Science Outreach Campaign for Year of Biodiversity

(Vigyan Prasar is a national institution for science and technology communication under the Department of Science and Technology. This institution is engaged in developing communication material for large campaigns. The objective is to enhance level of rational decision-making in the community.)

Vigyan Prasar organized a Press Meet on International Biodiversity Day May 22, 2010 at Press Club of India, New Delhi. This was well attended by representatives of various media houses including The Hindu, Times of India, UNI, UNI Television, ETV, Amar Ujala, Dainik Bhaskar, Jansatta, Web Varta, Outlook, All India Radio, Mail Today and many other regional newspapers & magazines. Science communicators, editors of the science magazines and scientists of Vigyan Prasar were present.

Prof. C. K. Varshney, eminent environmentalist & former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi was invited as key-note speaker. Ms. Arfa Khanum, Broadcaster & Film maker was invited as youth representative. She inaugurated the slogan of Vigyan Prasar for International Year of Biodiversity 2010 “Samagra vikas kaise hoga, jaiv vividhta ke sanrakshan se hoga (How will sustainable development take place, it will happen with the conservation of biodiversity)

Er Anuj Sinha, Director, Vigyan Prasar announced the plan of action for “Science Outreach Campaign for Year of Biodiversity”. Er Sinha said that Vigyan Prasar has produced interesting communication material on biodiversity conservation. This offers a rich resource for activists and media. It is now developing new training material – books, CD-Roms, activity kits, that over the next twelve months will be used extensively for training village leaders and sensitizing youth. The key message will be “Sustainable development critically depends on conservation of biodiversity”.

We need to develop a tool for village centric environmental impact analysis that can support the process of decision-making by local elected bodies.

India with an area of 325m Ha is the seventh largest country in the world with varied climate and topographic conditions. These have resulted in a wide range of ecosystems and habitats contributing an immense biological diversity-micro and macro. Anthropogenic factors have lead to a decline in species with several under threat of becoming extinct. There is an increasing imbalance in biodiversity and ignoring this is at our peril.

The United Nations Organization has declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. This celebrates life on Earth and aims to enhance public awareness of importance of biodiversity conservation. Commendable community efforts need to be projected and innovative solutions encouraged to reduce threat to biodiversity. The year offers an opportunity to commence a dialogue between stakeholders.



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