Visakhapatnam: Have you ever heard of nature/eco clubs? As the world is moving towards sustainable living and saving the environment, government officials and several organisations are coming forward to set up eco clubs. Such an initiative is now being taken up by the forest department and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), Visakhapatnam.
This is to increase public participation in greening and to enhance biodiversity conservation. The forest department held a meeting with nature enthusiasts, NGOs, civil society groups, and volunteers to develop a framework for setting up nature/eco clubs.
"As part of the new initiative, nature clubs will be set up across the district with the objective of documenting and conserving biodiversity with the active involvement of the public," said divisional forest officer and curator of IGZP Anant Shankar.
The forest department will provide infrastructural facilities for these nature clubs across the city. Emphasis will be on developing People's Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) with the local urban bodies. "We will start these eco clubs soon after considering the opinions and suggestions given by various NGOs. Time-specific deadlines will be set up. A mobile-based application for creating a platform for such participation will also be launched soon," added Mr. Shankar.
What are these eco clubs?
· Eco clubs will play a significant role in protecting the environment and biodiversity in the urban surroundings.
· Through these clubs, people can contribute as per their interests like photography; conservation of butterflies; study of different types of birds; and conservation of plants, trees, and wetlands.
· Eco clubs will be documented in the form of video and photos.
· Workshops, training, guided tours, and expert talks will be held.
· Discussions can be held on biodiversity issues and how they can be solved through these eco clubs.
· It will involve schools and educational institutions, corporate sector, societies, Resident Welfare Associations, Navy, Railways, and doctors' associations.
· The forest department will organise nature walks, marine exploration trips, and trekking in pristine forest areas through these clubs.