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Master trainers benefit from workshop on Biodiversity Act

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SHILLONG, June 16: A five-day workshop aimed at training master trainers on the Biodiversity Act, 2002, and the preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR), with a special focus on aquatic biodiversity, concluded on Friday. The event, held from June 10-14, was organised by the State Institute of Rural Development, Government of Meghalaya, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
The workshop is part of ‘Protection and Sustainable Management of Aquatic Resources in the North Eastern Himalayan Region of India’ (NERAQ) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety & Consumer Protection (BMUV) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI).
The workshop saw participation from 30 representatives from the State Biodiversity Boards of Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Manipur, as well as master trainers registered with the Meghalaya State Institute of Rural Development. In his welcome address, Kenneth M Pala, Senior Advisor at GIZ, emphasised the workshop’s objectives and the critical role of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in safeguarding community-level biodiversity.
The chief moderator, Dr Suhas Nimbalkar, led the participants through various group exercises and discussions on the Biodiversity Act, the importance of biodiversity, and methods to protect local diversity.
Dr Nimbalkar was supported by Dr G Ravikanth, Senior Fellow at the SM Sehgal Foundation Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Simanta Mazumdar from Living Landscapes, and Dr Yaranjit Deka from the Foundation for Ecological Security. These experts highlighted the significance of managing and monitoring aquatic diversity. A toolkit developed by GIZ, detailing methodologies for aquatic diversity management, was also introduced to the participants.
Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Government of Meghalaya, P Agrahari, spoke about the Biological Diversity Act’s role in empowering BMCs to protect local biodiversity. Director of the State Institute of Rural Development, Sanme R Marak, encouraged participants to apply their newfound knowledge in their respective communities.

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