Karnataka Biodiversity Board Chairman Anant Hegde Ashisar called for strengthening biodiversity management committees at block levels in Chamarajanagar in view of the high forest cover in the district.
Speaking at a function to mark the International Biodiversity Day at Chamarajanagar on Thursday, he said that more than 50 per cent of the district was under forest cover and lay between the eastern and western ghats. Hence it was endowed with rich biodiversity to conserve which the biodiversity management committees should be strengthened and the Board would come out with a definite policy framework.
He said the local-level committees should not confine themselves to conservation of biodiversity of forest wealth alone but should also place emphasis on agro-diversity including horticulture. Rare and indigenous species need to be identified at the local levels and the farmers should be introduced to their propagation. This calls for greater coordination of forest, agriculture, horticulture, revenue, and rural development departments under the zilla panchayats, he added.
Mr. Ashisar said all development works initiated in the district should co-opt the adivasis who conserve forest wealth and live in harmony with the environment. The State government under Vanasamvardhana project has identified Chamarajanagar, Bidar, Mandya, Uttara Kannada and Shivamogga districts for biodiversity conservation for which each district will receive ₹10 lakh.