Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati's (IIT Guwahati) Center for the Environment celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 with an event on campus.
On this day, issues pertaining to understanding and awareness of biodiversity are observed and also encourage actions to conserve and sustainably use natural resources.
This year's theme is 'From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity'.
Professor Parameswar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, while addressing the event, said, "The entire North-East Region is a biodiversity hotspot. It is our responsibility to preserve our diversity for future generations and bring awareness to society. Celebrating biodiversity should be part of our everyday lives. Every small being and every microorganism should be preserved. IIT Guwahati is taking initiatives through its Centre for Indian Knowledge System to document the traditional knowledge of local communities and tribal areas."
He also further highlighted the importance of 'circular economy' that should be practiced to ensure a better future for the next generation.
A Research Scholar, Jon Jyoti Kalita, gave an awareness lecture on LiFE(Lifestyle for Environment), an India-led global mass movement curated and piloted by NITI Aayog and implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), Government of India, to nudge individual and community action to protect and preserve the environment.
Professor Utpal Bora, Head, Centre for The Environment, delivered the welcome address. He said, “"North-East India is a conjunction of two important biodiversity hotspots. We should celebrate this International Biodiversity Day by discussing science in popular science mode and creating awareness. Without biodiversity all ecosystem services will disappear."
Dr Tarali Bhuyan, Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, Cotton University, led an exhibition of handicrafts from silkworm waste cocoons from different government sericulture farms in Assam as well as from traditional silkworm rearers. The team has converted them into beautiful pieces of art with a touch of creative crafting promoting 'waste into wealth'.
Arun Mitra, a Beekeeper and Entrepreneur, highlighted the importance of honey and how it is a profitable venture. The documentary "The Man Who 'Speaks' Nature", was showcased highlighting conservation efforts by Manoj Gogoi, an Indian wildlife conservationist and wildlife rehabilitationist based in Kaziranga, Assam.
During the event, documentaries were also showcased on Pobitora wildlife sanctuary and Greater Adjutant story.
Dr. Tarun Chandra Bora, Chancellor, Krishnaguru Adhyatmik Visvavidyalaya, was the chief guest of the event. He said, "With these events we can sensitize the young generation who are custodians of our biodiversity. The young students should love nature. It is the lifeline of humanity and it should be protected. Half of our food material comes from bees because of which 80% of plants are alive. Pollinators are the backbone of food security."
May 22 is observed as 'International Day for Biological Diversity' by the United Nations to create awareness about biodiversity issues. It serves as an occasion to highlight the importance of biodiversity for the planet's well-being as well as the urgent need to protect and conserve it.
Several students from Cotton University, Guwahati University, Madanpur MV School, Assam Downtown University, Dr Ambedkar Secondary School and IIT Guwahati participated in the event.