Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science served as the
nodal agency at the Karnataka state level in the formulation of a strategy and
an action plan to conserve, sustainable use and promote equitable sharing in
benefits from the use of biological diversity resources as a part of the
national effort co-ordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, GoI.
The Karnataka effort focused on six themes, namely. (a) Protected areas (b)
medicinal plants (c) freshwater fish’ (d) wetlands (e) cultural traditions of
conservation, and (f) land races of cultivated plants. As a part of this
exercise, an effort was made to involve school students in this programme. 49
schools distributed through the length and breadth of the state were involved to
prepare School Biodiversity Registers (SBR) that focused on 5 themes as
enumerated above. The SBR exercise involved a background study to understand the
school surroundings and one to five thematic studies. These were conducted as
special high school student under the guidance of one of the schoolteachers.
The thematic studies included ten modules, namely (1) Current Status (2) Ecological history (3) Forces driving ecological change (4) Knowledge and beliefs (5) Gainers and losers (6) Values (7) Scenarios (8) Aspirations (9) Strategies and (10) Action plans. Their coverage encompassed the entire area utilised by people residing within a radius of 3-4 kilometres from the High School. The thematic studies involved an element of field-oriented investigations in association with, as well as interviews of local knowledgeable individuals by the students and teachers.
theme on Wetlands was undertaken by 9 High schools and 5 P.U colleges from 8
districts of Karnataka, covering 45 wetlands which includes river, huge wells,
tanks and water springs. Each team comprised of 5 to 10 students along with some
local knowledgeable individuals headed by the schoolteacher. The teamwork
yielded good result and a first hand experience for the students and teachers.
The team had also mapped the wetland area and collected data on fauna and flora
of the tank. The results got were amazing with concrete strategies and action
plans made by the team in consultation with the villagers to conserve and
sustainable use the water bodies of the study locality.
Centre for Ecological Sciences,
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, Karnataka, India