SRINAGAR: World Environment Day, 2021was celebrated by the Environmental Sciences, Centre for Biodiversity Studies, BGSB University, Rajouri in collaboration with WWF-India, Field Office, Rajouri. This year’s theme is “Ecosystem restoration” which is set in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Day was celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of ecosystem. On the occasion, .a webinar was organized in which the faculty, scholars and students of Department of Botany, Zoology, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences participated.
Prof. Aakbar Masood, Vice Chancellor BGSBU in his message highlighted that the healthier ecosystems, with rich biodiversity, yields greater benefits such as fertile soils, good harvest of resources and larger stores of greenhouse gases. Prof Akbar Masood said protecting nature is vital in our fight against climate change. Prof. Akbar mentioned that the protection and restoration of our ecosystems is important to ensure a safe and healthy life. Only with healthy ecosystems we can ensure sustainable livelihoods, fight the climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity, Prof. Akbar mentioned. Prof. Akbar in his message stressed upon the participants to work for the restoration of ecosystems through various activities includingGrowing trees, greening cities, rewilding gardens, changing diets or cleaning up rivers.
Prof. Iqbal Parwez, Dean, School of Biosciences and Biotechnology presented the opening remarks andemphasized that between now and 2030, the restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems could generate US$9 trillion in ecosystem services and ecosystem restoration could also remove 13 to 26 giga tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The economic benefits of such interventions exceed nine times the cost of investment, whereas inaction is at least three times more costly than ecosystem restoration. In fact, restoration can help us achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals. He further introduced the speaker as well.
The expert talk was delivered by Professor Sunil Nautiyal, Head, Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources (CEENR), Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru on “Environmental conservation and socio-ecological development: an Indian perspective” in which he emphasized on the importance of ecosystems in our environment. He also emphasized the critical importance of the ecosystems and their restoration for the preservation of our planet.
Dr. Shreekar Pant, Coordinator, Centre for Biodiversity Studies presented the welcome address.
Dr Mamta Bhat conducted the proceeding of the program while a formal vote of thanks was presented by Mr. Rohit Rattan, Associate Coordinator, WWF – India, Field Office, Rajouri.