Srinagar Aug 28 (KNS): J&K Biodiversity Council and The Celestial Earth today hosted the Stakeholder Meeting on Developing the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Jammu and Kashmir.

On this occasion, the Commissioner / Secretary of the Forestry, Ecology and Environment Department, Sanjeev Verma, was the guest of honor.

The meeting was also attended by VC Islamic University, Dr. Shakil Romshoo; Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Pondurang K. Pole; Senior Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), Dr Mohit Gera; Director, SFRI & Addl. PCCF, Sh. Asaf Mahmood Sagar; Director, Environment Dr Neelu Gera; Director of Social Forestry, Roshan Jaggi and other heads of departments, scientists and experts from the University of Kashmir, SKAUST and other institutions, NGOs and members of civil society.

The meeting was held in the context of the national directive issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) in 1999 to develop a national and state strategy and action plan for biodiversity.

Speaking on this occasion, the Commissioner-Secretary underlined the importance of developing a strategy and action plan for the conservation of J & K’s biodiversity in the context of increasing climate change and anthropogenic impacts on J & K’s fragile ecosystems and threatened biodiversity. He expressed his joy at having found the development of a strategy and action plan document for J&K and stressed the importance of making the document comprehensive and inclusive.

He urged the departments to create a strong strategy and action plan through mutual cooperation and understanding. He also underlined the role of the document in guiding the future sustainable development of J&K. He provided all administrative support in the process of its development and publication in the near future.

Dr Romshoo underlined the importance of the document saying that we live at a crossroads of environmental change. He remarked that it is “now or never” for us. He stressed that if we do not act in the next 10 years, our future generations would be in great danger. He called on all stakeholders, including scientists, academics, bureaucrats, industrialists and others, to play their part in building a sustainable future for our future offspring.

PCCF & HoFF, who is also Chairman of the Biodiversity Council, highlighted J&K’s vulnerability to climate change and its link to biodiversity. He mentioned that J & K’s proposed biodiversity strategy and action plan will be the key document for the board in the years to come in terms of developing its future programs. The inclusiveness of the document will strengthen cooperation between the different departments of J&K, which will lead to sustainable development that respects the climate and biodiversity.

Dr. Gera deliberated on the critical role of the forest and other primary sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and sheep and animal husbandry in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Dr Anindya Bhattacharya, Executive Director of The Celestial Earth, explained the importance of the Biodiversity Conservation Action Plan to J&K and outlined the process of developing the document following guidance from the National Authority for biodiversity. He also deliberated on the importance of multistakeholder consultation to make the document inclusive and relevant to J&K.

The stakeholder consultation meeting took place in three technical sessions on the conservation of natural resources, vulnerability to climate change and the conservation of biodiversity, followed by a concluding session on the way forward to enrich the project. strategy and action plan.

Earlier, the meeting began with welcoming remarks from Asaf Mahmood Sagar and Irfan Ali Shah led the opening session of the meeting and presented the vote of thanks to the dignitaries and other attendees. (KNS)


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