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“Mainstreaming biodiversity” at the 7th CMS Vatavaran

New Delhi, Jan 30 (G’nY news service) The excitement and enthusiasm of the dignitaries and participants at the inaugural ceremony of the 7th CMS Wildlife and Environment film festival raised cold and foggy Delhi’s temperature.

The five day long bonanza is being held with a focus on “Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation” at different levels on the lawns of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) from 30th January to 3rd February. The festival and forum is to revolve around four sub-themes: blue agenda, forest biodiversity, mountain biodiversity and inland waters and wetlands biodiversity. Over 70 eminent speakers in 48 thematic sessions and expert talks are scheduled for this biodiversity bonanza. In addition, there are exhibitions, musical performances, book launches, filmmaking and photography workshops, a ‘Green Haat’ for shopping and a food court.

CMS vatavaran

Photo: Vijaya Mulay receives the lifetime achievment award from Karan Singh

The launch today was graced by Mr. K S Rao, the Union Minister for textiles; Dr. Karan Singh, MP and president, ICCSR and Ms. Lisa Grande, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in India. Mr. Vivek Menon, Senior Professor and Dean, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Mr. A S Panneerselvan, Executive Director PANOS South Asia were among the special invitees.

Dr. Karan Singh said that environmental issues need to move from the periphery to the centre of human consciousness. “Each one of us must be alert, aware and active to protect the environment.”

Ms. Vijaya Mulay, the veteran documentary filmmaker who made the India’s first animation film for children ‘Ek Anek or Ekta’ was awarded with the CMS Vatavaran Lifetime Achievement Award. The sprightly 92 year old said that making a film was not enough, as films can be used only to portray situations or events; they are not a substitute for action. “It is important to see if the film has made any difference, and if it not, why?”

The CMS Vatavaran Prithvi Ratna Award was given was given to Mr. Sanjay Barnela for contribution to nature and conservation filming. The PSA CMS Media Excellence Awards for environmental reporting were presented to Juhi Chaudhury (CNN IBN), Mr. Chandan Haygunde (Indian Express), Amantha Perrera (Sri Lanka) and Subhra Priyadarshini (India).

Haygunde, who has been awarded for his series of investigative stories on the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra that he wrote between May-June 2012 in the Indian Express, is a crime reporter when not following his passion for the environment. His love for nature was cultivated by frequent trips into the Sahyadri mountains, and his first brush with the environment was during a case of man-animal conflict where a woman was attacked and killed by a crocodile.

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