Shimla: A national project to access genetic resources, their economic values and share their benefits was launched in Himachal Pradesh Tuesday.
The Rs.46-crore United Nations Environment Programme-Global Environment Facility (UNEP-GEF) project on strengthening the implementation of the biological diversity act and rules with focus on its access and benefit sharing provisions would be taken up jointly with the union ministry of environment and forests, said an official spokesperson.
The hill state is among the five chosen by the government to implement the project on a pilot basis. The other states are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim.
An official statement quoting state Chief Secretary S
udripta Roy said the project would help increase public awareness and educate people and build capacity of stake-holders of the biodiversity at the grassroots level.
Balakrishna Pisupati, chairman of the National Biodiversity Authority in Chennai, was also present during the launch.
The lush green valleys and snow-capped mountains of Himachal Pradesh are home to 36 percent of the country`s species of birds.
Of the 1,228 species that have been reported in India, 447 are found in this state alone.
Aptly called the storehouse of biodiversity, the state also supports 3,120 species of flowering plants, including 187 species of medicinal plants.