SEED (Society for Socio Economic and Ecological Development), organized a workshop on awareness about conserving and nurturing the marine biodiversity among the coastal women of Sundarban’s Jharkhali Island on 5th June, 2016 on the occasion of World Environment Day. It also focused on the issues of keeping the environment green and clean through a little conscious effort and change of habits.
This one day workshop was attended by the representatives of 45 SHG women from Jharkhali and few community leaders. The programme was conducted in ToT mode so that these group leaders can further disseminate these information and knowledge to other members of their groups and across the community. Some of the participants were prawn seed collectors, who play a vital role in destroying several fish spawns and aquatic flora and fauna including the mangroves whereas Sundarban is known as the single largest mangrove forest in the world.
The programme was graced by Mr. A. K. M. Mamunur Rashid, Climate Change Specialist from United Nations Development Programme, Bangladesh. He shared how Climate Change is already making few species go extinct and the anthropogenic impacts like reclamation and human encroachment is making the situation worse.
Prof. Jyitiranjan Naskar, the President of SEED, who is also a senior environmentalist, addressed the prawn seed collectors and informed them how their daily activities is causing destruction of other fishes and mangroves. He requested them to opt for alternative livelihood options like aquaculture and homestead fish cultivation for which SEED will provide training to the women.
The women were informed about the harm they cause by the usage of plastic bags and throwing them here and there. The community leaders present on the workshop were advised to keep dustbins at common places in their village where all the community members have access. They were also informed about keeping kitchen garden for their nutrition and clean environment.
Another major focus of the workshop was to aware the community about Climate Resilient Agriculture. They were briefed on Organic Farming, Bio-Compost preparation and to avoid chemical pesticides as well as fertilizers which decrease the nutrition value and also cause harm to health. They were also encouraged to take part in the capacity building training programmes on these topics which will be provided by SEED in the coming days.[*Article contributed by SEED]