Agri Business

Institute of Plantation Management to focus on biodiversity conservation practices

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on November 23, 2020

‘State of Sector’ document to provide framework for conservation, development

Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM) has been entrusted with the preparation of a ‘State of Sector’ document to provide a framework for achieving conservation and development simultaneously for tea, cardamom, coffee, forest and oil palm plantations.

This will be the baseline document which covers the key statistics of each sector in terms of production, ongoing and best practices, economic contribution, gap areas and conservation of significant natural resources.

The document will give special emphasis on biodiversity and will identify multiple use of management plans as potential strategies for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in tea, cardamom, coffee, oil palm and forest plantations.

Securing ecological integrity

With the completed mapping and preparation of ‘State of Sector’ document, it is expected that the project would strengthen capacities for community-based sustainable use and management of natural resources; application of multiple use management to secure the ecological integrity of the high range landscape; evolvement of an appropriate and effective governance framework for multiple-use high range landscape management.

The broad objective of the project is to protect biodiversity of Anchunad and adjoining landscape of the southern Western Ghats in Kerala from existing and emergent threats through building an effective collaborative governance framework for multiple use management.

As a part of the initiative, the Institute in collaboration with UPASI organised a webinar on Biodiversity Conservation Practices in tea, coffee, and cardamom plantations. The objective was to identify the existing practices and governance approaches for biodiversity conservation in these sectors.

IIPM is attempting to preserve, conserve and manage biodiversity by mainstreaming the same into the plans and practices of various sectors in the unique High Range Mountain Landscape (HRML). The landscape includes protected areas ranging from large wilderness reserves to small sites for particular species and reserves.

HRML, situated in the humid tropical region of Kerala, experiences a highly variable climate. The average annual rainfall in the rain-fed regions ranges from 3,000 to 8,890 mm, and in the rain shadow regions annual rainfall is as low as 1,270 mm. HRML is characterised by extremely rich biological diversity.

However, there are several threats because of the anthropogenic pressure. The climate variability, increasing population density, pollution of freshwater, extensive monoculture plantations, heavy agro-chemical inputs in the tea industry, water-intensive cardamom cultivation and particularly high-yielding varieties are some of the challenges in this region.

Published on November 23, 2020

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