Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati’s (IIT Guwahati) Center for the Environment celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 with an event on campus on May 22.
The day promotes understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues and encourages actions to conserve and sustainably use natural resources. This year’s theme is ‘From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity’.
The event saw participation from 112 students from Cotton University, Guwahati University, Madanpur MV School, Assam Downtown University, Dr Ambedkar Secondary school and IIT Guwahati.
A Debate competition was organized on the Topic: “Use of plastic is endangering biodiversity” where students from different universities actively took part in. The debate was moderated by Prof. Arup Kr. Hazarika, Cotton University, and the jury members were Smt. Ratna Singh, Deputy-Speaker, GMC, Dr. Ajoy Kr. Das, Arya Vidyapith College and Jayanta Bordoloi, film-maker and entertainment expert. Ashish Boruah from Gauhati University was declared the best speaker of the competition.. Shristy Trivedi and Avayjeet Paul were declared the second best speaker and the third best speaker respectively, while the team from Gauhati University was declared the best team.
The event was interlaced with cultural performances, including a classical dance by Tishani Tamuli, Bihu performance by students from Dr. Ambedkar Secendary School, modern song performances by Arup Baishya, Senior Agronomist, GoA, K Zamminsion and Aditya Sharma, PhD scholars, IITG. A very creative Drama on Biological Diversity Day was performed by the talented school students of Madanpur M V School S.O.S – Save Our Shristi . written and directed by Ganesh Kakati is a satire that cleverly exposes the perilous impact of human negligence and egocentrism on the intricate web of diverse life forms, inviting audience to reflect on their own selfish actions.
Addressing the event, Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati said, “The entire North-East Region is a biodiversity hotspot. It is our responsibility to preserve our diversity for future generations and bring awareness to society. Celebrating biodiversity should be part of our everyday lives. Every small being and every microorganism should be preserved. IIT Guwahati is taking initiatives through its Centre for Indian Knowledge System to document the traditional knowledge of local communities and tribal areas.”
Prof. Iyer further highlighted the importance of ‘circular economy’ that should be practiced to ensure a better future for the next generation.
Jon Jyoti Kalita, Research Scholar, gave an awareness lecture on LiFE(Lifestyle for Environment), an India-led global mass movement curated and piloted by NITI Aayog and implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), Government of India, to nudge individual and community action to protect and preserve the environment.
Dr Tarali Bhuyan, Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, Cotton University, led an exhibition of handicrafts from silkworm waste cocoons from different government sericulture farms in Assam as well as from traditional silkworm rearers. The team has converted them into beautiful pieces of art with a touch of creative crafting promoting ‘waste into wealth’.
Arun Mitra, a Beekeeper and Entrepreneur, highlighted the importance of honey and how it is a profitable venture. The documentary “The Man Who ‘Speaks’ Nature”, was showcased highlighting conservation efforts by Mr. Manoj Gogoi, an Indian wildlife conservationist and wildlife rehabilitationist based in Kaziranga, Assam. Documentaries were also showcased on Pobitora wildlife sanctuary and Greater Adjutant story.
Roshan Upadhaya, a policeman by profession but also popularly known as ‘Butterfly Man of Arunachal Pradesh’ spoke on conservation livelihood and the scope of butterfly tourism in Northeast India. He led a biodiversity walk in the morning and documented 20-25 butterfly species in IITG Campus. Dr. Dipjyoti Rajkhowa spoke on agricultural biodiversity.
The United Nations dedicates 22 May every year as ‘International Day for Biological Diversity’ to create awareness about biodiversity issues. It serves as an occasion to highlight the importance of biodiversity for the planet’s well-being as well as the urgent need to protect and conserve it.