Srinagar: Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof Talat Ahmad on Thursday said that he is keen to see a mapping program in the state of J&K on the lines of MANU (mapping your neighborhood in Uttrakhand) which would provide an opportunity to the experts and scientists to have a rich data on the biodiversity and topography of the various ecologically fragile areas of the state.
Prof Talat was speaking during the inaugural session of a 3-day Science Academics Lecture Workshop on “Himalayan Biodiversity and Bio-Resources: Mapping, Utilization and Conservation” organised by the Department of Botany, KU.
The workshop is being jointly sponsored by all the three national science academies including Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and The National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad.
“J&K is very rich in bio-diversity and mapping the surroundings is very important. We should have a student’s mapping program on the lines of MANU presently going on in Uttrakhand under which students from various colleges and universities itself would be trained to map the various areas including their neighborhood so that we may be able to collect data on ecologically fragile zones,” said Prof Talat.
He said that the 3-day workshop would be beneficial for the students and they should enrich their knowledge by listening to the august resource persons like Prof Uma Shankar, Dr Ravi Kant and others.
Delivering his presidential address Prof Talat said, “During this workshop, you should try learn data generation, mapping and documentation so that it could prove beneficial for the whole society and for policy makers to arrive at proper and precise conclusions while approving any building designs and during rescue efforts at the time of any natural disaster.”
Prof Uma Shankar, Convenor of the workshop said that three science academies are now coming together to ignite the young minds and generate more research projects.
“This workshop is of the great benefit for the students. During these three days, we should try to know what we have, to have a judicious use of the resources and conserve them,” said Prof Shakar
On the occasion Prof Uma Shankar also presented a book titled ‘Himalaya, Mountain of life’ to the Vice- Chancellor of the University.
Speaking on the occasion Prof Zaffar A Reishi, Registrar, KU said that the University is looking forward to work with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) to augment the bio-diversity conservation measures in the valley.
Prof Reishi said, “Many of us do talk about bio-diversity conservation but we lack mapping techniques. Some of us should have hands -on training to map the bio-diversity and I think this workshop gives a platform to learn those basic skills which can prove very handy during any eventuality.”
Later in one of the technical sessions Prof Reishi also delivered a lecture on Climate change and biological invasion: threat to Himalayan biodiversity and bioresources.
Head Department of Botany, Prof Irshad A Nawchoo while presenting a departmental profile said that the aim of this workshop is to present a stocktaking of Himalayan biodiversity and highlight various knowledge gaps and the ways and means to bridge these gaps.
Coordinator of the workshop, Dr Manzoor A shah in his welcome address said that the workshop would lay a foundation for future course of action in order to protect the bio-diversity.
He said that during the workshop deliberations would be made on harnessing bioresource potential of biodiversity and possible convergence of emerging technologies for their best possible use in the Himalayan biodiversity conservation and management.