Kerala has become the first state in the country to prepare Peoples Biodiversity Registers (PBR) for each local self-government (LSG) body with the help of the local people.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given a deadline of January 31, 2020 to prepare PBR in all states. Kerala has achieved it in the first week of December much before the date.
PBR records information availability and knowledge of local biological resources and traditional knowledge associated with them.
According to Kerala state biodiversity board website, except three LSGs, all the other 1040 LSGs have prepared PBR.
The register will have details on wild, aquatic, urban and agro biodiversity. This includes trees, shrubs, climbers, crops, fruits, plants, pests, wild and domestic animals, tuber crops, medicinal weeds, wild and ornamental plants, trees, fisheries, landscape, waterscape, soil type, mammals, insects and reptiles.
"PBR is not simply a register with names of species and their distribution in a given area. It is a comprehensive database recording people’s traditional knowledge and insight of the status, uses, history, ongoing changes and forces driving these changes on the biological diversity resources of their own localities. This will also provide information on the current utilisation patterns of biodiversity, its economic benefits to the local communities," Kerala State Biodiversity board explains PBR in a report.
Kerala was also the first state to establish biodiversity management committees (BMCs) at all levels in the state which were required to prepare PBR. BMC is responsible for monitoring PBR preparation at Panchayat level. There will also be Panchayat coordinators and ward level volunteers to collect data.
"Govt. sanctioned an expenditure of Rs.1,25,000 for grama panchayats, Rs. 2,50,000 for municipalities and Rs. 5,00,000 for corporations from the general sector development fund of the annual plan or own general purpose fund for PBR preparation," the board report says. In total, Kerala spent Rs 13.97 crore for PBR preparation.