One of the achievements of Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB) is that it has been able to prepare gene bank report after research to know the status of biodiversity in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is the only State in the country to have prepared such report.
The board received active cooperation from Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission, Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation and Indian Institute of Science, Education & Research, Pune, for the gene bank project. The gene bank is actually prepared by a number of NGOs under MGBP. It is being transferred to MSBB for further development and execution.
It had also submitted the report to Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister, on October 4, 2021 for implementation. The report covered biodiversity in 26 districts of the State. It gives stress on education, research and training and prepared one special chapter to take the information and create awareness among the people.
This was stated by Praveen Srivastava, Member-Secretary of MSBB, while addressing a press conference in the premises of the board office here on Tuesday to mark completion of 10 years to formation of the board.
He further said, the government is preparing machinery for its implementation. A committee has also been formed for the action plan report to be implemented in the future. The Biodiversity Management Committees can have the road map available through the report. He pointed out that Agarkar Research Institute of Pune has completed research on medicinal plants that are on the verge of extinction and prepared district-wise data.
Srivastava stated that the Biodiversity Act, 2002, has mentioned three states such as biodiversity conservation, sustainable utilisation of bio-resources and access benefit sharing. The board has achieved the phase of conservation during the last one decade while sincere efforts are being made for achieving further strides.
The foreign countries have agreed for working hard for eco-restoration during the current decade, he added.
On the occasion, Dr Sheshrao Patil, Chairman, MSBB, said, Maharashtra has a green cover of a little over 20 per cent but it is a challenging job for protection and conservation of biodiversity in the remaining 80 per cent of the geographical area. The board is making efforts to encourage the local self authorities for conservation of biodiversity in such area. The board has submitted a proposal with the government for Rs 850 crore and it has agreed ‘in principle’, he added.
Meanwhile, the board had organised a webinar to mark the occasion, inviting former Chairmen and Member-Secretaries of the board for their guidance for effective implementation of projects in the future. Justice S B Shukre of Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, was the chief guest. He expected that the local self authorities would get benefit sharing at right time as per the rules and stressed the need for creating awareness about importance of biodiversity among the people.
The board also held a bird watching programme at Gorewada that received encouraging response.
Kalpana Temgire, Divisional Forest Officer, D P Deshmukh and others were present at the press conference.