Thursday, June 13, 2024

Capacity Building and Awareness Programme for the Biodiversity Management Committees of Changthang

Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) have been constituted across the Union Territory of Ladakh under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 with an objective to promote conservation, sustainable use and documentation of its rich biological diversity. These panchayat-level BMCs have been constituted by joint efforts of the Ladakh Biodiversity Council, Rural Development Department, and GoI-UNDP-GEF SECURE Himalaya Project.

The SECURE Himalaya Project facilitated and piloted the implementation of the Act in the Union Territory of Ladakh, supporting the constitution of Ladakh Biodiversity Council, constitution of BMCs, preparation of PBRs and beyond. Under this project, capacity building and awareness programmes were conducted in the four blocks of Changthang namely Rong-Chumathang, Rupsho-Puga, Nyoma, and Durbuk comprising of 20 Biodiversity Management Committees at the Panchayat level. These capacity building and awareness programmes were held between 23 October 2022 and 10 December 2022 across six different events at various venues close to respective villages.

These workshops started with filling of a preliminary questionnaire to understand their existing knowledge and awareness about the constituted Committees. During the programme, the members were sensitized about the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 wherein interactions were held on roles and responsibilities of BMCs, preparation of Peoples’ Biodiversity Registers, declaration of Biodiversity Heritage Sites and Access and Benefit Sharing process.

Critically, the Secretaries and Chairpersons of these Biodiversity Management Committees, along with other members were also provided financial trainings vis-à-vis banking and financial operations such as opening of a bank account, maintenance of registers, and submission of Utilization Certificates.
Total number of participants were 86 out of 140 members of BMCs across Changthang, out of which 32 were females and 54 were males.

Reference materials such as the Biological Diversity Act, Biodiversity Rules, Guidelines for operationalization of BMCs and Guidelines for declaration and management of BHS were circulated to the Secretaries of the BMCs.

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