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Biodiversity award gives a fillip to local initiatives

The cyclone had destroyed the mangroves which were central to the region's habitat.

Written by Aakriti Vasudeva | Hyderabad |
October 19, 2012 1:46:05 am

At a time when biodiversity is falling victim to rapid urbanisation,the India Biodiversity Awards,announced on Wednesday,tried to reverse the trend by recognizing the novel idea of community-based conservation initiatives.

At the ongoing 11th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at Hyderabad,the Pir Jahania Jungle Suraksha Committee won the award for their successful effort to restore livelihood in Gundlaba village,at the mouth of Devi river,in Odisha after the 1999 cyclone ravaged it.

The cyclone had destroyed the mangroves which were central to the region’s habitat. This in turn increased the soil salinity and affected the fish stock and agricultural productivity. The committee led by women,formed in 2000,reversed it by regenerating and conserving mangroves. The women increased the forest cover by 63 per cent from 2000 to 2012 and the fish stock went up from 1 kg to 5 kg per family. “We realized the importance of forests and women from the village came together and formed the committee,” said Charu Udaya,member of the committee.

It is for the first that the award,constituted by the Government of India and the United Nations Development Fund,celebrated models of biodiversity governance

undertaken by local communities.

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