Port Blair, June 6: The World Environment Day is the biggest annual celebration of positive environmental action across the globe on 5th June every year. The day is to promote awareness on the importance of preserving our biodiversity, the need to identify problems related to the environment and ways to take corrective action. It was on this day in the year 1972 that the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was formed. The year 2022 is a historic milestone for the global environmental community as it marks 50 years since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, widely seen as the first international meeting on the environment. This year, Sweden is the global host of 2022 World Environment Day, which is being celebrated across the country with “Only one Earth”, is the campaign slogan, with the focus on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.

As a part of World Environment Day Celebration 2022, ZSI, Port Blair organized various programmes such as Painting/Competition for the School / College students. About 220 students, teachers and research scholars from 21 School/Colleges/Institutions participated in the competition from throughout A&N Islands.

About 200 seedlings were distributed to local public & schools in collaboration with Department of Environment & Forests. An exhibition on faunal diversity of A & N Islands through LED displays, pamphlets, and brochures, Illumination of ZSI office building with Green LED light; One-day seminar on Island Biodiversity of A & N Islands to School/College students, teachers and researches of this islands which was attended by 120 participants from various school and colleges.

The one-day seminar on Island Biodiversity of A&N Islands was held on 5th June 2022 in ZSI, Port Blair and about 120 participants from various School, Colleges, Research Institutions have attended the seminar. The inaugural session began with a welcome address by Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, followed by felicitation address by Dr. E. B. Chakurkar, Director, ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair.  Dr. P. Vijayachari, Director, ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair delivered the inaugural address as a Chief Guest.

Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, in her address, welcomed everybody with much pleasure to participate in the one-day seminar to celebrate the World Environment Day 2022 with the theme “Only one Earth”, and the theme focuses on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature” as it calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.  She extended warm greetings and special thanks all for gathering on the occasion of celebration of World Environment Day.  She also highlighted about the importance of the Environment Day celebration and what it is all about.

Dr. E.B. Chakurkar, Director, ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair, in his felicitation address threw more light on Environment Day celebration and what it is all about. He said each person should try and make the earth habitable and free of pollutants by reducing their carbon footprint, discourage deforestation and depletion of the earth resources, and also, we should make use of the 3R’s which are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to minimize waste. He has informed participants about the impacts of pollution and climate change on agriculture. He was also highlighting importance of the unused cereals, vegetable and grains, what were very well consumed by our ancient people. He also insisted the audience for the home gardening to get our own food in organic way. 

Dr. P. Vijayachari, Director, ICMR-RMRC, in his address enthralled the audience with the most recent advances in science and technology from around the world. He highlighted the ancient people’s hypothesis regarding the 5 elements concept (Earth, Gas, Water, Fire, Akash) and also recollected the ancient people contribution in the biodiversity concept. He also explained the evolution of earth and microorganisms to other living things in the world.  He further advised all present to have regards for nature because the way we treat nature is the same way nature will treat us. Nature does not need us, we need nature and if we decimate and desecrate our environment, we will deprive ourselves of clean, pure water, fresh air and other free gifts of nature. He also said there is need to educate the youths to consume with care because there is enough food produce to feed everybody but a lot of this produce goes to waste instead of it going to those who really need it. The inaugural session was concluded by vote of thanks by Dr. C. Sivaperuman, Scientist E & Officer in Charge, ANRC ZSI, Port Blair.

During the technical session there were five lectures have been delivered by experts, the first talk presented by Dr. C. Sivaperuman, an overview of A & N Islands; the second talk on Marine faunal diversity of A & N Islands by Dr. R. Mohanraju, Professor & Head, Department of Ocean Studies & Marine Biology, Pondicherry University, Port Blair; the third talk by Dr. L Anburajan, Scentist-D, National Institute of Ocean Technology on Microbial Biodiversity and Biotechnology; Dr. P. M. Mohan, Professor, Department of Ocean Studies and Marine Biology, Pondicherry University, Port Blair has delivered talk on Biogeography of Andaman & Nicobar Islands; the last talk by Dr. A. Justin, Deputy Director (Retd.), Anthropological Survey of India, Port Blair on primitive tribes of ANI.

The valedictory function of Environment Day Celebration was held at Zoological Survey of India, Port Blair with a welcome address by Dr. C. Sivaperuman, Officer-in-Charge, ANRC/ZSI, followed by felicitation address by the Guests of honours Mrs. Nabanita Ganguly, IFS, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife); Shri. P. Naveen Kumar, IF, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mill Division, Department of Environment and Forests, and Shri. Rajender Singh, Deputy Commandant, CISF, Veer Savarkar International Airport. The Chief Guest Dr. S. Senthilkumar, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Department of Environment and Forests has emphasised on the impact of man on earth, and explained the concept of restoration ecology and conservation science, quoting examples of ecorestoration efforts in India with regard to terrestrial ecosystem. Also he has appreciated the team of the ZSI for organizing the important event. The Chief Guest and Guests of Honours were distributed the certificate to the winners of the various competitions.  The event was ended on a grand note with vote of thanks by Dr. C. Sivaperuman, Officer-in-Charge, ANRC/ZSI.