World Biodiversity Day Celebration by CHINAR & VToujours

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The theme of this year world biodiversity day ‘We are part of the solution’ was in continuation to last year theme ‘Solutions are in nature’. The Central Himalayan Institute for Nature and Applied Research (Chinar), a research and development institute based in Nainital, in collaboration with its Canadian partner VToujours, organized a global virtual event to celebrate World Biodiversity Day on 22nd May evening. The event was moderated by Dr. Pradeep Mehta, Honorary Chairman of CHINAR and Sandra Sanchez, Director of VToujours. At the start of the event, Dr. Mehta welcomed and briefed the participants about the importance of biodiversity in the survival of mankind and the importance of world biodiversity day. He also briefed the work being done by CHINAR for biodiversity conservation.

Sandra briefed the objectives of the event and the main activities of VToujours. Five excellent presentations were delivered by different the panelists.
Dr Erasmus H Owusu, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, University of Ghana, spoke about human dimensions to biodiversity conservation. He gave example of ecotourism from Ghana how its helping conservation and the livelihoods of the community. He also mentioned that there should be political commitments and benefit sharing with communities. Pina Gervassi, Director, Climate change, Forest Stewardship Council. In here talk she briefed about FSC certification procedures and how certification is helping climate change. She also briefed about the increasing number of corporate commitments to conservation. Jean Pierre Aymeich, Coordinator, Blue and Green economy program, Costa Rica por siempre briefed about land restoration in Latin America. He briefed the participants about the different funding sources for forest and land restoration, Nature and Forest based tourism. He also mentioned the challenges like poor traceability, funding, quality of seedlings, conflict and environmental risks.

Jose Louies, Deputy Director & Chief, Wildlife Crime Control Division, Wildlife Trust, India emphasized that conservation without community participation is very difficult. Briefing the work of WTI, he explained the 9 conservation strategies that the organization work on like wild rescue, conflict management, right to passage, wild lands, enforcement & law, species recovery, wild aid, natural heritage campaigns, and protected area recovery. The youth representation in the event was by EcoMap Team (a group of High School students) Theajushwini Sashikumar, Pranav Kale, Aarit Vaidya and Nithik. The team briefed about the environmental work of EcoMap like awareness campaigns, webinar and crow funding. Mentioning the importance of youth participation, they briefed that it will help future generation, tackle environmental problems, and leadership and service skills. They also suggested small actions to the attendees like procuring vegetables and fruits from local farmers and how that helps biodiversity conservation. A virtual exhibition was also showcased during the programme in which photos of flora, fauna and landscapes from different geographies from around world were displayed. Almost 71 participants from India, Nepal, Colombia, United States, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Kenya, Ghana and Ireland participated in the event.

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