Biodiversity Trail: A year-long initiative of Harithkram is the Environment Society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi. Began on May 22, 2020, on the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity. The session of Biodiversity Trail was captioned by the generous presence of Mr. Vijay Dhasmana, an eminent eco-warrior who enlightened with his invaluable insights into the Biodiversity of Aravalli, the site where he played a pivotal role in restoring about 380 acres of wasteland through the IAmGurgaon (IAG) Project.
This flagged off the two-week-long inaugural celebration of the Biodiversity Trail. As a part of the celebration, several exciting events such as Quiz, Online Presentation Competition, and Doodling, to name a few, were organized to engage budding environmentalists to explore the various themes related to biodiversity. The fortnight-long inaugural celebration concluded on June 05, 2020, on the occasion of World Environment Day with a panel discussion on the theme of Biodiversity. The eminent panelists for the panel discussion were Dr. P. A. Azeez, Former Director, SACON, and Dr. G. Areendran, Director, IGCMC, WWF-India, New Delhi.
Team Harithkram concluded to take the drive ahead as a year-long celebration of Biodiversity in the form of monthly events. As a result, several talks with expert speakers were held in addition to many other lively and enthralling events like quizzes and documentary screening.
On the occasion of the 5th International Day for the conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem on July 26, 2020, Harithkram regulated an insightful conversation on “the Response of the Advancing Sea in the Sunderban and Mangroves to the Tropical Cyclones” by Prof. Ashis Kumar Paul, from the Department of Geography, Vidya Sagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal.
Taking the unique e-initiative forward, on the occasion of World Rivers Day on September 27, 2020, another lecture was delivered on “Life Amidst Brahmaputra: Ecology, Landscape, and Precarity in Majuli.” The prominent speaker for the same was Assistant Professor at the Cotton University, Assam, Dr. Simashree Bora.
Tracing the downward spiral of one of the largest wetlands of South India, ‘Kolleru’ became the center of discussion for the next Biodiversity Trail Talk on October 28, 2020. Ms. Prasanna Bhushi, Freelance Editor and Writer, addressed the gathering on “Kolleru: An Endangered Wetland, The Next Dodo among Wetlands?” Ms. Nivedita Varma Harisena, Socio-Ecological Systems Researcher and Imagery Data Specialist at ESRI, UAE graced the next Biodiversity Trail Talk on March 7, 2021, as the speaker and shared valuable insights on the theme, “The Intersection of Society and Ecology: The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve.”
Intertwining the year-long initiative of Biodiversity Trail with the observance of Earth Hour, Harithkram organized an insightful talk with Mr. Sunil Harsana, Environment Researcher and Conservationist on March 27, 2021. He shared anecdotes about his work in conserving the biodiversity of Mangar Bani and how he is reviving the link between the community and its sacred forest. The recently concluded Biodiversity Trail Talk on April 25, 2021, explored the conservation status of the Madras Hedgehogs.
The conversation, based on the topic, “Madras Hedgehogs- Connect the Dots and Conserve Them!” was conveyed by Mr. Brawin Kumar, Wildlife Researcher, who has done extensive research about these elusive species and even brought out a comic book in the local dialect for the children who live close to the hedgehog’s habitat in Tamil Nadu.
In addition to organizing these highly invigorating and insightful talks, virtual Picto-Quizzes based on themes such as Indian Biodiversity were also held. Under the initiative, social media campaigns highlighting significant days of biodiversity were also carried out to raise awareness about the challenges the various species of fauna and flora face today as also the need for urgent, proactive measures to ensure their conservation.
Team Harithkram entangled the celebration with the Biodiversity Trail of biodiversity and the environment. Through this initiative, attempted to raise awareness regarding the several challenges that our environment and biodiversity faced. Moreover, through our unique e-initiative during the pandemic, we hoped to help people recognize the imminent need for collective actions to find suitable solutions to all the challenges brought to light by our expert speakers, primarily through recognition and preservation of the rich biodiversity our planet boasts of.
However, to know more about them you can visit: https://www.harithkram.org/biodiversitytrail