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Kerala floods one month after: Biodiversity assessment likely to miss deadline

We are yet to begin the process of impact assessment, said a District Biodiversity coordinator.

Published: 25th September 2018 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2018 04:25 PM   |  A+A-

Image of Kerala floods

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The flood impact assessment on biodiversity mooted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) is likely to miss the deadline owing to the postponement of the training session of the respective assessment team at Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) to October 11. Earlier, the KSBB had stated that with the help of the local biodiversity management committees (BMC) it could complete the impact assessment by mid-October.

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“We are yet to begin the process of impact assessment. At first, it was informed that the training programme for the assessment team by KILA will commence on October 1, but we were later intimated by the KSBB that the programme will start only on October 11,” said a District Biodiversity coordinator.
According to the coordinator, the KSBB  is in the process of finalising a special questionnaire and a handbook for the assessment team. The distribution of the same to the flood-affected districts is a time-consuming process, he said.

KSBB chairman SC Joshi told Express that the flood impact assessment would commence soon. The KILA will finalise the date of training at a meeting to be held on Saturday, he said.“The KSBB is seriously working on the flood impact assessment. For the same, each local body will have an 11-member team who will be trained by the KILA. Using a special questionnaire and a mobile application they will carry out the assessment,” said Joshi.

The KSBB chairman said that, during the assessment, the Peoples’ Biodiversity Register (PBR) is set to become an important component as it would help the assessors to evaluate the amount of loss in their respective places. He added the PBR will also get updated during the process.

Comprehensive study

Earlier this month, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in his Facebook post had stated that, as the devastating floods are suspected to have caused major damage to the state’s ecology, a comprehensive study will have to be conducted. According to the CM, the findings will be taken into consideration while finalising projects for the state’s sustainable development.

It is learnt that the assessment study being carried out by an 11-member team comprising four BMC members, five students and two local experts, will then be validated at the district level by the respective BMC coordinators, District Biodiversity Coordinators and scientists who are drawn from a state-level panel of scientists and experts.

According to Joshi, a panel of 110 scientists and experts drawn from government institutions and departments will consolidate the data from flood-hit districts and hand over the same to the government for further action.



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