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Project to record NE bioresources

The department of biotechnology under the Union ministry of science and technology has launched the biggest ever initiative to document the rich and unique resources of the Northeast.

By Roopak Goswami in Guwahati
  • Published 9.05.18
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FLORA, FAUNA, FANTASTIC

Guwahati: The department of biotechnology under the Union ministry of science and technology has launched the biggest ever initiative to document the rich and unique resources of the Northeast.

The Rs 23-crore project, Bioresource and Sustainable Livelihood in the Northeast, spread over three years, is funded by the department and is being coordinated by Bangalore-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology, the Environment (Atree) and the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) in Imphal and Sikkim.

Altogether 11 institutions in the Northeast are involved in this project.

The project will undertake baseline inventories of plants and selected animal groups in the Northeast and will have detailed information on plant and animal groups such as all higher plants, non-flowering plants, algae, silk worms, edible insects, dung beetles and others.

"One of the important gains of the project will be the documentation of the rich and unique bioresources, strengthening biodiversity science in the region and integration of science and societal goals for conservation and utilisation of the bioresources," a senior official of Atree told The Telegraph.

The project was undertaken as the capacity of institutions to fully explore the biodiversity of the region, examine the impact of climate change on bioresources and ecosystem services is lacking because of lack of basic data, inadequate institutional frameworks, inadequate human resources and weak collaboration among institutions.

The project will help to know the patterns of species richness, abundance, rarity and endemism, generating profiles of genetic variation within selected species of economic importance such as ginger and orange, getting data on the use of wild bioresources by local communities and traditional knowledge associated with these resource. It also aims at getting new products and improved germplasm from wild bioresources integrated with livelihood of local communities.

The project will help enhance the capacity of the institutions in the Northeast in biodiversity science.

One of the deliverables will be to have a minimum of 10 graduate-level courses for over five years in modern concepts and tools of biodiversity science and to get at least 40 doctoral dissertations on bioresources by graduate students from institutions in the Northeast over the next five or seven years.