Himachal Pradesh sets up biodiversity committees


Shimla, Aug 21 : Himachal Pradesh has set up biodiversity management committees initially in 366 gram panchayats in biodiversity-rich Chamba, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts under a United Nations project, official sources said on Sunday.
These committees have taken the initiative to document all biological diversity available in their respective areas, including traditional knowledge, by way of preparing People’s Biodiversity Registers. So far, six biodiversity registers have been prepared while work on 117 such registers is in progress.
Focus has been placed on capacity-building of stakeholders by organising training and awareness workshops. So far, about 150 awareness and training programmes have been organised to empower villagers, a government spokesperson said. A sum of Rs 2.32 crore has been received for these activities, he said.
A state biodiversity board under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary has been set up to implement the Biodiversity Diversity Act of 2002. The hill state’s biodiversity includes 3,400 species of flora and fauna. Nearly 60 medicinal plant species in the state are facing extinction. Many rare plants grow in Himachal, particularly in the upper region of the Himalayas, which have immense potential for use in the pharmaceutical industry.
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