Disconnect with nature a cause for concern, says official
Keeping in view the steady increase of population in urban areas and changing patterns of city growth, the Andhra Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (APSBDB) will be embarking on a pilot project to determine the ‘City Biodiversity Index’ of major cities across the State.
The project, which will evaluate biodiversity indicators, existing environmental indices and several other factors, will begin from the temple city of Tirupati.
Speaking to The Hindu on sidelines of a district-level awareness programme/workshop on the ‘Concepts of Biodiversity, Biological Diversity Act and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Mechanism’ here on Wednesday, APSBDB Chairman S.B.L. Misra maintained that their new area of focus – ‘City Biodiversity Index ’ — would assess the prevailing conditions in urban areas, which of late had witnessed a gradual rise in population, infrastructure etc., followed by a disconnect with nature.
“Through this project we intend to evaluate the existing conditions and ensure that the biodiversity/natural resources are not disturbed beyond the limit,” he said.
Mr. Misra said they had already called for ‘expression of interest’ and would decide on the consultant in a couple of months. The process would be followed by a detailed assessment of the city over 23 parameters as per the ‘City Biodiversity Index,’ also known as ‘Singapore Index on Cities Biodiversity.’
Elucidating on the evaluation process, APSBDB Member Secretary R.K. Suman said every indicator can be assigned points between 0-4 and could reach a total of 92, with the city’s baseline year being the year of initiation.
Mr. Suman said that they were planning to set up a ‘Biodiversity Park’ at Amaravati.