Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to operationalize the biodiversity management committees to ensure future ecological security.
It is important to note that Kashmir Himalayas are extremely rich in biodiversity. At the same time, many species have been lost due to habitat loss and degradation.
It’s a worrying sign as many of the plant species have a high value as they can be a rich source of food security, future ecological security, future forestry, and medicinal and pharmaceutical needs.
With the forming of biodiversity management committees, all the important information on the availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use will be recorded.
“The main function of the BMC is to prepare a People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) in consultation with local people. The BMC shall be responsible for ensuring the protection of the knowledge recorded in PBR, especially to regulate its access to outside persons and agencies,” Parvez Shagoo, In-charge Biodiversity Cell, J&K Biodiversity Council told The Kashmir Monitor.
According to an official document, the BMCs in J&K have been constituted for 276 Intermediate Panchayats (Block Level), 4290 Village Panchayats, and 76 Urban Local Bodies.
“The preparation of PBRs has also been completed in 4290 Village Panchayats and 76 Urban Local Bodies with the help of nine different line departments and consultation with members of Biodiversity Management Committees and other people and experts in biodiversity, indigenous knowledge, and traditional practices. The Council is now updating the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) and 1426 PBRs have been updated so far,” the document stated.
Shagoo said the BMCs will be made operational soon. “We are already creating large-scale awareness around its functioning and have selected 75 BMCs across J&K. Their bank accounts have been opened and they will soon receive some amount from the National Biodiversity Authority,” he said.
He added that the committees are the future of any conservation-related activity. “They shall work to promote conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of landraces, folk varieties and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and microorganisms,” Shagoo said.