INTERNATIONAL BIODIVERSITY CONGRESS AT FRI, DEHRADUN TO FOCUS ON BIODIVERSITY FOR ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION

The International Biodiversity Congress (IBC 2018), organised as a joint initiative of Navdanya (Dehradun), Forest Research Institute (FRI), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE, Dehradun), Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA, Thiruvananthapuram), Wildlife Institute of India (WII, Dehradun), Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board and Uttarakhand Council for Science and Technology will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Kumar Chamling at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

IBC 2018 will gather 700 delegates from 25 states and UTs of India and 50 foreign delegates at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun from 4-6 October 2018, and will focus the discussion on the theme topic “Biodiversity for Ecological Civilization”. According to Dr Vandana Shiva, Managing Trustee, Navdanya, the focal theme aims at showcasing the Indian philosophy towards living in harmony with every living being in the planet, and an appeal towards undertaking a transformation from industrial civilization to biodiversity civilization, a human civilization strongly rooted in biodiversity consciousness. The discussion will be around the idea that all the commitments to conserve the biodiversity is possible only through creating an ecological  civilization, with deeper ecological thinking and knowledge on biodiversity, promoting the philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or the world is one family. Shri Harak Singh Rawat, Honourable Minister for Forest and Wildlife, Uttarakhand will be chief guest during the inaugural session. Sri Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary and Special Envoy of Government of India on Climate Change will deliver the key-note address.

In the inaugural session a campaign on Biodiverse Organic Himalaya will be launched by Hon’ble CM of Sikkim, the Global Ambassador of the Organic Movement, joined by women seed savers and organic leaders from Himalayan Region, Ladakh, HP, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam. This may trigger the momentum for turning all the Himalayan states towards organic farming, following the path of Sikkim.

The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat will be the chief guest in the Valedictory Session, where Smt Archana Chitnis Honourable Minster for Women and Child Development, Madhya Pradesh will deliver the special address and the guest of honour will be Shri B.P. Singh, Former Governor, Sikkim, and former Secretary Environment in whose tenure the National Biodiversity Act was drafted; Author of series on Bahuda, on Diversity. Shri Bittu Sehgal, Editor Sanctuary Magazine, Mumbai will also speak on the occasion.

In the plenary lectures arranged in theme topics such as Biodiversity Crisis: Challenges & Way Ahead, : Legal Framework for Protecting Biodiversity, Mountains, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability of Fragile Mountain Ecosystems, Biodiversity For Food, Nutrition & Health, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Planetary Health, and Towards Eco-Civilization Vasudhaiva Kutumbam. There will be  27 plenary lectures by biodiversity experts from India and abroad. The experts attending the programme include Ms. Renate Kunast (Former Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, Germany), Mr. Andre Leu (International Director, Regeneration International, Queensland, Australia), Dr James Buchanan (Xavier University, USA), Dr. Konrad (Project Director, German Society for International Cooperation), Dr. S.C. Gairola (Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun), Dr. V.B. Mathur (Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun), Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai (Director, Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad), Retd. Justice Prabha Sridevan (Former Chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal),   Shri. Amarjeet Ahuja (Former Negotiator for Convention on Biological Diversity), Dr. R.S. Rawal (Director GB Pant Institute Kosi Katarmal, Almora), Dr Om Prakash Chaurasia (Director, Defence Institute of High Altitude Research, Leh-Ladakh), Dr Deepak Apte (Director, Bombay Natural History Society), and Dr Balakrishna Pisupati (Former Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority).

About 100 participants will make oral presentation in five parallel technical sessions (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Legal and Knowledge Systems, Threats and Conservation Strategies, Agro-ecosystems and Food Security) and about 400 posters will be displayed in the three days.

This international Congress will initiate and encourage a dialogue among relevant stakeholders of biodiversity, including civil society organisations and farmers, to chart out programmes to facilitate a shift towards ecological civilization that value, cherish and conserve biodiversity to achieve sustainable development goals, both at national and international platforms. Further, the network of concerned scientists formed during the programme will strengthen capacity and to promote networking in order to popularise the philosophy of biodiversity for ecological civilization, besides providing an interdisciplinary platform on matters related to the status, conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity.

The biodiversity expo arranged in the FRI campus will showcase the rich biodiversity heritage of the India, and will exhibit the linkage between biodiversity, economy, ecosystem services, aesthetics, and cultural evolution. A special exhibition on “Diversity of Banana” and Cattle Diversity” will be arranged by CISSA. IBC venue will also witness a Dialogue on Biodiversity and the Future of Food and Agriculture, in the context of increasing corporate control over food and genetic resources.

As a prelude to the programme, SHAKTI:  Women’s Biodiversity Festival will be organised at Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm, Dehradun, with a focus on “Our Food, Our Freedom”, to highlight the role of women in conserving the food, health and nutritional security, besides conserving agro-biodiversity of India. In the Children’s Biodiversity Summit the selected children from all over India and a Japanese team of 50 children will interact with the eminent experts in the field and present their perspectives on conservation of biodiversity, besides signing a campaign on “Future Leaders for Biodiversity”.

The press conference will be attended by:

Chairperson:  Dr. Vandana Shiva Navdanya

Co-Chairs

Dr. V.B. Mathur, Wildlife Institute of India

Dr. Rakesh Shah, Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board

Dr. Savita, Forest Research Institute (FRI)

Dr. Rajendra Dobhal, Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology

Organising Secretary: Dr. A. Biju Kumar, University of Kerala & CISSA

Joint Secretary: Dr. Vinod  Bhatt Navdanya

Coordinator: Sri. S.S. Rasaily, Member Secretary, Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board

Editorial Enquiries

Prof A Biju Kumar

9447216157; 8921865558

Dr Vinod Bhat

8191802086

(organising secretaries)