International Day for Biological Diversity was observed today on the theme ‘Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism’ organised by the Directorate of Environment. The function was held at the auditorium hall of the Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS), Palace Compound, Imphal.
Forests and Environment Minister Shri Th. Shyamkumar, speaking as the Chief Guest of the function, said that, the day is observed across the world to promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. He said that, the day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to economic growth and to the conservation of biodiversity. Exploitation of the nature by the humans has resulted in the ecological imbalance and that is why such other events are observed across the globe, he added.
Minister Shyamkumar urged the Directorate of Environment to organise the day at various locations of the State from next year, in order to create mass awareness. He further expressed his desire that, all the departments need to get involved for successful implementation of the day.
President of the function, Shri Shambhu Singh, Additional Chief Secretary (Forests and Environment, PHE, AR & DG-SAT) sharing his personal experiences, said that, Manipur was a bigger biodiversity hotspot when he first landed here, 32 years back. He termed the events of encroachments of water bodies over the years and gradual conversion into paddy fields as the “loot of the century”.
Additional Chief Secretary said that, people in the State have played havoc with the beautiful gift of nature and citizens are solely responsible for destroying the biodiversity. He said that, eco-tourism is a fantastic concept which will generate revenue, employment and help in maintaining the ecology. He cautioned that, the tourists need to maintain ecology of the place where they visit. Giving message to the younger generations, Shambhu Singh said that, they have to carry the torch forward in future to ensure that the ecology of the place is kept in balance.
Resource Person of the function, Professor W. Vishwanath Singh, Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University spoke at length about the history and importance of the observance. He said that, United Nations General Assembly declared 2011-2020 as the United Nations decade on biodiversity. This decade serves to support and promote implementation of the objectives of the strategic plan for biodiversity and the aichi biodiversity targets, with the goal of significantly reducing biodiversity loss, he added.
As part of the function, an exhibition was inaugurated and a documentary ‘Yelhou Pambi’ was screened. (DIPR)