Goa State Biodiversity Board (GSBB) has announced the Government of Goa’s “Goa State Biodiversity Conservation Awards for the Year 2022” in appreciation of exemplary contribution in the field of conservation of biodiversity, ecology and environment. The award presentation program will be held on June 5, 2022 at 3 pm at the “Dr. S. Z. Qasim Auditorium of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Dona Paula Goa” in the presence of Minister for Environment, Shri Nilesh Cabral, Chairperson GSBB and other dignitaries.
This year the awards are conferred in Five categories namely awards for best Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC)Category, one each from North and South Goa, with a prize amount of Rs. 50,000, the Individual Category with prize amount of Rs. 25,000, for one individual each from North and South Goa, the Biodiversity Enthusiast Category with prize amount of Rs. 15,000, for one individual each from North and South Goa, Applied Biodiversity Researcher Category with prize amount of Rs. 25,000 for one individual from the State and Green Journalism Category with prize amount of Rs. 25,000 for one individual from the State of Goa.
In addition, special appreciation prizes are given to four BMCs with a prize amount of Rs. 10,000 each, and four individuals with a prize amount of Rs. 5000 each.
The following is the list of awardees:
Pomburpa Olaulim BMC (North Goa) has bagged the BMC Category Award. Pomburpa was among first BMCs who took the advantage of Goa State Biodiversity Board’s decision to have a government official from any department other than the Village Panchayat Secretary by virtue of which Shri. Alvito D’ Silva was able to offer his dedicated and whole hearted service in grooming the Biodiversity Management Committee of Pomburpa Olaulim under Shri. Prabhakar Halarnkar as Chairperson. The extensive participatory consultation done by Pomburpa – Olaulim BMC by involving maximum stakeholders including traditional knowledge holders. The field work, ground truthing, transect walk and identification of flora, habitats, water sources, springs, GIS mapping of important ecological areas during PBR documentation continuously working with the Technical Support Group Biodiversity Action Network Group (BANG) to bring out one of the highest quality PBR with the ability of cross referencing unique layout, inclusion of all formats and exceeding the expectation of GSBB. Pomburpa – Olaulim BMC has set a benchmark with preparation of quality PBR.
Chicalim BMC(South Goa) has bagged the BMC Category Award: This award is conferred for the overall efforts taken by Chicalim BMC in the field of conservation of biodiversity, ecology and environment since the constitution of BMC. Chicalim BMC is a village level statutory custodian of the rich biodiversity of the serene village of Chicalim, in Mormugao taluka of South Goa.
The Chicalim BMC under the dynamic leadership of its Chairperson Shri. Rui Manuel da Costa Araújo and proactive office bearers have strived, often at the cost of their own resources and braving risks, for galvanizing the community to guard the Chicalim bay and its resources from exploitative forces, to preserve and conserve the bay for posterity; while demonstrating impeccable commitment towards building capacity of fellow villagers in protecting the living heritage of their village. The consistent efforts of the villagers and the Chicalim BMC to invite limelight on the Window Pane Oyster and give it the status of a Flagship species is laudable and worthy of emulation.
In Appreciation (BMC Category) Chodan Madel BMC and Pilerne BMC from North Goa and Rivona BMC and AmbaulimBMC from South Goa have been announced winners for their contribution towards biodiversity conservation activities, preparation of PBR and other initiatives. Special Appreciation has been given to Candolim BMC and Chinchinim Deussua BMC.
In the Individual Category Awards, the following are the awardees:
Dr. Suresh Kunkalikar(North Goa): He is the principal of Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna, Quepem, and is a plant pathologist and virologist. His significant contributions enhanced knowledge of new and emerging threats by viruses to plant and agrobiodiversity. His professional expertise can be gleaned from his membership of prestigious organizations such as American Society for Virology, The American Phytopathological Society, Indian Virological Society, Indian Society for Mycology and Plant Pathology, Indian Society for Phytopathology, Association of Plant Pathologist. In his present position he has guided numerous farmers and people on cultivating paddy and sustainable rural development in Khazan lands in Goa. He has championed the promotion of local ecosystems and biodiversity and guided village youth for opportunities in Agro-Eco Tourism in Khazan and hinterland. Sensing the importance of pollinators in crop production he has promoted entrepreneurship training in honey bee rearing for honey production.
Shri. Kanta Gayak (South Goa) hails from Shristhal, Canacona. He is a well known traditional healer who serves the people with herbal medicine by making use of Bio resources and natural products with sustainable harvesting.
The Appreciation award (Individual Category) has been awarded to Ms. Zarina Fernandes and Smt. Yeshodha P. Gawade(North Goa) and Dr. Lata Gawade and Dr. Jyoti Heblekar(South Goa).
The Biodiversity Enthusiast Category has been awarded to Shri. Ramesh N. Zarmekar (North Goa) and Shri. Johnson Stephen (South Goa).
The APPLIED BIODIVERSITY RESEARCHER CATEGORY award has been bagged by Dr.Manohara K.K, Senior Scientist (Genetics and Plant Breeding),Crop Sciences Section, ICAR – Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Ela, Old Goa. He is recognizedfor his selfless contribution in the field of agrobiodiversity, ecology and environment. His research has created livelihood opportunities for farmers and led to provisioning timely seeds.
Shri. Paul Fernandes has bagged the Green Journalist award. Shri Fernandes has consistently highlighted issues helpful for conservation of Olive Ridley turtles. His other memorable reports have been on conservation of shellfish, freshwater fish biodiversity, invasive fish species, migrant bird populations during winter, threats to bird habitats and wetlands, including Carambolim, Bondvol and Chimbel lakes. He has done a series of reports on the threat from tar balls. In his delightful writing style, Shri Fernandes has highlighted unique animal rescues, new species of flora, felling of trees, encroachments in St Inez creek and campaign for its desiltation and restoration. Through his illustrious career, Paul has covered every subject from high court to police, assembly sessions, political stories, features, PWD, but it is environment and heritage reports that remained close to his heart.
Appreciation prizes have also been announced to the following BMC Secretaries, /chairpersons for their noteworthy work in facilitating the BMC functioning–Ms. Ramita Krishna Murgaonkar (Cumbarjua BMC),Shri. Sushant Naik Gaonkar (Cotigao BMC),Shri. Yatin Kamurlekar (MormugaoMUc BMC),Shri. Keshav Phadte (AzossimMandur BMC), Smt. Vaishali Naik (Rivona BMC), Shri. John Travasso (Xeldem BMC), Shri. Dominic John Noronha (DramapurSirlim BMC), Shri. Rui Manuel da Costa Araujo (Chicalim BMC), Mrs. Pallavi Raul (Tamboxem- Mopa- Uguem BMC), Shri. Jayesh Valavalkar (Piligao BMC), Shri. J Santano Rodrigues (Curtorim BMC) and Shri. Rajendra Gawas (Candolim BMC).
Special Recognition for their contribution in the field of Biodiversity will be awarded to Shri. Devidas Gaonkar, Shri. Avit Bagle, Ms. Prachita Shet Gaonkar, Shri. Satish A. Painginkar, Shri. Mangaldas P. Devsekar, Shri. Glagri Rodrigues, Dr. Sreekanth G B, Ms. Zeena Rita Soares, Shri. Raj R. Majik, Shri. Fondu Appa Rane, Shri. Vinod G. Sawant, Shri. Vishant A. Gaonkar, Ms. Milan Sandeep Gaonkar, Shri. Satyavijay Sawant, Smt. Sumitra Haldankar&Shri. Sajjan Haldankar, Shri. Arjun Govekar, Shri. Manjunath Wadiyar, Ms. HarshadaKerkar and Shri. Kishor R Sarsolkar.
Special Appreciation under programs implemented by GSBB will be given to Dr. Firoz Badesab, Shri. Arturo D’Souza, Shri. Devesh Naik, Smt. Elsa Fernandes, Shri. Shamba Majik and Shri. RudreshMhamal.