Focus on documentation of biodiversity in DK

Social Forestry Department DCF J Srinivasmurthy speaks at a workshop.

Social Forestry Department DCF J Srinivasmurthy said 115 out of 230 Gram Panchayats in Dakshina Kannada district have completed the documentation of biodiversity.

The People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) has been prepared for all the 230 Gram Panchayats, urban local bodies, all taluks and at the district level.

The PBRs have to be submitted to the District Biodiversity Management Committee, which will evaluate the PBRs, before finalising them. Once submitted, they are the custodian of the documents, he said.

The People’s Biodiversity Register is meant to document information on the country’s rich flora and fauna. All bioresources at the local level will be recorded under the aegis of the National Biodiversity Authority and Karnataka Biodiversity Board.

The register is being prepared through a participatory approach coordinated by the Panchayat-level Biodiversity Management Committee, under the guidance of college lecturers (especially from those with Botany background) and the students. The target for this year is to prepare 72 PRBs, he noted.

Already, 15 to 20 PRBs have been submitted by the coordinators which are yet to be evaluated by the district-level technical committee to ensure that there is no mistake in the documentation, he said.

The Social Forestry Department has appointed 21 coordinators for the purpose. The PBR is a document detailing flora and fauna diversity and its distribution in each local body, he said.

Explaining about the PBR, Srinivasmurthy said each register lists the agrobiodiversity, wild biodiversity, aquatic biodiversity, including trees, shrubs, climbers, cropping pattern, fruits, domesticated animals, tubers, medicinal and ornamental plants, timber trees, landscape, soil type, reptiles, and domesticated animals. It also documents, the kind of crops that were grown in a particular village in the past and the shift in crop pattern. Rare species are also documented. Traditional knowledge of herbal medicines is also recorded in the PBR along with the photograph, address and phone number of traditional practitioners, he
added.

Stating that Biodiversity Management Committees have been constituted in all the 230 Gram Panchayats in the district, he said that the committees have been constituted in the taluk and the district levels as well.

The district-level PBR, highlighting the salient features of biodiversity in Dakshina Kannada, is being documented by experts from the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru. The experts from ISEC have initiated the process of collecting details on the biodiversity of the district, he explained.

Earlier, at a one-day workshop organised to create awareness on the biodiversities for Zilla Panchayat members and panchayat development officers, retired DCF Hucchaiah stressed the need to conserve the biodiversity of the region.

Referring to the failed move to patent the use of turmeric and neem in the US and Europe, he said, “Documenting prior knowledge of the use of biological resources is important to check biopiracy.”

Explaining the uses of the locally available ‘Chakrani Balli’, ‘Arashina Balli’ and ‘Doornatha’ plant, he said these locally available plants are used in cancer treatment. “Unfortunately, we lack the knowledge on it. Pashana Bedi plant is used in kidney stone treatment traditionally,” he
said.

Zilla Panchayat President Meenakshi Shanthigodu presided over the programme.

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Focus on documentation of biodiversity in DK

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