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| Last Updated:: 20/10/2015

How best to fund nature’s conservation?



At the first meeting of its kind in Dehradun, a gathering of 75 experts from 50 countries mulled over the needs of different countries, and the resources available to match those needs, so that biodiversity can be better conserved across the world. 

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) began its first capacity-building at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) on Monday. 

Ingunn Storro, senior advisor for capacity building with IPBES made a presentation about the "prototype matchmaking facility" - the matching of needs with resources. 

"There are 124 member states of the IPBES which have specific needs with regard to conservation of biodiversity. Besides this, there are several international agencies which fund conservation programmes. Now IPBES is doing this match-making, where it is connecting respective countries with funding agencies which full fill their financial needs. This is the first time that the mammoth task is being planned like this," VB Mathur, director of WII told TOI. 

He said those attending the meeting would be taken to Jhilmil Conservation Reserve in Haridwar, known for its population of swamp deer. Such deer are present only there in the state. "Jhilmil Conservation Reserve has done wonders in terms of protecting the swamp deer population. We will show a live example to experts who have been discussing the issue," he said. 

Hem Pandey, special secretary in the Union environment ministry said that when it came to biodiversity, Uttarakhand needed to formulate its own rules and regulations. "Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board should formulate the policies, rules and regulations as per Bio-Diversity Act (BDA). Of all countries represented at this conference, only India has formulated BDA, but we need to be proactive and share resources and revenue with local people," he said. 

He also highlighted the need to clear the rampant growth of chir pine in Uttarakhand, which he said had taken over broad-leaf trees and depleted groundwater, causing rivers to dry up and adversely affecting soil conservation. 

He acknowledged the efforts of the state government in apprising the Union environment ministry in this regard. He said the Union ministry is mulling over moving the Supreme Court for permission to fell chir pines from some areas. He also advocated growing mixed forests for healthy biodiversity.