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India: Biodiversity database for smart city initiative to be launched soon

News from http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/biodiversity-database-for-smart-cit...

A biodiversity database for urban India will be prepared for better species diversity management, dovetailed to the smart city initiative.

The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, has made a proposal in this regard to its parent organisation, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which has given its consent.

Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) here, Sudarshan Kumar, Senior Principal Scientist and Head, Bioinformatics and ICT of NBRI, Lucknow, said the database would be launched in three months. He said the core infrastructure of a smart city demands sustainable environment and health, and the portal will be helpful in this regard. “The prototype of the web portal has been launched and from the ongoing ISC session, ideas have been generated by the participants that would be developed over the next three months,” said Prof. Kumar. Each city has its own biodiversity, but the details should be made known to the public and local authorities as to how best to manage it, he said. The portal will help identify as to which species would be suitable for growing in a particular environment.

The CSIR has agreed that the portal on biodiversity would be one of the three priority areas of the NBRI, said Prof. Kumar.

To start with, the NBRI will upload the published database pertaining to the local biodiversity of each city, including the varieties of plants and trees that are endemic to it. Local universities and members of the public can also submit details, which will be uploaded in the database after authentication by NBRI experts.

Besides containing the database, the portal will also be an attempt to help the public and local bodies in enabling them to make the best choice for local plantation. This project will be one of the core outputs for the smart city initiative from the CSIR, he said.

From the ongoing ISC session, ideas have been generated by the participants that will be developed in the next 3 months

Sudarshan Kumar,Senior Principal Scientist and Head, Bioinformatics and ICT of NBRI, Lucknow