Port Blair, June 5: With a view to create awareness on biodiversity of A&N Islands amongst people, especially the teachers and students, on the occasion of World Environment Day, a day-long seminar on ‘Biodiversity of A&N Islands’ was organized by the Zoological Survey of India in its premises here this morning.
The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Mr. Anindo Majumdar was the chief guest of the inaugural programme. The PCCF (Wild Life) & Secretary (Tribal Welfare), Mr. D.M Shukla, Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman, Mr. Udit Prakash Rai, Deputy Inspector General, Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (A&N), N. Ravi, and Principal, Andaman Law College, Mr. M. S. Soundarapandian were the guests of honour. The programme was also attended by students, teachers, academicians, Officers from various Govt. Departments and research scholars and scientists of ZSI.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Secretary stressed on the need to inculcate in people, the love for nature in all aspect and remarked that, if we are one with nature, much of the problems that plague mankind, can be avoided. He called upon all to instil in children the love for environmental protection, which, he said, will go a long way in preserving our ecology. The Chief Secretary also touched upon the various facets that lead to destruction of the environment such as excessive use of non-degradable items which in turn adversely affects our eco-system and other living organisms, uncaring attitude of human towards nature and the greed for exploitation of natural resources etc.
He further stated that the theme for this year’s Environment Day celebration focuses on ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, which is a very relevant topic; and urged all to help make our Islands a plastic free zone. The Chief Secretary also enlisted the various initiatives of the PBMC, in its efforts towards keeping the city spic and span and stressed upon the need for prompting responsible tourism in A&N Islands. He also lauded ZSI and other Departments for their concerted efforts towards the protection and preservation of Isles’ rich flora and fauna.
In his address, the PCCF, Mr. Shukla touched upon the environment threats that are looming over our civilization. He said, India along with other countries are making efforts towards disseminating information and educating about the need for environmental protection, which is vital for all life forms. He said, though the A&N Islands are blessed with rich biodiversity, it also exhibits a high degree of endemism; and calls for concerted efforts from all quarters towards the protection of our ecology.
Speaking on the occasion, the DCSA, Mr. Udit Prakash Rai said environment protection can only become a reality, if we collectively become a part of it. He enumerated on the various steps taken by the Administration towards the protection and preservation of Isles ecology. He also threw light on the various events conducted by the Administration in line with Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and implementation of various flagship programmes of the Govt. of India here in A&N Islands.
In his address, the Deputy Inspector General, ICG, N. Ravi remarked that the Islands are a home to a large number of endangered species of flora and fauna. He said, it is the duty of every individual to protect and preserve the environment while ensuring judicious use of the resources. The policies towards protection and preservation of the environment are in place while more efforts must be made towards achieving the objectives and targets, he added.
The Principal, Andaman Law College, Mr. Soundarapandian remarked that the need for interdependence of all living organisms on biodiversity is what we must acknowledge, he said adding that the benevolence and fury of nature depends upon human activities. He remarked that we must all resolve to protect the ecology of our Islands for the future generation by implementing corrective measures in combating environment degradation and become conscious of our activities which directly hamper nature.
In his welcome address, Dr. C Sivaperuman, Officer In Charge, ZSI highlighted on the significance of the day and the various activities undertaken by ZSI towards the protection and preservation of Isles flora and fauna.
A pledge to beat plastic pollution was also administered to the gathering. The inaugural programme was followed by a technical session in which the resource persons viz. DCF (WL), Deptt. of Env.&Forests, Mr. P. Naveen Kumar, Officer In charge, NIOT, Dr. N.V Vinithkumar and Senior Scientific Officer, Deptt. Of Science & Technology, Mr. Rishikesh highlighted on various aspects of environmental protection.