Panaji’s biodiversity to be mapped as a part of smart city

PANAJI: The energy and resources institute (TERI) is attempting to map and benchmark Panaji’s biodiversity and collate knowledge of local biological resources on behalf of the corporation of the city of Panaji (CCP) and the Goa state infrastructure development corporation (GSIDC). TERI will conduct a study of the city’s biological resources and based on the study, a people’s biodiversity register and city biodiversity index will be formed.

Biodiversity refers to a variety of species of plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems in which they live and interact in.

The year-long study will consist of profiling the city, physical features, administration of the biodiversity, assessment of the biodiversity, the native ecosystem service the biodiversity provides and lastly, the governance and management of the biodiversity, TERI project coordinator Fraddry D’Souza said.

Pegged at 12 lakh, the project aims to assess and quantify the ecological and economic value of biological resources present at the local level, which will help determine benefit-sharing , Panaji MLA Sidharth Kuncalienker told mediapersons.

The study will help in better implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and its Rules, 2004 and help policy makers prioritise conservation action, D’Souza said.

Kuncalienker said that a biodiversity management team would work closely with other stakeholders and experts during the duration of the study. Stakeholders include the Goa state biodiversity board (GSBB), the forest department, the botanical society of Goa, world wide fund for nature (WWF), birds of Goa and other agencies who have expertise in respective areas, D’Souza said.

The biodiversity register and index would help identify habitats, ecosystems for preservation, identify local land species, folk varieties of stocks and breeds of domesticated animals and micro-organisms, GSIDC officials said. The register is proposed to have comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources and their medicinal or any other traditional knowledge. Local communities, institutions and local organizations, residents of Panaji and tourists will be involved in the study. The state high powered steering committee for the Smart City mission had given GSIDC the mandate to hire an agency to prepare the biodiversity register.

Credits ET Realty

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