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Biodiversity is an oft used term not only in scientific circles but also on international, national and state level political circuits, social work groups and media, courtesy CBD and subsequently Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and other current legislations. But the concept is far from being simple and what follows is that the communication challenges for the issue exist on multiple levels, viz.

  • basic understanding on Biodiversity and it's importance in human well being
  • competition with other social issues in the media and society.

The public is deluged with information from many sectors, yet an understanding of basic ecological principles is not achieved. As such, people not only fail to conceptualize connecting biodiversity to their everyday lives, they often feel a sense of hopelessness about the issue. This leads to confusion about what biodiversity is and why it should be cared for. Local aspects of biodiversity tend to get neglected in the media, further perpetuating people’s lack of connection to the issue. It is desirable to place biodiversity in a broader sustainability context, which includes lifestyle change and over-consumption issues.

The approach or strategy to fulfill such goals is obviously involving people and encouraging them to participate in such activities which promote the goals of a sustainable future. The Board has for these reasons initiated large scale awareness generation programmes within its limited capacity to meet the challenge. The PBR exercise being one of them, has been identified as one of the best strategies to create awareness, promote active people’s participation and a sense of belongingness among people for whom biodiversity should matter the most. The Board has also organised outreach programmes and awareness programmes for school, college and university students and for stakeholder communities. The Board has held a number of meetings with policy makers and administrators during the period under report. It has also undertaken publications to take the message to the common people, viz., books, booklets, pamphlets, brochures, popular articles, journal papers and newspaper articles. The Board is also preparing audio visual programmes in Bengali and English for message communication. The West Bengal Biodiversity Board has till date organized or particiapted in a number of awareness programmes by giving financial support and providing relevant expertise in colleges, universities and other local bodies of Kolkata and other districts of West Bengal. The details are highlighted:

The objective of these workshops is to disseminate awareness regarding biodiversity and to sensitize the students and teachers regarding the issues pertinent to biodiversity conservation, documentation and judicious use of the same. The Board has also taken this opportunity to popularize the activities of the newly formed West Bengal Biodiversity Board among this important target group. As such, the programme schedule of these workshops not only gave the participants an overview of biodiversity matters but also made them aware about the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, matters related to Intellectual Property Rights and biodiversity, the activities being undertaken by the West Bengal Biodiversity Board for actualization of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and also methodology of preparing People’s Biodiversity Registers. Such programmes have been initiated as it has been felt necessary to involve as many students as possible in future PBR activities and as Post Workshop activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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