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Kerala to set up biodiversity panel in all local bodies


Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala has become one of the first states in the country where all the 978 local village bodies have completed the formation of a Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC).

The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) which was entrusted the task of coordinating with the local bodies handed over a copy of the documents to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday night.

“Very shortly, all the 60 municipalities and the five corporations would fall in line,” Chandy said.

The BMC is an elected body from among the village council and would include experts from the area concerned who will now be the custodians of the biodiversity of the village.

The term of every BMC is three years and this committee is empowered by the Biological Diversity Act 2002 and Biological Diversity Rules 2004 passed by the Indian parliament.

“The BMC has already begun its work to prepare the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) at the micro level,” said KSBB member secretary K.P. Laladhas.

“This register would have the minute details of all the flora and fauna besides also document the traditional knowledge that each village has. In today’s world, bio-piracy is rampant and these PBRs would come to the help of these village councils,” he added.

Kerala is home to nearly 10,035 plant species (22 percent of national plant diversity). Out of the 4,600 flowering plants found in the state, 1,500 are endemic.