The National Campaign for Updation and Verification of People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) was launched in Goa today, marking a significant step towards the documentation and preservation of India’s rich biological diversity. The function, organized by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in association with the Goa State Biodiversity Board, the National Biodiversity Authority, and the Government of Goa, witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries. Among the distinguished guests were the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey; the Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant; the Minister for Environment and Climate Change of Goa, Nilesh Cabral; Chairman of the National Biodiversity Authority, C. Achalender Reddy and other senior Government representatives.
During the event, Union Minister of State Shri. Ashwini Kumar Choubey emphasized the importance of maintaining the delicate balance present in nature. He remarked, “It is important to maintain the delicate balance present in nature. One must return to it as much as one takes away from it.” Stressing the significance of conserving biodiversity, he stated, “Conserving biodiversity is key to maintaining balance in nature.” He further highlighted the need for people’s participation in achieving success in implementing the provisions of the Biodiversity Act 2002, saying, “It is important to not only spread awareness but also ensure people’s participation to make the idea behind these provisions a success.”
Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey informed the audience that so far 2,67,608 People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR) have been prepared in the country, by Biodiversity Management Committees entrusted with the crucial task of documenting natural resources and traditional knowledge associated with them. He also mentioned the progress being made in digitizing the People’s Biodiversity Registers, transforming them into e-PBR.
Furthermore, he highlighted the significance of the concept of “Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE),” introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 in Glasgow on November 1, 2021. This concept calls upon individuals and institutions globally to promote mindful and deliberate utilization of resources to protect and preserve the environment. The Minister pointed out how exercises such as preparation and updation of PBRs are also an integral part of the philosophy of Mission LiFE.
Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant expressed his pride in Goa being chosen as the site for launching this national campaign. He acknowledged the remarkable efforts of the people of Goa in preserving biodiversity and emphasized the role of local communities in achieving success in this sector. He stated, “The successes of Goa in this sector are the successes of the enthusiasm of the people at the ground. Government can only support local communities in their endeavour to preserve biodiversity, and therefore, every success belongs to the community.”
In addition to the campaign launch, an exhibition showcasing unique products from each Biodiversity Management Committee was inaugurated during the event. The occasion also witnessed the distribution of special awards for the Best Biodiversity Management Committee in North and South Goa, the Green Journalist Award, and individual contributions to preserving biodiversity.
About People’s Biodiversity Register
The People’s Biodiversity Register serves as a comprehensive record of various aspects of biodiversity, including the conservation of habitats, preservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals, micro-organisms, and the accumulation of knowledge related to the area’s biological diversity. As per the Biological Diversity Act 2002, Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) are created for “promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity” by local bodies across the country. BMCs have been constituted by the local bodies in the States and Union Territories and are entrusted with preparation of the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs), in consultation with local communities.