IBOY Satellite Projects
Screening of Marine Algae of the Indian Coast
The sea has immense biomedical potential that can
be used not only as a source of drugs for treatment of disease but
also for new and novel structures with useful biological activity.
A systemic effort towards pharmacological exploration of marine
wealth has been initiated in The Periyar College. The study involves
broad based biological screening for active principles of ten species
of seaweeds collected along the Mandapam coast of India. They will
be screened for biomedical potential in:
The Periyar Maniammai Educational and Charitable Society at Tiruchirappalli,
India established the Periyar College of Pharmaceutical Sciences for
Girls in 1982. The city is located centrally in the state Tamilnadu.
Approval provided by the Government of Tamilnadu, The Dr. M. G. R. Medical
University in Chennai, The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) in New Delhi
and The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi.
Building of Community Organizations for Biodiversity Monitoring in Himachal
Pradesh, Western Himalayas
The main objective of the
project is to develop biodiversity mapping and monitoring methodologies
for Himalayan areas for use by local communities. Monitoring is expected
to lead to understanding and more efficient management of the biodiversity
of natural resources, which in turn will enhance the economic benefits
that accrue to the local people.
In preparation for the implementation
phase of this important project, five major outputs were developed and
of suitable NGO/future project staff, including orientation to project.
monitoring training program for village groups, a two to three month
of field guides. (A Monitoring Manuel containing concise summaries
of indicator species as a how to reference guide will continue to
be developed and upgraded by the PA. The Indian Ministry of Environment
and Forest has expressed pleasure about this document and intends
publicizing both it and the project with the view to establishing
similar projects elsewhere in India).
registers established and updated. This consists of the first three
months of implementation. It is to be regularly updated in 2001-2002
after receiving feed back from the community.
The main indicator of achievement
for this objective is to establish a biodiversity mapping and monitoring
system in a pilot project area. This project hopes to establish other
similar areas in order to increase the income of local communities in
the pilot project area and eventually other areas.
Only local Indian issues have
a meaning to local biodiversity issues. Methods and techniques requiring
'hands-on' experience teaches people the difficulties associated with
such work and allows them to appreciate the amount of time and resources
that must be allocated. Ethno-cultural and ethno-biological knowledge
transfer is a key component of the project. In the future, the PA will
have particular difficulty implementing some aspects of biodiversity management
due to lack of resources, such as biological databases and field computers.
Preparation of field maps in a timely manner, especially GIS-based maps,
will also be a significant problem. PA use of university and SCS&T
staff must be expanded to allow for input from experts. However, only
the people of a village or area can accurately monitor their area in such
a way as to allow detection of trends and 'ownership' of the work.
Sharma and Bob Anderson
Evaluation, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agro-Biodiversity
The project on "Collection, Evaluation, Conservation and Sustainable
Use of Agro-Biodiversity" is collecting germplasm of wild relatives
of wheat from degraded lands. The goals are to evaluate and conserve the
wild relatives, establishing a source of germplasm with stress tolerant
genes (especially drought and salinity tolerant) that can be used to develop
improved wheat strains that can cope with stresses associated with climate
The objectives of the project are to:
- improve land races to be
used for re-habitation of their native habitats
- improve commercial cultivars
by adding value in the form of resistant genes residing in the wild
- develop systems and techniques,
such as wide hybridization, for conservation and mutation induction
to develop additional variability in land races, wild species and in
commercial cultivars that may allow a sustainable increase in productivity
on existing and future marginal areas
- facilitate the production,
evaluation and availability of stress tolerant germplasm including species/varieties/land
races and mutants for developing environment friendly, sustainable and
profitable agriculture practices. This will ensure the safety of resources
such as land, water and agro-biodiversity and help the stability of
future agriculture systems. This work and the expertise of the institute
is a significant contribution to the approved agriculture and biodiversity
plan of the Government.
An emphasis of the project is conservation. The utilization of native
land races as a source of valuable germplasm for commercial cultivation
will make them attractive to people of their native areas who traditionally
rely on them for food, nutrition, and shelter. The project will thus play
a role in the rehabilitation of rural people to their native land and
rehabilitation of degraded habitats harboring the native land races.
- A salt tolerant and low input line of wheat cultivars known as 1076
was developed at NIAB by transferring low input character from wild Aegilops
species. The 1076 wheat line requires 50% less water for irrigation and
50% less fertilizer compared to the original commercial wheat cultivars.
It is the only germplasm that can be sown in field with standing cotton
crop in order to do timely sowing in the areas where wheat cotton rotation
is being practiced. Dr. Farooq (right) is visiting the field with a seed
certification specialist. The photo shows 1076 after all cotton is removed,
and the crop is nearing maturity. This is the time when scientists from
seed certification department visit the crop to analyze seed development.
The advantageous characteristics of cultivar 1076 are described in publications
- Farooq, S. and F. Azam.
2002. Production of Low Input and Stress Tolerant Wheat Germplasm through
the use of Biodiversity Residing in Wild Relatives. Hereditas 136 (In
of Kanha Tiger Reserve Biodiversity through Exsitu Cultivation of Non-Timber
Forest Products and Empowerment of Women through Traditional System of
The Kanha Tiger project is
one of the biggest conservation tiger projects in Asia. The conservation
and development of non-timber forest products and documentation of Village
level Biodiversity Register will create a boon for tribal development
and protection of the Kanha Tiger Reserve. The project will improve the
economic condition of women through skill upgradation through a common
facility centre based on medicinal aromatic plants. The Kanha Reserve
is an area with one of the highest levels of biodiversity in India. In
the tribal districts of Madhya Pradesh, the incidence of poverty and illiteracy
is higher than the state average. Kanha buffer zone has vast resources
of minor forest products and medicinal plants scattered through out the
state. The Collection of M.F.P., Development of Medicinal and Aromatic
plants and development of common facility centers for processing and packing
offer numerous opportunities of gainful self-employment for rural women
utilizing local resources, value-addition activities, and local technology.
A growing international market exists for many medicinal and aromatic
plants, which if tapped successfully, may even be a source of foreign
action opportunities. Round the year employment through various activities
and interspace utilization of the land will offer better employment opportunity
to the women. This project is taking funds for aforesaid activities and
we invite interested parties to contact
Evaluation of Wild
Life Habitats in the Proposed Amarkantak Bioshpere Reserve (website)
The proposed Amarkantak Biosphere
Reserve lies between latitude 22°15 degrees; to 22°58 degrees;
north and longitude 81°25 degrees; and 82°5 degrees; east. The
area covers three districts of Madhya Pradesh: Shahdol, Dindori and Bilaspur.
A total of ten forest ranges in these districts, covering an estimated
area of 3835 square kilometers, has been proposed as a Biosphere Reserve.
The area provides an ideal habitat for wild animals.
The status of ecospaces in
the proposed Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve (ABR) in Madhya Pradesh has
been under investigation since August 1998. The objectives of this evaluation
are to study the species composition and distribution, and assess ecological
dynamics, status of wild population and resource exploitation. Surveys
have been done using various ecological methods for assessing the faunal
and floral components in the proposed ABR.
The Achanakmar Sanctuary lies
in the North Bilaspur Forest Division. It is considered as the core area
of the proposed ABR. All major wild animals like tiger, leopard, bison,
sambhar, bear, chital, etc. are found in the sanctuary. A large variety
of birds and reptiles are also found. Major human activities are mining,
agriculture, and tourism. In the forest, major tribes are Goar, Baiga,
Kolas, Kanwar, Pinka, Ahir, and Pradhan. They depend mainly on forest
Habitat destruction is the
main factor threatening the wildlife in the unprotected ranges within
the proposed ABR. Main problems in the area are due to grazing by livestock,
agriculture, mining, collection of NTFP's and medicinal plants. Since
1998, Sal Borer has infested thousands of Sal trees resulting into a clearing
of large tract Sal forests.
Field studies on assessment
proved extremely useful in terms of recognizing credibility for declaring
the area as a Biosphere Reserve. The reason for rich biodiversity in the
ABR is due to favorable climate and edaphic factors that abound the area.
The entire area is divided into the catchments of rivers Narmada, Son,
Johila, and Maniari. The unique assimilation of uneven topography, structural
variations and hilly terrain makes it a beautiful endowed forest where
streams flow in all directions, forming a radial drainage pattern.
Preparation of an action plan
for conservation and management of wildlife is under progress. The focus
of the Biosphere Reserve management strategy will be on land-use planning
and establishing a zoning system based on criteria of land capability.
It shall recommend alternatives to non-sustainable resources exploitation,
farming and mining activities, regulating the development of tourism and
seeking greater local participation to promote the rationalization of
a sustainable development plan.
Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia (website)
Malaysia is one of the world's twelve mega-biodiversity countries and
the Government of Malaysia is aware of the need for action in line with
this as indicated in the Seventh Malaysian Plan 1996 - 2000.
The "Maliau Basin" is situated just above the equator in a
remote part of south-central Sabah, the northernmost of the two East Malaysian
states on the island of Borneo.
Basin Conservation Area (MBCA) is a unique and pristine rain-forest
area dominated by lower montane and heath forest but including major areas
of lowland dipterocarp forest as well. The rugged terrain is uninhabited
and its biodiversity is still only partly known. The area - also known
as "The Lost World of Sabah" is important for biodiversity conservation,
nationally and internationally. It is one of the most spectacular and
pristine wilderness remaining in Malaysia, where it has been left undisturbed
primarily because of its remoteness and inaccessibility
In the context of Sabah's protected area system, the MBCA (58,840 ha)
contributes firstly as an outstandingly undisturbed an important water
catchment area with a rich fauna and flora including many scarce, threatened
and endemic species. For instance so far 55 of the 145 Malaysian bird
species listed on IUCN's newly revised Red List of Threatened Species
(September 2000) have been found in the MBCA. Total species richness of
most taxon has still to be identified, but so far 56 terrestrial mammal
species, 207 bird species and 460 plant species have been found. Surveys
have still only been carried out in 20 % of the MBCA.
Secondly, the montane heath forest and associated transitional forests
supports a quite distinct species-assemblage. Thirdly, the scenic spectacles
of the gorges, the Maliau falls and the north rim escarpment are outstanding.
By any reckoning, the Basin ranks as one of the finest wilderness areas
In 1997, the Maliau Basin Conservation Area was gazetted by the Sabah
State Government as a Protection (Class One) Forest Reserve. In 1999 it
was also gazetted under the state Cultural Heritage Bill. Under these
bills, the area is to remain unlogged and undisturbed for the purpose
of research, education, conservation and wilderness recreation.
The "Management of Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia"
project was agreed upon as a Malaysian-Danish government-to-government
collaboration project in the field of environment in 1998. The development
objective of the project is 1) to secure the conservation of Maliau Basin
for the benefit of Sabah, Malaysia and the international community, 2)
to establish and develop a functional management structure and field facilities
for conservation, research and education, 3) to afford provision for the
production of a comprehensive management plan among others.
Danish input is provided through DANCED (Danish Cooperation for Environment
and Development) and a Danish consultant Ornis Consult Ltd. & NEPCon
Joint Venture, while Malaysian input is through Yayasan Sabah (Sabah Foundation)
on behalf of the Maliau Basin Management Committee.
Although under the prevailing law, Maliau Basin is deemed "fully
protected" the exploitation from illegal encroachment, poaching for
timber, 'gaharu' and wildlife and the possibility of future coal mining
of the basin are all threats to the future of the area. Its present status
may not be maintained unless a clear management plan describing further
protective measures is formulated, and if the area is not recognized and
appreciated by a broader public at various levels both nationally and
Everyone plays here an integral part, particularly the scientist. The
task and the challenge ahead is to derive the necessary data to support
the formulation of the Management Plan. Intensive field surveys of this
largely unexplored area are carried out throughout 2001-early 2002 by
scientists from Sabahan institutions, Denmark and Harvard University,
USA. - The Maliau Basin Conservation Area is considered as a global heritage;
hence it may take a global co-operation to come up with a long-term conservation
plan for the area.
- Maliau Basin surrounded with its characteristic nearly circular
rim and the outlet of the Maliau River to the southeast. The darker green
areas inside the rim are undisturbed forest ranging from Lowland Dipterocarp
Rain Forest and Edaphic Climax Forest (Heath Forest) to Upper Montane
Rain Forest (Montane Ericaceous Forest). Yellow-greenish areas outside
the rim (particularly south and west of the rim) are logged forest. Satellite
picture, September 1999.
-- Hans Skotte Moeller, Waidi
Biodiversity and the Traditional Health Care System "A Pilot Project
of Satpura Hills" (Botanist Paradise of India)
India harbours an enormous diversity of plants and animals, both domesticated
and wild. The millions of species which constitute biodiversity have their
own intrinsic value as recognised by religions and faiths in India. Today,
millions of people derive their daily sustenance from forest, rivers,
grasslands, and seas. This project envisages the assessment and inventory
of biodiversity related information at various levels, including distribution
of endemic and endangered species. Key features of this project include
an emphasis on gender sensitive decentralised planning and the use of
interdisciplinary working groups to involve all sector concerns with biodiversity
The Pilot Biodiversity Monitoring Program will help in preparing the
People's Biodiversity Register which will include all traditional health
care system of villages. Bioprospecting, or screening of living organism
for molecules with potential commercial applications, has emerged as an
important activity in recent years. This pilot study will create broad
based technical capabilities as well as information which will be helpful
for bioprospecting activities undertaken by interested organisations.
India has the great advantage of being a biologically rich nation with
a good base of science and technology to address the new challenges of
monitoring biodiversity. The project Satpura Hill (Botanist Paradise of
India) is in one of the major geographical features of India. The area
is rich in plant diversity and has a gene pool of 1190 species of angiosperms
(flowering plants) belonging to 127 families, in addition to 633 genera
reported in this area. The areas surrounding Pachmarhi (hill station of
India) are also rich in several valuable useful rare medicinal plants.
The proposed site is India's best subtropical forest which is known as
Queen of Satpura or Botanist Paradise of India.
-- R. Sugandhi
for surveying and monitoring biodiversity of cultural forests in North-eastern
This project will collect,
analyze, and evaluate quantitative ecological data collected in the cultural
forests (forested public lands near villages) of Thailand that are rapidly
changing due to deforestation for salt production and/or firewood. The
duration of the study is from 1995-2006. This project aims to:
- study the biodiversity
in cultural forests.
- study the economic value
of non-timber products from cultural forests and their importance
to local peoples way of life.
- examine appropriate
methodology for rehabilitation of native flora and fauna.
- exchange and transfer
knowledge to local teachers and councils.
- produce media for a
very broad audience.
Thailand, the driest and economically poorest part, contains one-third
of the countrys land and population. Only 7% of the forested areas,
comprised mostly of deciduous trees, are conserved and managed by the
indigenous people. There are three main categories of cultural forests:
- Pa Don Pu Ta: Known
by the villagers as the "reservoir of life," this forest
generally is very rich in biodiversity. Local rules and regulations
protect this reserved area. No one is allowed to remove anything
from such forests. A spirit house is located at the center of the
forest and villagers annually celebrate environmental monitoring
in May (Earth Day).
- Pa Cha: This area is
the village cemetery. Wood is taken from the area to cremate the
bodies of local residents.
- Pa Tam Lae: This is
the village market. Local residents use this forest for various
products necessary for survival such as food, traditional medicine,
firewood, fiber, tools, building materials and forage for livestock.
FAO statistics in 1992, more than 1 billion US dollars of non-wood forest
products were taken from cultural forests. Products included cork, resin,
mastic gum, honey, mushrooms and wild fruit. The indigenous people rely
on products from cultural forests. The rehabilitation of these areas must
be done to conserve the biodiversity and culture these forest communities.
This project will produce informative, science-based books, demonstration
slides, cultural videos (films) and tape cassettes. During the IBOY project,
activities will include field studies, workshops, community meetings and
training in environmental science, medicine, eco-tourism and environmental
management. The project also aims to develop primary and secondary school
curriculum on biodiversity for sustainability for local teachers.
- Survey of Threatened and Rare Flora
in Eastern Ghats, India
The Chittoor district, one
of the most outstanding vegetation zones in the Eastern Ghats, is located
at the Southern most region of Andhra Pradesh, India. This area shelters
forest types like tropical thorn, southern tropical moist deciduous and
tropical dry deciduous trees. It is endowed with vast natural resources
including floristic diversity that is rich and diversified. Some floristic
components have great potential in term of medicinal, botanical and economical
aspects. Unfortunately due to indiscriminate biotic interference, the
species are being depleted and becoming threatened at an alarming rate.
There is an urgent need for
comprehensive studies regarding species' habitats, their specific locality
and causes of the threat. The data available is very limited, and previous
workers surveying floristic components left many areas of the district
untouched also leaving behind data on threatened and rare flora.
The NGO Grameena Vikas Samithi
(GVS) is a member of the Commission on Education and Communicator of IUCN
and a partner NGO of Agriculture Man Ecology (AME) a bilateral program
of the Government of India and the Netherlands that seeks to implement
integrated farming systems for sustainable development. GVS is coordinating
the project to:
- Survey threshold areas
of extraction to delineate status of the threatened and rare flora.
- Identify critically
endangered, vulnerable, and rare plant species.
- Study economic utilization
of plants by tribes and villagers (For example, the marketing and
processing aspects of Non-Timber Forest products and the collection
of medicinal plants by traditional healers and pharmaceutical industries).
- Support traditional
in-situ conservation programs.
- Organize awareness camps
for the public (especially in fringe areas of the forests and tribal
areas) to engaging them in the conservation of germplasm and ecology/environmental
- Establish a botanical
museum including a threatened and rare plant herbarium.
Intensive exploration will
identify and document threatened, rare indigenous plant taxa in the various
habitats of the Chittoor district including areas such as Sri. Venkateswwara
National Park at Tirupati and the Kaundinya Elephant Sanctuary at Palamaner.
Experienced specialists will assess the plant species on the basis of
their population, exploitation and biotic interference. The taxa will
be demarcated according to IUCN guidelines as Critically Endangered, Endangered,
Vulnerable and Rare. This will be useful for various departments dealing
with eco-development programs, forestry, Biosphere Reserves, conservation
of eco-types and community education.
The project also plans to
establish a botanical museum to house the collected threatened and rare
herbarium specimens and to enhance public knowledge in biodiversity and
conservation of rare and threatened plant species in the Eastern Ghats.
Nepalese Mountain Economy and Environment through Conservation and Proper
Utilization of Biodiversity
The biodiversity contained
in the Hills and the Mountains of Nepal is of national and international
importance both in view of the number of globally threatened wildlife
and fauna as well as the diversity of ecosystems contained within the
area. Despite efforts made to protect them through national parks and
wildlife reserves biodiversity is threatened. The threat to biodiversity
is caused by biotic pressures including the high population growth rate
and ever more pervasive poverty in Nepal.
This project will provide
room for better understanding of the Highland resources and their conservation
and proper utilization by the local people and transfer of knowledge to
other interested people and institutions inside as well as outside the
country. The main emphasis is to enhance biodiversity, to promote environmentally
friendly economic activities and to achieve environmentally sustainable
and economically sound and socially acceptable development. The project
has been planting economically and environmentally sound plants in the
degraded public areas of Nepal since 1997. In 2000 a Mountain Resource
Training Center (MRTC) was established through which local people will
be trained with the local resources, biodiversity, their proper utilization,
conservation and marketing. The project is also going to establish a herbal
garden adjacent to the MRTC. The project will conduct seminars and conferences
at local and national levels. The outcome of these seminars and conferences
will be publicized though different media at local, national as well as
The expected results of the
in living standard of the local people through the conservation of
of a Herbal Garden
through people's participation and external support
of Organic Agriculture
of Mountain Area Eco-tourism
of the Mountain Resource Conservation Centre
development through skill development training
all efforts towards sustainable Hills and Mountain development