Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board today set into motion a special 3-day programme beginning with a 2-day bird watching and training camp at Kervan forest nursery here keeping in focus the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” chosen by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) mark the “International Biological Diversity Day” on May 22.
Today’s camp was led by Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Member Secretary State Biodiversity Board and former Field Director Panna Tiger Reserve, R. Sreenivasa Murthy. Prominent among those who joined the camp were WWF Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh director Sangeeta Saxena, Director Indira Awas and senior Indian Forests Service officer and former Field Director Kanha Tiger Reserve Jasbeer Singh Chouhan, senior journalist Lalit Sastri, Dr. Ankur Awadhiya, IFS, Suresh Waghmare and Umakant Dixit, both retired Deputy Forest Conservators, Mohammad Khaliq and Sangita Rajgir of Bhopal Birds. Several volunteers from WWF and Army also took part.
The theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” has been chosen to coincide with the observance of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 70/1931 and for which the United Nations World Tourism Organization is providing leadership.
Biodiversity, at the level of species and ecosystems, provides an important foundation for many aspects of tourism. Recognition of the great importance to tourism economies of attractive landscapes and a rich biodiversity underpins the political and economic case for biodiversity conservation. Many issues addressed under the Convention on Biological Diversity directly affect the tourism sector. A well-managed tourist sector can contribute significantly to reducing threats to, and maintain or increase, key wildlife populations and biodiversity values through tourism revenue.
Tourism relates to many of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets [The Parties (Countries) under Convention of Biodiversity (CBD), meet at regular interval and the tenth such meeting was held at Aichi precinct (district) of Nagoya, Japan]. Some of these targets are primarily about ensuring greater control and management to reduce damage to biodiversity from tourism. For others this is about pursuing the positive contribution of tourism to biodiversity awareness, protected areas, habitat restoration, community engagement, and resource mobilization. A further dimension is the better integration of biodiversity and sustainability into development policies and business models that include tourism.
Celebration of the IDB under this theme therefore provides an opportunity to raise awareness and action towards the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to economic growth and to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.