Special Certificate course on Coastal and Marine Biodiversity and Protected Area Management


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Special Certificate course on Coastal and Marine Biodiversity and Protected Area Management” from 7th to 8th December 2015 and “Add-on field course on Marine Biodiversity Assessment using SCUBA divining” for filed level staff from 1st to 4th December 2015 were jointly organized by Wildlife Institute of India and Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH at Port Blair and Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The intention of the course was to enable the participants to have a sound understanding on the concepts and issues related to integrated management of coastal and marine biodiversity, coastal and marine protected areas, ecological and socio-political context, conservation approaches and legal policy framework between terrestrial and coastal marine protected areas. It was also for acquiring necessary skills by monitoring and assessing the status of coastal and marine habitats and species.

The programs were commenced on 1 December 2015 with the “Add-on field course on Marine Biodiversity Assessment using SCUBA diving”. Following that, the “Special Certificate course on Coastal and Marine Biodiversity and Protected Area Management” was started on 7 December 2015. The course was inaugurated with welcome address and introduction overview of the course session on base lining expectations by Dr. Sivakumar and Dr. Neeraj Khera. Following that, the introduction session on coastal and marine biodiversity and ecosystem services and coastal and marine biodiversity of the Andaman Islands were addressed by Dr. K. Ravichandran, C.F. Andaman Forest Department. Next day, 8 December 2015, the sessions were begun with Coastal and marine biodiversity and Ecosystems Services in the overall environment and development context. In addition to that, the participants were exposed from landscape to seascape with a brief excursion to nearby mangrove area. Day 3 (9 December 2015) was started with the session on Sustainable Fisheries Management and MPAs by Mr. Arun Ratheesh, Fishery scientist, CARI., which was followed by knowledge café/discussion with all the resource persons. After the lunch, all the participants were taken to local fishing market/fish landing centre to meet the local fish workers community and interacted with them. Day 4 (10 December 2015) was started with field visit to coral, mangrove creek area and reflection on fisheries management. In addition to that, the participants were demonstrated with the monitoring techniques of coral and mangrove ecosystems by Dr. K. Sivakumar and Dr. D. Adhavan. Next day, the 11 December 2015, there was a class room session on Governance, law and policies for managing coastal and marine ecosystems, biodiversity and Protected Areas by Dr. Neeraj Khera and Dr. K. Ravichandran. From 12 to 14 December 2015, all the participants were taken for outdoor session to assess and monitor coastal and marine biodiversity and relevant issues. Demonstration of Line intercept, Quadrat and photo transect methods in the shallow water (for coral reefs, seagrass and seaweeds assessment), demonstration of assessment methods for mangrove and estuarine ecosystems, data entry and analysis were explained. The session was addressed by Dr. J. S. Yogesh Kumar, Zoological Survey of India and Dr. D. Adhavan, WII. In addition, the participants were thought to identify common marine organisms along the seashore by Dr. D. Adhavan. On 15 December 2015, all the participants were brought back to Port Blair. As a part of the course curriculum, participants were taken to Chidiyatapu with the expertise led by Dr. J. A. Johnson, Dr. Neeraj Khera and Dr. D. Adhavan. Next day, participants visited Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park to experience the law enforcement and effectiveness, rescue of stranded marine animals which was hosted by Dr. K. Ravichandran C.F (W.L). The last class room session on Effective Management Planning of Coastal and Marine Protected Areas by Dr. Neeraj Khera was covered on 12th day of the training (17 December 2015). Day 13, 18 December 2015, the course was concluded with the certificate distribution to the participants by Dr. V. M. Mathur, Director WII in the presence of Mr. Omkar Singh, PCCF & Principle Secretary (Forests), Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dr. J. A. Johnson, WII. and Dr. Neeraj Khera, GIZ.