IBC Exhorts Researchers to Work on Climate-Resilient Crops


Thiruvananthapuram: The fourth edition of the Indian Biodiversity Congress (IBC 2017), which concluded in Puducherry the other day, has urged research institutions to work on ‘drought and flood-tolerant crops’ and ecological farming techniques that would reduce release of carbon from soils by offering improvement and innovations in the traditional biodiverse farming methods.

It also called for prioritising research on agro-biodiversity documentation at grass-roots levels, genetic improvement of local crops, development of base-line data on nutritional status of local crops and products from livestock, documentation of genetic diversity, and food processing, marketing and quality improvement of by-products using the rich biodiversity of the country. IBC also observed that promotion of biodiverse farming is the solution not only for carbon sequestration but also for addressing the issue of drought.

Calling upon the government to frame necessary policy, and technical and financial means to mainstream climate change considerations in agricultural sector and provide a basis for operationalising sustainable agricultural development under changing conditions in order to make Climate Smart Agriculture a reality, IBC 2017 reminded that agriculture needs to be made economically viable through a system of ‘guaranteed incomes.’

The other recommendations submitted to the government include demand for a time-bound action plan on People’s Biodiversity Registers, envisaged as mandatory in the Biological Diversity Act of India, in order to achieve the biodiversity targets set by the United Nations Convention on Biology Diversity for 2020. IBC 2017 called for urgent action by the National Biodiversity Authority to establish Biodiversity Boards in all the Union Territories in order to complete the mandates.

The IBC 2017 came to a close with Dr. Kiran Bedi IPS (Retd), Lt. Governor of Puducherry, delivering the valedictory address. The valedictory function was addressed by Dr.Vandana Shiva, Prof. Anisa Basheer Khan, among others.