Training on developing People’s biodiversity Register (PBR) 

ATREE in collaboration with Sikkim University organised a People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) on 10th September. Participants were made aware of the importance of biodiversity and the traditional knowledge associated with it.

BMC is the custodian of local biodiversity and is a legal body constituted as per the Indian Biological Diversity Act, 2002. So the need for a BMC constitution, its roles and responsibilities such as the preparation of PBR, conservation of biodiversity and the authority vested in it were also discussed. A short field session was also conducted to demonstrate data collection for the PBR.

The PBR was part of the joint project of ATREE and Sikkim University titled ‘Key ecosystem services and biodiversity components in socio-ecological landscapes of Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya: Deriving management and policy inputs and developing. In the coming months as part of the project ATREE will be supporting at least 2 BMCs in developing their PBR.

Training on environment-friendly farming

A three-day-long training programme on environment-friendly farming was organised by ATREE, in a village near the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling between the 13th & 15th of September. The programme consisted of a series of classroom lectures, hands-on activities and discussion sessions.

The 69 participating farmers were trained in soil moisture preservation, management of pests and diseases through locally available materials, making soil microorganisms for enhancing soil nutrient and proper land utilisation. This activity was part of the  National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) funded project.
 The importance of being earnest about invasives

ATREE’S Ramya Ravi was at two international conferences last month. The 15th International Conference on Ecology and Management of Plant Alien Invasives, Prague and the 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration, Cape Town.

She explained the ‘novel’ dependence on Prosopis juliflora  - an invasive native to the Americas introduced in the 1960’s - by a majority of the residents of the Banni grasslands. Despite taking over 60% of the original grasslands and amidst appeals for its removal by the Maldharis (traditional pastoralists), the charcoal generated from Prosopsis remains both a primary and secondary source of income for many.

Her talk stressed the need for interdisciplinary research even in the context of ecological problems like invasions. And the importance of taking a holistic view when it comes to restoration— one that takes into account the socioeconomic and cultural dimensions of species invasions along with the ecological.


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