Our State West Bengal
West Bengal is a north eastern Indian state of amazing extremes. It stretches from the Himalayas through the Gangetic plains to the Bay of Bengal over the course of about 483 km and displays almost all the geophysical features and its associated biodiversity that the Indian subcontinent boasts of. The northernmost district of Darjeeling is cradled in the laps of the colossal Himalayas, followed by the submontane terai region which supports a huge diversity of life forms, the western districts feature a semi-arid region of red lateritic soil with dry flanks of Chhotanagpur plateau, low hills and sal-segun forests, the eastern districts represent vast riverine flood plains on both sides of the river Bhagirathi and its northern and western tributaries and in the southern most part the Bay of Bengal caress the deltaic regions of Sundarban mangroves and coastal part of Midnapur.
As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, India was to enact a comprehensive legislation to achieve the objectives of the said convention. As such, In 2002 India enacted the Biological Diversity Act and subsequently in 2004, the Biological Diversity Rules came into effect for fulfilling the three main objectives of the convention, viz., conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of the same and ensuring equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of the biological resources.
The prime initiative aiming to fulfil the objectives of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is to document the available biological resources. Such an onerous plan of action can achieve success only with the active participation of the concerned citizenry. Thus an approach was urgently needed to identify communicating biodiversity messages in a way which would engage people’s hearts and minds, and encourage them to be positively involved.