The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has formed a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) as per the Bio Diversity Act of 2002, which mandates the establishment of BMCs at the local body level across the country.
The committee will work towards conservation and promotion of biological diversity. The primary responsibility of the committee includes documentation of biological diversity, preservation of natural habitats, conservation of landrace, local and regional breeds of animals and plants.
One of the important functions of the committee would be to prepare or help prepare Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR), which will contain comprehensive information on local flora and fauna, traditional and scientific knowledge, and information associated with species.
H.S. Ranganathaswamy, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), BBMP, said that formation of BMC was long overdue. As far as city corporations are concerned, the BBMP is now the first corporation in the State to have formed the committee, he said.
The seven member committee has five nominated members with the Mayor being the ex-officio chairman and the BBMP commissioner the member-secretary.
The committee will work under the Karnataka Biodiversity Board and National Biodiversity Authority. The committee will consult and also be consulted by the State boards or the National Biodiversity Authority on issues relating to resources and information on biodiversity under its jurisdiction, he said, and added that the PBRs would provide significant inputs to the overall biodiversity information across the country.
Vijay Nishanth, urban conservationist, who has been nominated to the committee, said that the BMC would extend the scope of conservation and promotion of biodiversity in cities such as Bengaluru, which is witnessing rapid, unplanned urbanisation.
Most of them are not even aware of how rich the city is in terms of biodiversity. Bengaluru is home to a wide variety of species both animal and plant. Such committees will play an important role in bringing it to the notice of people and conduct more research on them, he said.
The members of the committee are Akshay Heblikar, director, Eco-Watch; Vijay Nishanth, founder, Project Vruksha Foundation; Nandini N., professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Bangalore University; Usha Anandi, professor, Department of Zoology, Bangalore University; and Bhargav V.R.