SHERGAON, 22 May: The Shergaon Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) in West Kameng district has been given the ‘best BMC in India’ award in the fifth edition of the India Biodiversity Awards by the National Biodiversity Authority of the union ministry of environment, forests & climate change (MoEFCC), on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity, 2021.
The Shergaon BMC is the first ever from Arunachal to be awarded in this category. The award ceremony was conducted in the virtual mode this time.
The India Biodiversity Awards is a joint initiative of the MoEFCC, the National Biodiversity Authority and the United Nations Development Programme. It is an innovative mechanism to identify and recognize the efforts of individuals, communities and institutions working towards biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of biological resources, access and benefit-sharing, and biodiversity governance.
The awards carry a memento, a certificate and cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs each for individuals and Rs 5 lakhs each for institutions.
The best BMC award aspires to appreciate the BMCs for their exemplary work in documenting biological resources and associated traditional knowledge; generating awareness; establishing best practices in biodiversity conservation; ensuring sustainable use; social and gender equity; and empowerment and equitable sharing of benefits.
The Shergaon BMC was established in March 2016 in consultation with the Senji Blu-Shergaon Village Council. Arunachal has 164 BMCs in the state.
Shergaon BMC chairman Pem Norbu Thungon dedicated the award to “the ancestors for preserving the forests and all the villagers of Shergaon.” He also thanked the Shergaon Village Council for its consistent support to the BMC’s activities.
Shergaon Village Council chairman Rinchong Lama and HGB DK Lama congratulated the BMC.
The Shergaon BMC has worked on documentation of endemic flora and fauna of the village’s forest.
Some of the prominent plants species like Paris polyphylla, Taxus baccata, Swertia chirayita, rhododendron species, etc, and fauna like the red panda, flying squirrels, civets, yellow-throated morten, Himalayan Asiatic black bear, barking deer, etc, have been documented.
The Shergaon BMC has made it compulsory for all researchers to take prior permission from the Shergaon Village Council and the BMC for all their activities to avoid misuse of biodiversity knowledge of the area. The BMC, along with local NGO Garung Thuk, has established an ethno-medicinal plant garden, an in-situ rhododendron garden, a school nature club, etc. It also trains nature guides.