The city will host the first National Biodiversity Congress 2012 (NBC), with ‘Biodiversity in food security’ as the focal theme, at Kanakakkunnu Palace from December 27 to 30. The event will be kicked off with a cycle rally from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram, meant to raise awareness on biodiversity.
Organised by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), in association with the various state biodiversity boards, the Congress will see the participation of a wide cross-section of society, including researchers, NGOs, community stakeholders, policy makers, corporates, government departments and various universities. Apart from lectures and panel discussions by experts, students and public can also participate and present their oral/poster contributions based on important themes in biodiversity.
Capacity-building workshops will be held as part of the Congress such as a sessions where various Biodiversity Monitoring Committees, local bodies set up as per the Biological Diversity Act, from various regions share their ideas and experiences. The ‘Custodians of traditional biodiversity’ workshop is expected to provide a discussion forum for farmers and other similar keepers of traditional knowledge.
A special session has been planned on ‘Western Ghats in world heritage status: Challenges and opportunities’ to bring into focus threats to biodiversity in the region and the conservation initiatives needed to be taken. A ten-day expo beginning on December 21 will showcase biodiversity of India, cultural diversity, forests and endangered species, among other things. On the sidelines, a ‘Children’s Ecological Congress’ will be held at Maria Rani Centre, Sreekariam on December 29 and 30.
Former President A P J Abdul Kalam, Planning Commission member and space scientist K Kasturirangan and advisor to Prime Minister Sam Pitroda are among the dignitaries expected to participate in the event.