South Asian Forum for Environment

Biodiversity Conservation and Wildlife

In compliance with the 20 commandments of ‘Aichi Targets’, SAFE prioritizes conservation of Biodiversity in all of its areas of intervention. Some efforts that are being undertaken by SAFE are depicted here below:

  1. Rehabilitation and conservation of 12 endemic self-recruiting fishes in peri-urban wetlands through habitat restoration and restricted fishing. This in-situ aqua-diversity conservation in East Kolkata Wetland Ramsar site was supported by NABARD Kolkata in 2010.
  2. SAFE Living-lab at Sundarbans has in-vivo conservation focus on 54 germplasm of indigenous salt resistant land-races of rice through in-situ community conservation program. SAFE has developed indigenous seed village to protect these varieties.
  3. SAFE also conserves 18 species of mangroves in a conserved coastal habitat spanning almost 10 ha of mangrove forest in Tipligheri village near the CRACK center. It also maintains a community mangrove nursery with an annual seedling rearing capacity of hundred-fifty thousand saplings.
  4. The coastal habitat around the Living-lab of SAFE in Tipligheri is also a conservation site for the Horse-Shoe Crab, a living fossil belonging to marine and brackish water arthropods of the family Limulidae and the only living members of the order Xiphosura. Despite their name, they are not true crabs or crustaceans. They are exclusive for their blue-blood, which is an essential component in pharmacopeia for vaccines. SAFE leads a community-conservation program for back-stopping the illegal trafficking of these animals.
  5. In protecting the urban biodiversity, SAFE initiated the first GPS based inventory of floral biodiversity in Kolkata metropolis by mapping and alfa diversity indexing. It is also an intervention for reducing heat island effect in the upcoming concrete canopy above the tree line, by developing vertical greens and by training the unemployed urban youth in horticultural and hydroponic slim-soil farming.
  6. In the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots, SAFE has been working tirelessly on the habitat conservation of black necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) in the socio-ecological production landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan, which happens to be the winter resting ground of these cranes.
  7. In this UN decade for Habitat Restoration, SAFE has also initiated restoration of the rainforest habitats in the northeastern states of India, viz Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which also happens to be the habitat of one of the last primates of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot, the Hoolock Gibbons. The Prince Bernhard Nature Fund is supporting SAFE in this restoration program.
  8. SAFE, being actively engaged in building-up Asian Elephant Conservation consortium, has taken initiative to study the drivers and determinants of animal-man conflict in the bio-corridors of South Bengal and Lower Assam, which are less studied, in collaboration with the department of forest and local communities.