NEN Celebrates 15th Edition Of ‘Biodiversity Festival’ - Eastern Mirror
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NEN celebrates 15th edition of ‘Biodiversity Festival’

By EMN Updated: Mar 08, 2024 10:20 pm
Farming exchanging seeds during the 15th edition of Biodiversity Festival’ in Chizami village.

DIMAPUR — North East Network (NEN) celebrated the 15th edition of ‘Biodiversity Festival’ in Chizami village under Phek district on March 6 and 7 on the theme “Biodiversity- Building a shared future for all.”

The festival was aimed at increasing awareness on the importance of biodiversity and environmental protection, highlighting traditional knowledge and sustainable practices of participating communities, celebrating bio-cultural diversity, facilitating knowledge exchange and exploring pathways for sustaining biodiversity through conservation and livelihoods and fostering solidarity among diverse communities, stated an update from NEN.

Delivering the keynote address, Amba Jamir, an independent policy and development strategist, emphasised on the connection between biodiversity conservation, indigenous food systems and lifestyles. 

“To protect biodiversity, farmers have to be recognised as knowledge custodians, climatologists, seed and soil experts and create robust support systems for farmers’ livelihoods so that they can continue with sustainable food and farming systems,” Jamir said.

He remarked that losing a single seed variety represents not only the loss of potential crops but also loss of valuable knowledge and language.

While highlighting on the uniqueness and potential of the Nagaland biodiversity rules, which recognise the importance of community intellectual property rights, he encouraged local communities to proactively use those rules to safeguard their biodiversity. He also maintained that research and documentation are crucial aspect for biodiversity conservation.

The guest of honour and Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), Mhabemo Yanthan, highlighted the multiple benefits of biodiversity for the survival of species, health and integrity of ecological systems.

“The value of biodiversity can be understood through the lens of the relationships we form and strive for with each other and the rest of nature. These relational values are part of people’s individual or collective sense of well being, responsibility for and connection with the environment,” Yanthan remarked.

He also stressed on the crucial need for participation of women in all decision making processes, amplifying and making visible women’s knowledge of biodiversity, their significant role and contribution in managing and sustaining biodiversity.

The two-day event was focused on biodiversity as the foundation of all life, emphasising on the importance of all living things and exploring the monumental role that biodiversity plays.

Other speakers of the event were Heirang Lungalang, chairman of NCCAF; Rev. Mese Rhakho, community elder; Thangsoi M Khiamniungan, independent filmmaker and conservationist; and Keneile Thopi, women leader and member of Chizami Village Council.

Report stated that the festival witnessed seeds exchange between 12 farming communities. Cultural performances presented by women farmers of Mesulumi and Chizami Students’ Union, Meluri Millet Sisters and “Songs of the forest” by Thanamir Biodiversity Conservation Initiative.

By EMN Updated: Mar 08, 2024 10:20:12 pm
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