Itanagar: The Shergaon Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) of Arunachal Pradesh has won the best ‘Biodiversity Management Committee’ award in the India Biodiversity Awards 2021.
Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo handed over the prestigious award virtually to the Shergaon BMC during the 5th edition of India Biodiversity Awards held in Chennai on Saturday.
The award ceremony also marked the International Day for Biological Diversity.
The Shergaon BMC in Arunachal’s West Kameng district was established on March 15, 2016, under the technical guidance of the Arunachal Pradesh Biodiversity Board.
Since then, the BMC has been working on different conservation activities and plantation programmes in and around Shergaon.
In 2009, the committee prepared the Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR) and documented 153 flora and 122 faunas available in Shergaon.
Shergaon BMC has also been working in close association with a locally based NGO, Gharung Thuk. They have adopted the Chhoskhorongkho River for five years with permission from the local village council and released around 500 fish fingerlings. They have been working on promoting their traditional culture by conducting workshops on traditional forest conservation methods of the Sherdukpen community.
The BMC has also formed nature clubs for school going children in three schools of the area and initiated a community library for readers.
They are also working on the conservation of sacred groves, reducing hunting activities by putting up boards for wildlife conservation and have also initiated a medicinal herbal garden for demonstration with support from the village council, Shergaon Forest Division and local NGOs.
Shergaon BMC chairman Pem Norbu Thungon dedicated the award to the ancestors and all the villagers of Shergaon for preserving the forest.
He also thanked the Shergaon Village Council, Arunachal Pradesh State Biodiversity Board West Kameng DFO and the team of Shergaon forest division for their consistent support.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu took to Twitter to congratulate the members of Shergaon BMC for their accomplishment.
“I congratulate the #Shergaon Biodiversity Management Committee for winning the #IndiaBiodiversityAward2021 in the category of ‘Best Biodiversity Management Committee’. Proud to know Shergaon BMC is first in Arunachal to win the Award presented jointly by @UNDP and @moefcc,” Khandu said.
Shergaon Village Council chairman Rinchong Lama and Head Gaon Bura D K Lama while congratulating the BMC said that they were happy to see the efforts of villagers being recognised at the national level.
The India Biodiversity Awards is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, National Biodiversity Authority and the United Nations Development Programme to identify and recognize the efforts of individuals, communities and institutions working towards biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of biological resources, access and benefit-sharing and biodiversity governance.
The award is given in five categories.
The best Biodiversity Management Committee award aspires to appreciate BMCs for the exemplary work in documentation of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge, generating awareness, establishing best practices in biodiversity conservation, sustainable use, social and gender equity and empowerment and equitable sharing of benefits.