THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala State Biodiversity Board has criticised the unscientific road cleaning drive all over the state as part of the MNREGS programme. In its 25th meeting held here on Wednesday, the Board observed that several important plant species, including bushes and shrubs, were destroyed during the cleaning drive on the sides of public roads. The meeting decided to bring the matter to the notice of the authorities concerned.
The board observed that foreign tourists staying in forests were at times getting involved in exploiting the biodiversity of the region. The board decided to ask the biodiversity protection committees in panchayats near forest areas to keep vigil on this.
The Board meeting decided to urge the government to include taxonomy experts in the emigration wing at airports. This, the board said, will help in preventing export of endemic plant species. The meeting also decided to exhibit publicity materials on the biodiversity wealth of the country at places frequented by foreign tourists like airports and ports.
Board chairman R V Varma, member-secretary K P Laladas, biodiversity experts V Oommen, Omanakumari, Achuthsankar S Nair, Dr A K Shereef and Mohanakurup, Fisheries Department additional secretary, Agriculture Department deputy secretary and Environment Department additional secretary G Rajeev attended the meeting held at the south conference hall of the Secretariat.