Stakeholders consultation meeting held on J&K Biodiversity Action Plan

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Biodiversity Council today convened a stakeholders consultation meeting on J&K Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP), a roadmap for biodiversity conservation.

Commissioner Secretary, Forest, Ecology and Environment Department, Sanjeev Verma, chaired the meeting virtually.

The deliberations and consultations were chaired by Principal Chief Conservator Forests and HoFF/Chairman J&K Biodiversity Council, Dr Mohit Gera and Member Secretary, J&K Biodiversity Council/Director JKFRI, Asaf Mehmood Sagar.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of line departments and institutions related to conservation of biodiversity including Department of Horticulture, Jal Shakti, Urban Local Bodies, Floriculture, PDD, Agriculture Production, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Revenue, Health & Medical Education, Soil & Water Conservation, Wildlife Protection, Handicrafts, Education, Tourism as well as representatives from SKUAST-K.

The BSAP is a dynamic document which aims to preserve and upscale the conservation made by the Forest and allied departments.

Sanjeev Verma, during his online address, appreciated the efforts of Biodiversity Council in developing BSAP. He laid stress on coordinated efforts of the departments towards biodiversity conservation. He urged upon all the departments to work collectively towards devising a robust strategy to attain the desired objectives.

While deliberating about Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, Dr. Mohit Gera said that the Stakeholders Consultation meeting aims to get inputs from all the stakeholder departments and agencies so as to address the strategies of BSAP collectively and deliberate on action points.

He added that in order to accomplish the activities proposed under BSAP all stakeholders are required to evaluate the proposed strategies at their end and carry out the desired actions like financial planning, understanding the priorities, facilitating the availability of adequate resources for meeting the expected outcomes in BSAP.

Chairman apprised that the final draft of J&K BSAP has been submitted to the government for consideration. He highlighted that BSAP comprises 11 themes, 38 strategies and 161 activities covering all the aspects of conservation of biodiversity and involves all the major departments to play a role towards biodiversity conservation. He also apprised that the earlier draft BSAP underwent elaborate refining and review. He mentioned that the BSAP will be a key document in years to come keeping in view the vulnerability of J&K to climate change and its linkage to biodiversity.

Earlier, Asaf Mehmood Sagar gave a brief background about the process involved in preparation of BSAP and the efforts being made by the Biodiversity Council to refine the document.

It is pertinent to mention here that the process for making a draft of BSAP for Jammu and Kashmir was initiated in the year 2020 and “The Celestial Earth” was assigned this task for developing BSAP.

The BSAP was developed in the backdrop of the national guideline issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in 1999 to develop national as well as State Level Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan.

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