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IIT Guwahati Professor Highlights North-East Region as a Biodiversity Hotspot

The celebration International Day for Biological Diversity at IIT Guwahati serves as a reminder of the urgent need to safeguard biodiversity and inspires individuals and communities to take action towards creating a sustainable future

Shivam Dwivedi
IIT Guwahati Professor Highlights North-East Region as a Biodiversity Hotspot
IIT Guwahati Professor Highlights North-East Region as a Biodiversity Hotspot

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati's Center for the Environment organized a campus event to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity 2023. This significant day aims to raise awareness and understanding of biodiversity issues and promote efforts to conserve and sustainably utilize natural resources.

With the theme of "From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity," the event emphasized the urgency of taking concrete steps to protect and restore biodiversity.

Addressing the attendees, Professor Parameswar K. Iyer, the Officiating Director of IIT Guwahati, highlighted the North-East Region's status as a biodiversity hotspot. He emphasized the collective responsibility to preserve this rich diversity for future generations and raise awareness within society. Professor Iyer emphasized that celebrating and preserving biodiversity should be an integral part of our daily lives. He also mentioned IIT Guwahati's initiatives through its Centre for Indian Knowledge System to document the traditional knowledge of local communities and tribal areas.

During his speech, Professor Iyer underlined the importance of adopting a "circular economy" approach to ensure a better future for the next generation. This approach promotes the efficient use of resources, minimizing waste, and promoting sustainable practices.

Jon Jyoti Kalita, a Research Scholar, delivered an awareness lecture on LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), a global mass movement led by India and curated by NITI Aayog. Implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), the movement encourages individuals and communities to take action to protect and preserve the environment.

Professor Utpal Bora, Head of the Center for the Environment at IIT Guwahati and Organizing Chairperson of the Conference, welcomed the participants and highlighted the significance of North-East India as a convergence of two vital biodiversity hotspots. He stressed the importance of discussing science in a popular science format and raising awareness about the critical role biodiversity plays in maintaining ecosystem services.

Dr. Tarali Bhuyan, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Zoology at Cotton University, led an exhibition of handicrafts made from silkworm waste cocoons sourced from various government sericulture farms in Assam and traditional silkworm rearers. These creative and beautiful art pieces showcased the concept of "waste into wealth" and promoted sustainable practices.

Arun Mitra, a Beekeeper and Entrepreneur, emphasized the importance of honey production as a profitable venture. The event also featured the screening of the documentary "The Man Who 'Speaks' Nature," highlighting the conservation efforts of Manoj Gogoi, an Indian wildlife conservationist and rehabilitationist based in Kaziranga, Assam. Documentaries on Pobitora wildlife sanctuary and the Greater Adjutant story were also showcased.

Roshan Upadhaya, a policeman known as the 'Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh,' discussed conservation livelihoods and the potential for butterfly tourism in Northeast India. He conducted a biodiversity walk in the morning, documenting 20-25 butterfly species within the IIT Guwahati campus. Dr. Dipjyoti Rajkhowa delivered a speech on agricultural biodiversity, emphasizing its importance for sustainable food production.

The event witnessed the participation of 112 students from esteemed institutions such as Cotton University, Guwahati University, Madanpur MV School, Assam Downtown University, Dr. Ambedkar Secondary School, and IIT Guwahati.

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