Scientists walk away with germplasm
JK Sans Biodiversity Board
D A RASHID
Srinagar, May 31: In the absence of State Biodiversity Board, the germplasm of the state continues to be vulnerable to loss in keeping with several dangers, including scientists from different parts of the world taking away this asset from here for their own research and propagation.
Highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir that a number of plant species wielding scientific values have been taken away from Kashmir under wraps by the scientists from other countries, which is a matter of concern for Biologists, who believe if extinction of these species takes place here, the germplasm would have to be imported at much higher cost to Kashmir.
“Over last 100 years, nearly 10 species of medicinal plants have disappeared from here due to extirpation, which is a huge loss in terms of biodiversity value. We are losing this asset apace as there is no guard to it” said Professor Zaffar Reshi, HOD Botany University of Kashmir.
Harbouring apprehensions that Kashmir would one day pay a huge price for its lost valuable assets of bio species, Zaffar said, “If our bio-species get destroyed or stolen for benefits of others, a day is not far away when we will have to buy our own germplasm from those, stealing it from us against a huge cost and it will be too late to repent.”
Without a Biodiversity board, which oversees the safety of the bio species, the species in Kashmir are reeling under a stress of extirpation, which could eventually lead to extinction of these species, Professor Ghulam Hassan Dar of Botany department said.
Prof Dar added, “We will have to awaken to the situation with a role resting with media to highlight the impact of dwindling bio assets of Kashmir. Individuals can’t help; society as whole needs to play a role”.
Dr Muhammad Ashraf Rather, a Kashmiri bio Scientist at Virginia University in USA said that Biodiversity in Kashmir should be preserved and protected at any cost. “Kashmir is fortunate to have biodiversity rich flora and fauna and all efforts should be put to protect the species from dangers”, the scientist told Greater Kashmir.
“It is an irony that we don’t have a Board for policy and protection of our biodiversity. How can we map out things to ensure a perennial protection to bio species, overtly we live in 21st century but virtually we stand nowhere” a top officer in administration said. While substantiating his claim, he said that there should be a code of conduct under which no one should be allowed to venture into the biodiversity protected areas.
Most of the biologists from valley believe that after taking away any plant with scientific value, there should be an undertaking from the country taking the plant for research or medicinal use to share the benefits of medicines prepared from the plant with Kashmir.
When contacted Secretary Forests, Shant Manu, said, “There has been a delay to set up of the Bio-diversity Board in Jammu and Kashmir as the state has its own act for it.”
He, however, said that the composition of the Board stands already made and after getting clearance from the Finance Department, the proposal will be re-submitted to the cabinet for approval.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 31 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 31 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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