Gandhinagar: The United Nations proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme of this celebration is “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism. This theme has been chosen to coincide with the observance of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly.
Gujarat Biodiversity Board (GBB), Gujarat Science City (GSC) and Gujarat Council on Science & Technology (GUJCOST) are jointly organizing several educational and outreach activities on biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism to mark the celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity on 22nd May 2017.
Shri Ganpatsinh Vasava, Hon’ble Cabinet Minister for Tribal Development, Tourism and Forest will preside over and inaugurate the programme at 10.00 hrs in Auditorium I in Science City. Shri Shabdsharan B. Tadvi, Hon’ble Minister of State for Forest and Tribal Development will be the Chief Guest. Shri Kuldeep Goyal, IFS, PCCF and Heads of Forest Force, Govt of Gujarat will be the Guest of Honour. Shri A. K. Srivastav, IFS, PCCF and Chairman GBB and many senior forest officials will attend the programme.
Biological diversity – or biodiversity – often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. The biodiversity of the present time is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. It forms the web of life of which both animal and plants are an integral part and upon which all are fully depended.
Biodiversity, at the level of species and ecosystems, provides an important foundation for many aspects of tourism. Recognition of the great importance to tourism economies of attractive landscapes and a rich biodiversity strengthens the political and economic case for biodiversity conservation. Many issues addressed under the Convention on Biological Diversity directly affect the tourism sector. A well-managed tourist sector can contribute significantly to reducing threats to, and maintain or increase, key wildlife populations and biodiversity values through tourism revenue.
Celebration of the IBD under this theme therefore provides an opportunity to raise awareness and action towards the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to economic growth and to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
On this occasion, stakeholder workshop on the theme, exhibition, student competitions and hands-on activities, screening of scientific films, popular science lectures, nature and culture programmes, highlighting the importance of biodiversity to humankind and sustainable tourism development have been organized at Science City and all Community Science Centers in the State.
The Gujarat Science City offers fun and informative exhibits on our biodiversity presented in an interactive world. One can learn and have fun with science and innovation through hands-on experiences in the Planet Earth, Hall of Science, Hall of Space, Energy Park, IMAX 3D movies, Motion Simulators and educational activities in Children Activity Centre. GSC is also showcasing the environmental film “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar”, takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar.
GUJCOST plays a significant role in bringing awareness and understanding on Biodiversity at the community level through its dedicated Community Science Centers CSC) and its Science Clubs also. About 30 CSCs and 3000 Science Clubs are working with various programmes and outreach activities round the year across the state.
The Gujarat Biodiversity Board (GBB), constituted in the year 2006, is actively engaged in the formation of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) and preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) at the level of the local bodies of the State.
The science of biodiversity is the science of our future. It’s time to take a stand and protect the grand diversity of life. The IBD 2017 celebration is all about to inspire curiosity and provide a life-long learning and experiences.
Let’s work together for its conservation and to ensure a new and sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world for the generations to come.
We request one and all to be a part of this world wide celebration to conserve and protect our rich biodiversity and to minimize the over-exploitation of natural resources.