Documenting the biodiversity of flora and fauna of a North Goa island

30 Aug 2016

A peek into how the local people connect with the flora and fauna in the largest estuarine island of Goa

TERI has been appointed as Technical Support Group by the Goa State Biodiversity Board (GSBB) to facilitate the documentation of the People's Biodiversity Register (PBR) in urban and rural areas of Goa. The documentation of PBRs are presently being carried out in villages of Velim, Chodan-Madel, Nuvem, and Anjuna. The Panaji city PBR is supported by Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd along with the City Biodiversity Index. Support was also received from GIZ India for creation of awareness and capacity building in Chodan-Madel to promote the development of the village PBR.

The development of the urban and village PBR commenced by raising awareness among the members of the Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) and elected City Council and Panchayat members, among the local people at the ward level, and among students. This was achieved via meetings, presentations, awareness walks, and conducting village-level activities that enhanced their understanding of PBR and encouraged their participation in its development.

An understanding of the natural and infrastructure resources was promoted by ward-wise participatory rural appraisal exercises with resource mapping and verification. Further, capacity building exercises for participants were conducted in order to facilitate biodiversity documentation by recording and inventorizing the occurrence of various floral and faunal species in the urban area or village. The initiative is also an attempt at recording rapidly eroding knowledge of the medicinal uses of local plants, and the occurrence and management practices of land races of cultivated crops.

The collected data is being compiled and recorded into the PBR formats prescribed by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), upon which the report will be further validated by a panel of experts before being deposited in the document repositories of GSBB and NBA. This document, which is of legal importance, will assist in improved management of these natural resources.

Biodiversity register
Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus

Report summary

Authors: Dr. Fraddry D'Souza, Ms. Asha Giriyan, Ms. Christina de Souza, Ms. Shalita Dourado, Mr. Santosh Gad

The changing relationships between people and their ecological resource base are significant to folk ecological knowledge and wisdom. The People's Biodiversity Register of Chodan-Madel village, in Tiswadi taluka of Goa, is an attempt at understanding how local people of the village understand their flora and fauna within their ecological framework, their perceptions of ongoing ecological changes, and their preferences in the management of the same.

The PBR was further employed for identifying potential biodiversity heritage sites in Chodan-Madel; Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Chodan-Madel Island, Goa, was selected as a pilot site for further implementation of the project 'Conservation and Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Protected Areas (CMPA)'.

About Chodan-Madel village

The island is the largest of the estuarine islands of Goa. The two major ecosystems of Chodan-Madel are the mangroves and the khazans. Rich mangrove forests exist on the island of Chodan-Madel, especially within the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary - the state's only protected area of estuarine status. The mangroves support a diversity of life forms, both those which are migratory and those that are endemic to Goa's coast. Khazans are used in Chodan-Madel for agriculture and aquaculture purposes.