In an environ when all over the country much stress is laid on biodiversity conservation and the term having attained the status of a common jargon, it is beyond comprehension as to why the State of Jammu and Kashmir should, not only lag behind but appear to be doing practically nothing in this regard. In fact, in simpler words, bio-diversity means the total variety of life on our planet, number of races, varieties and species, different variety of living organism etc. It is the bio- diversity that makes this world beautiful. We need to accord importance to trees, plants, animals, soil improvement, fighting drought, floods, soil erosion and more importantly climatic changes. In short, the subject is too important and broad to precisely describe in a few lines.
Accordingly, as back as in the year 2015, the State Government framed Jammu and Kashmir Biological Diversity Rules and consequently J and K State Biodiversity Board was established to perform multi lateral duties with the common goal of ensuring conservation of biological diversity. Initially, discussions took place in the meetings to work out strategies and action plan in respect of conservation of bio- diversity in a planned and scientific manner and it was hoped that the State could never lag behind other progressive States in the country. It, however, looks paradoxical that the Jammu and Kashmir State Biodiversity Board should practically remain non functional for the last over two years. The decisions, of whatever nature taken in earlier meetings have gone in the oblivion of redundancy.
It is a sad commentary on the affairs of the State as the concerned administrative machinery generally believes in what we call “Khana Purti”. On International Biodiversity Day on May 22, speeches were made and importance of the day highlighted, also a few prizes distributed in the functions held in winter capital. In the summer capital Srinagar too, symbolic functions were held to mark the “importance” of the day. What about the post celebrations work plan?
We do not, in the least, question the importance of making speeches, exhibitions, displaying graphics and other material relevant to the concept of bio- diversity on some specified dates but what we urge is to make it a routine looking to its inherent importance for the human survival. Mass awareness and efforts towards this important aspect are nowhere to be seen. The concerned authorities instead have failed to establish Bio- diversity Management Committees in 12 designated Panchayats so far.
The flittering away of two precious years in not even convening single meeting highlights how much importance was given to the issue under reference while the Rules state that the Board should meet at least twice in a year. We urge the concerned authorities to underline the importance of the issue and proceed with formulation of much desired action plan for conservation of bio-diversity and make the Board functional, not only “make” it functional but it should “look” functional as well.