Every month Biodiversity of India highlights the work of one organization in India working in the field of biodiversity conservation and research. This month's organization is the Biodiversity Conservation and Research Trust (BCRT), based in the Anuganalu village in Hassan district of Karnataka.
The main objective of BCRT is to promote biodiversity conservation through community participation. Established in 2000, BCRT is involved in numerous projects such as tree planting, generating awareness about the environment, sustainable agriculture, documentation of medicinal plants and practices, elephant conservation and so on. The successes of their activities have resulted in them being awarded the Govt. of India's Environmental Award in 2006-07 by then President APJ Abdul Kalam. Click here to go to the organization's website >>
Monthly summary of a significant research article on biodiversity
In a review article titled Biodiversity Conservation:Challenges beyond 2010 in the September 10 issue of Science, Michael Rands and his colleagues argue that effective biodiversity conservation is important for the survival of our species and for maintaining healthy ecosystems. They discuss various approaches such as establishment of national parks, landuse restoration, ecotourism, species reintroduction, captive breeding and sustainable agriculture that have been used worldwide for conservation of biodiversity, but come to the sobering conclusion that despite sincere efforts, biodiversity keeps on declining. Some of the culprits responsible for this decline are expanding agricultural areas, illegal and unsustainable timbering, mining, industrialization, wasteful water use, poor conservation management and climate change.
The authors then go on to describe solutions to these problems - increasing our data generation capabilities, collaboration between different governments and institutions, increasing national investment in conservation and scaling up the areas protected by law, especially in biodiversity hotspots like India. The authors finally propose three priorities for policies beyond 2010:
To manage biodiversity as public good
To integrate biodiversity into public and private decision making
To create enabling conditions for policy implementation
Project Brahma aims to satisfy these priority by highlighting the cultural, medicinal and economic importance of Indian biodiversity through collaboration and making the data available in an easily accessible, "aggregatable" format.
This section is under development When completed, this section will hold learning modules on different topics in Biodiversity. The design of the learning modules will be modeled based on Wikiversity. You can be involved with this part if you are interested. Check out this project page and mail us at thebrahmaproject atz gmail zdot com. Example courses (under development): GEN101:India and biodiversity
Comments, ideas or questions? We would love to hear from you!