Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Sunday, March 3, 2024

Joint biodiversity panel to conserve Periyar












Biodiversity conservation and management along the riverine ecosystem of the Periyar is taking a new shape with local bodies along the course of the river coming together for the campaign. 




A joint biodiversity management committee (BMC) has been constituted with the heads of civic bodies along the course of the river as its members. The president of the Ernakulam district panchayat will head the joint BMC. 




This is the second such committee to be formed for the conservation and protection of a river in the State. A joint BMC was earlier constituted for Pampa river. Such an organisational arrangement was made for the Sasthamkotta lake too. 




The Biological Diversity Act 2002 has made the constitution of the BMC mandatory in all the local bodies in the country. The BMCs are the key players when it comes to decisions on sustainable use, conservation and management of biological resources in their respective jurisdictions. The committees have the mandate of promoting conservation, sustainable use, and documentation of biological diversity in the areas that come under their jurisdiction.










The preparation of the People’s Biodiversity Registry to document biological resources and knowledge related to those resources is one of the important tasks of the committee. According to Kerala State Biodiversity Board member secretary Dineshan Cheruvat, the local bodies located on the banks and course of the river were till now functioning independently and there was no coordination among them. 




“For addressing major environment concerns related to the river, all the BMCs located from the upstream to downstream region should come together. The BMCs could also act together to control the spread of weeds such as water hyacinth. Ecosystem restoration also needs to be carried out by all the agencies concerned,” said Dr. Cheruvat. A preliminary meeting of the joint BMC was convened recently. All the BMCs along the course of the river in the district, including the BMC of Kochi Corporation and block and village panchayats, would be members of the joint committee. All BMCs could jointly implement conservation and management plans and decide on the sustainable use of biological resources, he said. 




Asha Sanil, chairperson of the joint BMC and also the chairperson of the Ernakulam District Panchayat, said a proposal for including all the local bodies along the river course, right from Neriyamangalam where the river originates, came up at the formation meeting. 




Currently, the civic heads of Aluva, Kalamassery, Eloor, Cheranalloor and Varapuzha are there in the joint BMC. The proposal for bringing in more local bodies and the suggestions that came up at the formation meeting were forwarded to the Board. The joint BMC was waiting to hear from the Board, she said.







Source: The Hindu