Thiruvananthapuram: The first International Biodiversity Congress (IBC 2018), organised as a joint initiative of Thiruvananthapuram based Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), Navdanya (Dehradun), Forest Research Institute (FRI), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE, Dehradun), Wildlife Institute of India (WII, Dehradun), Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board and Uttarakhand Council for Science and Technology will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling.
IBC 2018 will gather 700 delegates from 25 states and UTs of India and 50 foreign delegates at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun from 4-6 October 2018, and will focus the discussion on the theme topic “Biodiversity for Ecological Civilization”. The discussion will be around the idea that all the commitments to conserve the biodiversity is possible only through creating an ecological civilization, with deeper ecological thinking and knowledge on biodiversity, promoting the philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or the world is one family. Harak Singh Rawat, Minister for Forest and Wildlife, Uttarakhand will be chief guest during the inaugural session. Sri Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary and Special Envoy of Government of India on Climate Change will deliver the key-note address.
In the inaugural session a campaign on Biodiverse Organic Himalaya will be launched by 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.
The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat will be the chief guest in the Valedictory Session, where Archana Chitnis Honourable Minster for Women and Child Development, Madhya Pradesh will deliver the special address and the guest of honour will be B.P. Singh, Former Governor, Sikkim, and former Secretary Environment in whose tenure the National Biodiversity Act was drafted; Author of series on Bahuda, on Diversity. Bittu Sehgal, Editor Sanctuary Magazine, Mumbai will also speak on the occasion.
In the plenary lectures 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. There will be 27 plenary lectures by biodiversity experts from India and abroad.
Renate Kunast (Former Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, Germany), Andre Leu (International Director, Regeneration International, Queensland, Australia), Dr James Buchanan (Xavier University, USA), Dr. Konrad (Project Director, German Society for International Cooperation), Dr. V.B. Mathur (Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun), Kartikeya Sarabhai (Director, Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad), Dr K. Venkataraman (Former Director, Zoological Survey of India), Jyotsna Sitling (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India), Dr Sanjay Molur (Executive Director, Zoo Outreach Organisation, Coimbatore), Dr Balakrishna Pisupati (Former Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority), Dr. S.C. Gairola (Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun), . Amarjeet Ahuja (Former Negotiator for Convention on Biological Diversity), Dr Vandana Shiva (Navdanya, New Delhi), Retd. Justice Prabha Sridevan (Former Chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal), Dr. MK Ramesh (National Law School of India University, Bangalore), Prof. Biswajit Dhar (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi), Dr. RV Varma (Co-chair, Expert Committee on Access and Benefit Sharing, NBA), Dr. V.S. Vijayan (Salim Ali Foundation, Thrissur), Dr. R.S. Rawal (Director GB Pant Institute Kosi Katarmal, Almora), Dr Om Prakash Chaurasia (Director, Defence Institute of High Altitude Research, Leh-Ladakh), Dr. G. G. Gangadharan (Ayurvedacharya, Director, Ramaiah Indic Specialty Ayurveda – Restoration Hospital), Dr. Mira Shiva (Coordinator IHES, New Delhi), Dr. Debjani Roy (Quality Council of India, and NABC), ), Dr. Erach Bharucha (Director, Bharathi Vidyapeeth, Pune), Dr Deepak Apte (Director, Bombay Natural History Society), Dr. Sejal Vohra (WWF-India, New Delhi), and Dr. A. Biju Kumar (Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Kerala).
About 100 participants will make oral presentation in five parallel technical sessions (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Legal and Knowledge Systems, Threats and Conservation Strategies, Agro-ecosystems and Food Security) and about 400 posters will be displayed in the three days.
This international Congress will initiate and encourage a dialogue among relevant stakeholders of biodiversity, including civil society organisations and farmers, to chart out programmes to facilitate a shift towards ecological civilization that value, cherish and conserve biodiversity to achieve sustainable development goals, both at national and international platforms. Further, the network of concerned scientists formed during the programme will strengthen capacity and to promote networking in order to popularise the philosophy of biodiversity for ecological civilization, besides providing an interdisciplinary platform on matters related to the status, conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity.
The biodiversity expo arranged in the FRI campus will showcase the rich biodiversity heritage of the India, and will exhibit the linkage between biodiversity, economy, ecosystem services, aesthetics, and cultural evolution. A special exhibition on “Diversity of Banana” and Cattle Diversity” will be arranged by CISSA. IBC venue will also witness a Dialogue on Biodiversity and the Future of Food and Agriculture, in the context of increasing corporate control over food and genetic resources.
As a prelude to the programme, SHAKTI: Women’s Biodiversity Festival will be organised at Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm, Dehradun, with a focus on “Our Food, Our Freedom”, to highlight the role of women in conserving the food, health and nutritional security, besides conserving agro-biodiversity of India. In the Children’s Biodiversity Summit the selected children from all over India and a Japanese team of 50 children will interact with the eminent experts in the field and present their perspectives on conservation of biodiversity, besides signing a campaign on “Future Leaders for Biodiversity”.