Kerala to host India's first biodiversity congress

The first ever National Biodiversity Congress will be hosted by the state capital December, K.P. Laladhas, member secretary of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB), the main organiser of the event, said Wednesday.

This is an event that will henceforth be conducted annually, and it is expected to be the most important meeting of academics and field activists working on issues of biodiversity, Laladhas said.

"The objective of this event is to focus on challenges and frame strategies for protecting the unique biodiversity of our country. An exhibition showcasing the bio-world of the country would be held, and the National Biodiversity Students' Congress would also be held to train young people to handle the nation's natural wealth with care," Laladhas said.

The first NBC, to be held Dec 27-30, will be organised by the National Biodiversity Authority in collaboration with state biodiversity boards. All other organisations involved in conservation efforts in the country would also be included, Laladhas said.

The focal theme of NBC 2012 would be "Biodiversity for food security". The meet will see sessions on organic farming, the role of science and technology in access and benefit-sharing of bio resources, and people's participation in biodiversity conservation. 
A special session on "Western Ghats in World Heritage Status: Challenges and Opportunities" is also scheduled as part of the congress.

Members of the academic and research community, NGOs, policy makers, consulting firms and officials in central and state government departments who work for conservation of nature and biodiversity are expected to attend.

"The meeting would also provide an opportunity for interaction with custodians of traditional knowledge," said Laladhas.

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