The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 23 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Move to bank biodiversity

Guwahati, May 22: Assam plans to prepare a people’s bio-diversity register, which will document the biological resources in the state, their medicinal or any other use or any other traditional knowledge associated with them.

Assam forest and environment minister Rakibul Hussain announced this during a function organised here today on International Day for Biological Diversity.

The move will fulfil the objectives of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

An official of Assam State Biodiversity Board said the register was a long process and it would involve other departments.

“It will be done at the district level and in local language,” the official said.

“We would like to have funds and may request the National Biodiversity Authority for the same. It will take at least one year for the register to be developed,” the official added.

In 2010, Assam, a constituent unit of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity region and one of the two biodiversity hotspots in the country, had set up the state biodiversity board and has also framed rules to conserve it.

The state has seven types of forests. Altogether 952 species of plants have been identified in the state, which have uses in medical practices in some form or other.

The forest minister said biodiversity management committees would soon be set up throughout the state.

These committees will ensure conservation, utilisation and equitable sharing of benefits from the biodiversity.

They will facilitate in the preparation of people’s biodiversity registers.

These committees will be responsible for protecting the knowledge recorded in the people’s biodiversity registers, particularly to regulate its access to outside agencies and individuals.

“The committees will have powers to decide the terms on which they would permit access of biodiversity resources and associated knowledge to different parties,” Hussain said.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi unveiled the logo of the board during the function.

The logo was designed by artist Padma Singha.

Members of biodiversity management committees of Kamrup district were felicitated during the function.

Gogoi said two saplings should be given to every child born in the state to inculcate sense of conservation.