of 100 per cent organic state  and its resultant multifarious socio-economic and ecological benefits in his inaugural address, chief guest, Shri Pawan Kumar Chamling highlighted the need to exchange of the developmental models across the world with maintaining the integrity of nature besides similarity in talk and action so as to ensure conservation of biodiversity of the Himalayan state and mountain ecosystem worldwide for healthier society, cleaner and greener world.

In his broadcasted inaugural message, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce, Industry &Civil Aviation, Shri. Suresh Prabhu emphasized the role of ocean biodiversity for storage of carbon and food security.Delivering the keynote address, former foreign secretary and special envoy on climate change, Shri. Shyam Saran said that crisis situations require civilisational response.Citing various scientific reports on the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change different crisis situations cannot be treated in isolation as they are all linked in some way or the other. “We can’t deal with climate change without civilisational response at a time when we may be at the cusp of the sixth mass extinction. He added that “the current developmental strategy in India is not sustainable”.

Highlighting the role of forestry and wildlife for sustainable development, the Guest of Honour, Shri. Harak Singh Rawat,Hon’ble Minister for Forest and Wildlife, Uttarakhand talked about the deep rooted culture and tradition of Uttarakhand in conserving and maintaining the biodiversity.

Shri. Somnath Poudyal, Hon’ble Minister for Food Security, Agriculture Development, Horticulture, Government of Sikkim and Dr. V.B. Mathur (Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun) were present in the inaugural session.

In the inaugural session a campaign on Biodiverse Organic Himalaya was launched by the Hon’ble CM of Sikkim, the Global Ambassador of the Organic Movement, joined by women seed savers and organic leaders from Himalayan Region, Ladakh, HP, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam. This may trigger the momentum for turning all the Himalayan states towards organic farming, following the path of Sikkim.

In the plenary lectures were arranged in theme topics such as Biodiversity Crisis: Challenges & Way Ahead,  Legal Framework for Protecting Biodiversity; Mountains, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability of Fragile Mountain Ecosystems; Biodiversity For Food, Nutrition & Health, Biodiversity; Climate Change and Planetary Health, and Towards Eco-Civilization Vasudhaiva Kutumbam. Twenty seven lectures were presented in the plenary session.

Five parallel sessions were conducted on 5th and 6th October 2018, where 103 participants made oral presentations in five parallel technical sessions (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Legal and Knowledge Systems, Threats and Conservation Strategies, Agro-ecosystems and Food Security). The sessions were chaired/co-chaired by eminent experts in the field.

About 410 posters were also displayed by the participants in the above referred themes on all the three days of the congress. In each team the best papers were selected for award by the chairs/co-chairs/adjudicators.

The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri. Trivendra Singh Rawat was the chief guest in the Valedictory Session, which was held at 3.00 pm on 6th October 2018. Shri Rawat complemented the organisers for selecting “Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam – Towards Ecological Civilization” as the focal theme of the IBC 2018, and opined that “we live in a world where pluralistic thinking and networking are essential not only for the conservation of biodiversity but also for mitigating the threats, especially from issues such as climate change. It is the rich variety of life on Earth that is essential for the welfare and prosperity of people today and for generations to come. India, as a mega biodiversity country can plan for and dream for any developmental activity only taking into account the rich biodiversity that we have, which ensures all the services of nature. It also ensures the food security, livelihood security and nutritional security of the people.

Shri B.P. Singh, Former Governor, Sikkim, and former Secretary Environment delivered the lecture on the topic “Towards building an Ecological Civilisation”. He commented that the concept of “Vasudha” and ecological civilization based on biodiversity would serve as the pillars for achieving self-sufficiency in India.

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