Focus on biodiversity documentation: says expert

The land under forest has  reduced considerably, said Botanical Survey of India former director Dr M Sanjappa.

Speaking at the one-day seminar on “Forests – diversity of species and conservation”  organised by the Department of Applied Botany, Mangalore University, he said many species have become rare, endangered and threatened, some are on the verge of extinction. Biodiversity documentation and conservation should be main focus of the present day.

He said plants are very important in nature as primary producers with which all other organisms on the earth are able to get the food. Besides, plants are important as source of nutrients, drug, shelter etc, he added.

Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor Prof T C Shivashankaramurthy spoke on the significance of the forests of Western Ghats in the social life of the local people.

Mangalore University is located in the foothills of the Western Ghats having ample opportunity to take up research work in various aspects of conservation, biodiversity etc.

The Department of Applied Botany has been recognised by the Karnataka government as “Centre of Excellence” with a grant of Rs 60 lakh.

The university is also planning to start a Biodiversity and Bio-prospecting Research Centre in the campus to augment research and added that the centre is likely to be named as ‘Biodiversity bright spot,’ similar to the biodiversity ‘hot spots.’

Department of Applied Botany Chairman Prof K R Chandrashekar welcomed the gathering. Dr G Krishnakumar proposed a vote of thanks.

The programme was attended by the students of Department of Applied Botany, Biosciences, Biotechnology, Ayurvedic College, Research Scholars and the faculty members  in the Mangalore University.

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