On the occasion of International Biodiversity Day i.e. on 22 May 2023, Chhattisgarh State Biodiversity Board organized a program at Aranya Bhawan, Nava Raipur. Forest and Climate Change Minister Mohammad Akbar attended the program as Chief Guest of the occasion.
This year's theme for the International Day for Biodiversity was 'Rebuilding Biodiversity from Agreement to Implementation'. On this occasion, Chairman of State Biodiversity Board Rakesh Chaturvedi, Principal Secretary (Forest) Manoj Pingua, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests V. Srinivasa Rao, Member Secretary Arun Kumar Pandey and a large number of Biodiversity Awardees were present.
At the program, State-level Biodiversity Awards 2023 were announced in the program and the awards were bestowed upon the selected institutions and individuals at the hands of Forest Minister Akbar.
These include Biodiversity Management Committee Dhamni Balodabazar, Shivkumar Chandravanshi from village Koko, Maa Roopai Eco Club Kasekera Mahasamund Dr Jasmeet Singh Assistant Professor Kamdhenu University Durg, People for Animal Wildlife Trust of India, Conservation Corps Society Bilaspur, Virendra Singh Green Commando District Balod, Dr Vishwanath Panigrahi Bagbahra, Anup Ranjan Pandey, Rajwade village Sonpurkhurd were given prizes in different categories.
The book 'Biodiversity of Chhattisgarh' prepared by Scientist M.L. Nayak, and Dr R.P. Mishra was also released by the Forest Minister. Moreover, Chief Guest also distributed prizes to the winners of the online essay, poster and slogan competitions organized for school and college students to create awareness of biodiversity.
Addressing the program, Forest Minister Akbar said that Chhattisgarh is rich in biodiversity. Several steps have been taken by the state government for the conservation and promotion of biodiversity here. He laid special emphasis on the need to start a public awareness campaign for the conservation and promotion of biodiversity in the state and to speed it up.
The Forest Minister further said that the state government is taking consolidated measures towards activating the Biodiversity Committees in the state. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests V.K. Srinivasa Rao, Chairman Biodiversity Board Rakesh Chaturvedi, and Principal Secretary (Forest) Manoj Pingua also addressed the program.
At the onset of the program, Arun Kumar Pandey, Member Secretary, Biodiversity Board gave a brief presentation on the activities of the Board. During the presentation, the Member Secretary informed that about 12000 PBRs (Public Biodiversity Register) have been set up by the Board in the state.
Against the given target of preparing PBR, 8382 PBRs have been prepared. The work of making a bird interpretation and awareness centre in the Gidhwa Parsada area, which will also function as a bird safari in future, is also in progress.
The design of the proposed Bird Safari building was also presented by the member secretary. The Member Secretary informed that the work of conservation of selected wetlands has also started in the state.
In the previous year, the state government declared the office of the Biodiversity Board as the secretariat of the newly formed Chhattisgarh Wetland Authority. Nature Trail and Biodiversity Awareness Walk are also being developed in selected locations of the state.
Development of Manav forest near Gangrel dam in Dhamtari forest division, eco-nature camp in Kharora circle of Bilaspur and construction of nature trail in Dalha hill of Janjgir-Champa forest division is also in progress.
The Board is also developing Shahbada village of Kanker forest division as a bird tourism centre. The Member Secretary also informed that in the last year, the state officials and scientists have been sent on tour to study the Cactus Garden established at Kevadia Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat and Ramsar sites in Orissa.
In addition to this, national-level seminars and conferences on various topics have been organized.