Kochi becomes first Indian city to have biodiversity strategy and action plan

The Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (LBSAP) of Kochi, which has been prepared by ICLEI South Asia under INTERACT-Bio project, has been accepted by the City Council and released by Mrs Soumini Jain, Hon’ble Mayor, Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC).

The project is being supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

Mr. K J Antony, the Leader of the Opposition in the KMC, also attended the event held to release the LBSAP, which was covered by print media.

Kochi is the first city in India to have developed a scientifically informed and participatory LBSAP, which sets out a framework and a plan of action for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and an equitable sharing of the associated benefits. It provides an overview of key issues, constraints and opportunities, identified during extensive consultation meetings held with various stakeholders in the city.

Kochi has defined its LBSAP vision as to “conserve its biodiversity, maintain the uninterrupted flow of ecosystem services, and ensure sustainable, safe and climate-resilient development by managing its mosaic of ecosystems through a participatory planning approach”.

The city has also identified nine focus areas (agriculture; air; avenue trees; green and open spaces; inland water bodies (canals, rivers and ponds); islands; lakes (Vembanad lake); marshes and mangroves; seashore and sandbars. The LBSAP suggests appropriate actions, including soft and hard measures to address the issues being faced in each of these focus areas.

The LBSAP articulates the method by which the vision, strategic objectives, and actions necessary for the conservation and protection of biodiversity in the city would be implemented. It is based on the inputs received during the meetings held at the city and ward levels, besides discussions with city councilors and subject-matter experts.

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