Kapurthala, May 10
As a part of its 22-day campaign to mark the International Biodiversity Day, the Pushpa Gujral Science City has been organising different events. At a webinar held on Tuesday on “Indigenous Animal Bio-diversity: Present Status and Future”, a number of schools and colleges from across the state participated.
The main objective behind organising these webinars and others events is to spread the message for conservation of biodiversity and its importance for the health of the planet.
Addressing the audience, Dr Raja KN Senior Scientist ICAR National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, said India was the seventh largest country by geographical area with the varied physiographic divisions, climate regimes and ecological habitats. He said apart from a large diversity of wild fauna, the diversity of domesticated fauna is also very high. He said India has 27 acknowledged indigenous breeds of cattle, eight breeds of buffaloes, more than 40 breeds of sheep, 20 breeds of goat and 18 breeds of poultry.
He said more than one million plants, animals species worldwide are on the verge of extinction. He said dedicated efforts must be taken by the government as well as the common public to save the biodiversity.
Dr Neelima Jerath, Director-General, Science City, said the campaign underway at Science City was intended to build public opinion of biodiversity conservation.
“India is a mega diverse country which known for its rich heritage of biological diversity. The varied edaphic, climatic and topographic conditions and years of geological stability have resulted in a wide range of ecosystems and habitats with high degree of endemism, the country is also a Vavilovian centre for origin of agricultural crops,” she said, adding that India harbours four biodiversity hotspots out of 34 hotspots globally.
Dr Rajesh Grover, Director Science City said biodiversity was fundamental to the existence of life on earth and the importance of it cannot be underestimated. “In the past few centuries, humans have had negative effect on biodiversity, although, in general, are now becoming more aware of its role. However, due to the damage we have caused, and the value that biodiversity has to us as humans, protection of the natural environment is necessary,” he added.
Webinar on sensible buying
As a part of the campaign, second webinar of held on “Sensible Buying”. Dr Harpreet Kaur, head of Fashion Design, KMV College, Jalandhar, was key speaker on the occasion. She said there was a plethora of harmful chemicals and dyes used by the textile industry which needs to be stopped as they leach into our air, water and soil and cause irreparable damage to the biodiversity.
She said shahtoosh shawls, ivory articles, fur and leather based articles were banned only when an awareness campaign was launched amongst the people regarding the atrocities committed on animals during manufacturing of these articles. She urged the participants to move towards natural dyeing, natural fibre and vegan substitutes of leather and synthetic furs to make our biodiversity bloom and flourish.
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