MOBIUS FOUNDATION AND INDIAN EXPERTS JOIN TOGETHER TO IMPROVE RIVER DOLPHIN CONSERVATION
Biodiversity of the Ganga River is under stress due to reduced water availability, habitat degradation, pollution and unsustainable resource extraction. To conserve the ecological integrity of Ganga River, the Mobius Foundation had organised a panel discussion “Diving Deep with Dolphins”, 13th October, Friday, 6:00 PM -8:00 PM: Bikaner House, New Delhi, to delve into innovative ideas for dolphin conservation and emphasize the critical need for such solutions. Esteemed experts from various fields, including conservationists, financial experts, and policymakers gathered to exchange insights, share success stories mechanisms to support dolphin conservation efforts. Mr. Pradip Burman, Chairman of the Mobius Foundation, delivered the introductory remarks to the distinguished guests and said “One of the easiest ways you can help to keep dolphins safe is to leave them be! You should never attempt to feed dolphins, pet dolphins, or interrupt their way of life if you happen to see them in the ocean or in some freshwater rivers.”
Ms. Gargi Rawat, Senior News Anchor and Environment Reporter moderated the panel discussion. Panellists at the event were Mr. G Asok Kumar, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG), Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India. Said “The personal initiative of PM Narendra Modi came out where the authority sanctioned 2,000 crore rupees and was given a responsibility of monetary and ensuring that there is a good regulation on this, keeping full checks on state governments and stakeholders to take necessary actions”.
Mr. Sanjay Upadhyay, Supreme Court Advocate, Founder and Managing Partner of India’s First Environmental Law Firm, Enviro Legal Defence Firm highlighted laws related to Conservation of Ganga River Dolphins and also said that the elusive freshwater cetacean is an umbrella species of the Ganga and Brahmaputra river system and has a significant ecological importance as its presence indicates the good health of an area.
Mr. Sandeep Behera, Consultant- Biodiversity at National Mission for Clean Ganga at MoWR, RD & GR, Govt of India, shared his experience in building GANGA PRAHARI, GUARDIANS OF THE GANGA “A cadre of motivated volunteers from the local community”
Mr. Suresh Babu SV, Senior Director Ecological Foot Print highlighted the fact that “local communities (villagers, fishermen, farmers) can play a crucial role in monitoring of the species and habitats. It is important to analyse the external threats (land use changes and changes in the flow regimes) and arrive at a mechanism to engage with various district administrations and line departments.”
Mr. Praveen Garg, President Mobius Foundation highlighted how individuals and the government may contribute to the conservation of dolphins, the use of natural fertilisers by farmers, the prevention of residential sewage disposal in rivers, the reforestation of riverbanks, and the prohibition of commercial fishing and sand mining activities.
Ms. Jessica Gill, Sr. Research Associate, Mobius Foundation, concluded the presentation with a ‘Vote of Thanks’. The event acted as a forum for collaboration and the exploration of potential collaborations among conservation organisations, financial institutions, and governmental entities. Mobius Foundation intended to build synergy and establish real methods to towards conservation of dolphins by bringing together diverse stakeholders.