Children learn ABC of biodiversity

 A Biodiversity Conclave specially dedicated to children was organised at Rustom Choski Hall in the Indian Institute of Science on Monday as part of the Indian Biodiversity Congress.

More than a hundred students from various schools in the City took part in the conclave that educated them about conservation of ecology.

Prof T V Ramachandra, a scientist at IISc, addressed students on the importance of protecting the biodiversity. He gave an example of how streams going dry could be saved with awareness and education about its benefits to human society.

“Streams are perennial if their source is in the native forest that is undisturbed by human interference. Products worth Rs nine crore are extracted from forests in Uttara Kannada,” he said.

He emphasised that to manage sustainability one must know the importance of ecosystem.

“Our government officials do not have knowledge about the ecosystem and hence are not able to make the correct decisions.”

As much as 70 per cent of waste generated is organic, 20 per cent can be recycled and only 10 per cent needs to be dumped in landfills.

Unfortunately the present scenario is otherwise, he said, speaking about garbage crisis in the City. Prof Ramachandra encouraged students to send e-mails and postcards to officials and question them about current ineffective practises. The way forward for the country is knowledge about the ecosystem, he said. 

Green activist Murali from Namma Cycle told students about the need for urban spaces to shift to cycles and eco-friendly transport modes in order to free metros of traffic congestion and reduce carbon emission. He gave the example of Houston in Texas that has managed to prohibit the entry of automobiles inside the city and has made space for cars on the periphery of the city.

“From the periphery, the public resort to cycles to reach different parts of the city,” he explained advocating a similar model for Bangalore where people could make use of bicycles and buses, which would help in making Bangalore a carbon neutral City.
In an interaction that followed, students wished to know how senior citizens could manage with bicycles. The activist said it’s a myth that senior citizens cannot ride cycles and gave example of an octogenarian cyclist who manages to travel across the City on his bicycle.

Ornithologist M B Krishna and others also interacted with students educating them about the ecology of Bangalore.

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