Delhi seeking an OECM label for its biodiversity parks | Latest Delhi News

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A day after Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram was declared India’s first “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECM) site, authorities in Delhi have said the capital may soon get a label. similar for Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Vasant Kunj.

Senior officials said they have already completed the review of the biodiversity park in Delhi and will soon apply for the label. Similar recognition will also be sought for Delhi’s other six biodiversity parks, including Yamuna Biodiversity Park in North Delhi, in addition to green spaces such as Sanjay Van.

Issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an OECM label is assigned to areas of rich biodiversity, outside of protected areas like national parks and sanctuaries, for effective in situ conservation.

National Biodiversity Authority Chairman VB Mathur told HT that Delhi’s seven biodiversity parks – Aravalli, Yamuna, Tughlakabad, Neela Hauz, Tilpath Valley, Kamla Nehru and Kalindi – are being considered as possible additions to the list. .

“While we have reviewed both Aravalli Biodiversity Parks in Delhi and Gurugram in recent months, we have started the process of OECM recognition with Gurugram Park. Delhi Aravalli Biodiversity Park may be next. is to create an ‘Aravalli cluster’ in which the biodiversity across this corridor is notified as an OECM and can therefore be better protected,” said Mathur, adding that while the OECM label does not provide any additional legal protection to these sites, the goal is to recognize biodiversity preservation efforts in each state.

“Unlike a sanctuary or wildlife sanctuary, where the area the bigger the better, even small pockets where efforts have been made to preserve native flora and fauna can be recognized as OECM sites and we will now start the process to consider proposals from each state and union territory. Delhi certainly has several options,” said Mathur.

A member of the Delhi Biodiversity Council (DBC), speaking on condition of anonymity, said that although a formal proposal to notify OECM sites in Delhi has not yet been submitted, NBA officials are considering the DDA’s Aravalli Biodiversity Park for two years. month. “A list will be shared with the NBA, but the president has already inspected Aravalli Biodiversity Park for the past two months and it could eventually become an important site for Delhi’s conservation efforts,” the member said.

To comply with the guidelines of the Biological Diversity Act of 2002, each state and union territory has been directed to establish State-level Biodiversity Councils and Councils respectively. The DBC was notified pursuant to an official gazette notification on October 29, 2021 and only held its first meeting last month.

The 11-member body is headed by Prof. CR Babu of Delhi University and has Delhi’s chief wildlife warden, Nisheeth Saxena, as member secretary among its five ex officio members. The body also has four expert members – Sumit Dookia, professor at Indraprastha University; Vijay Dhasmana, curator at Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram; and Dr. Ritu Singh and Manu Bhatnagar of INTACH – each of whom will serve a three-year term.

When it was inaugurated in 2010, the Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Delhi covered 699 acres of the Aravalli area degraded due to decades of mining. It has been restored over time through the planting of native species of trees and shrubs.

Saxena said the main objective of the DBC is to prepare a biodiversity register, mapping all water bodies, green spaces, fauna and flora existing in the capital. “Once mapped, we can take the next step of identifying the most important biodiversity hotspots,” he said.

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