March 21 is declared as the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS

ABOUT

BioGov: Biodiversity Governance in India

Logo of Biogov.in

http://biogov.in

BioGov is an Initiative dedicated to the endeavors of Biodiversity Governance in India. The inception of BioGov occurred in a conference which was organised by TRAFFIC India, WWF (World Wildlife Fund), New Delhi at Simplipal Tiger Reserve, Ordissa in January 2014, where Dr. Manoj Kumar Sarkar presented the findings of his comprehensive, decades long studies on the important issues of Biodiversity Governance in India. The inspiring  talk given by Dr. Sarkar was an eye opener. The house was stunned to note that illegal exploitation of several plant species of India over the decades has pushed thousands of endemic and medicinal plant species of India on the verge of extinction. Nevertheless, the Indian legislation only provided to protect merely the ‘six’ species of plants under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. Moreover, this number of protected plant species remained just the ‘six’ even after 42 years of the inception of this Act. Surprisingly, the international authoritative databases enlisting threatened and endangered plants remain silent for most of the Indian threatened plant species. Lack of effective Governance Policies further worsens the situation. The Scientific Governance Policy proposed by Dr. Sarkar was a ray of hope! These findings are published by Tamil Nadu forest Department and ‘National Biodiversity Authority’ of India in form of two books in the year 2012.

It was proposed in the meeting to make these important books freely available ‘online’ so that entire world could benefit from them.

This BioGov portal (http://biogov.in) is thus dedicated to the Nation on the issues of Biodiversity Governance in india. In the initial stage of its development, the portal thrust to document and present the important scientific findings and other work of Dr. Sarkar on Plant Kingdom in a user friendly manner. In the second stage, a comprehensive reference database on the endemic plants of India (Endemic Plants Reference Database: EPRD) would be developed. We hope that this database would not only fill the gap between researchers and policy makers but would be very useful for the curators and lovers of plants and would represent the Indian plant diversity on global map. Provided the availability of funds, we shall then proceed to do the DNA profiling of all the threatened plants species of India so that the illegal trade of them could be controlled by law enforcement.

Hope you enjoy surfing through BioGov portal…

Happy Surfing!

[Sunil Kumar Verma]