Absolutely vital to protect biodiversity, natural resources: Jayanthi Natarajan

New Delhi, Jan 23 (ANI): Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan on Wednesday said it is absolutely vital to protect the nation's bio diversity and natural resources.

Natarajan said this after visiting various stalls here at the " Green Haat", an initiative of Ministry of Environment and Forest to raise awareness on the rich forest and bio diverse heritage of the country among the growing urban population often living far off from the forests.

"It is duty and absolutely vital to protect and promote the biodiversity of the country. It is absolutely essential to conserve natural resources and one way of doing it is to show case through organizing such " Green Haat," she said.

"Such " Haats" are attempt to capture some of our biodiversity and help to promote traditional knowledge of rare natural heritage," she added.

Natarajan further assured that the rural artisans, community self help groups and NGOs associated with this programme that the Ministry will continue to encourage such initiatives.

The Minister visited various stalls set up at the " Haat" and interacted with the people associated with the programme.

Myriad herbal products from wild for healthy living, the bamboo craft, over 100 local varieties of paddy; a rich diversity of minor millets and palate ticking cuisines that use a diversity of natural and organic products mark this year's Green Haat.

The "Green Haat" has its role in providing support and market linkages to bio-diverse products, so crucial to livelihood of communities in far-flung areas. This linkage is crucial from the standpoint of contribution in improving biodiversity-based livelihood, and promoting social entrepreneurship.

India recently hosted 11th Conference of Parties (CoP-11) on Convention of Biological Diversity at Hyderabad. Strategic Plan and Aichi biodiversity targets 2020 are key to success of the Convention. Target 1 of the Aichi Biodiversity target is regarding creating awareness about values of biodiversity and the measures that can be taken for its conservation and sustainable use.

The initiatives like "Green Haat" could have a significant role in creating awareness, and in promoting conservation and sustainable use of bio-diversity.

This year, the 15-day-long Green Haat event is being organized at Dilli Haat from to January 16 to 31, engaging 10 states and some 55 organizations. (ANI)

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