Environmental Information System (ENVIS)

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Realizing the importance of Environmental Information, the Government of India, in December, 1982, established an Environmental Information System (ENVIS) as a plan program. The focus of ENVIS since inception has been on providing environmental information to decision makers, policy planners, scientists and engineers, research workers, etc. all over the country. Since environment is a broad-ranging, multi-disciplinary subject, a comprehensive information system on environment would necessarily involve effective participation of concerned institutions/ organizations in the country that are actively engaged in work relating to different subject areas of environment. ENVIS has, therefore, developed itself with a network of such participating institutions/organizations for the program to be meaningful.

As I commented earlier, GBIF or ENVIS are not attempting to collect data directly. Instead they prefer to work together with other organizations or agencies that collect the data. (http://www.wiienvis.nic.in/Content/nn_8101.aspx, http://www.wiienvis.nic.in/Content/gn_8102.aspx, http://www.wiienvis.nic.in/Content/ngn_8103.aspx) It includes non government organizations like India Biodiversity Portal and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

In case of birds, The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) was selected as an Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre for avian ecology and inland wetlands by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India during the year of Sàlim Ali centenary year celebration. (http://bnhsenvis.nic.in/Content/BNHS_17494.aspx)

BNHS conducted many programs, including Sálim Ali Bird Count. And we can see “Enthusiastic bird watchers uploaded their observations on the eBird website. A total of 15,638 observations were recorded by over 280 people from 22 states covering a total of 514 species during the day. The observations were collated from 549 lists, since each individual was required to prepare different lists for different locations covered.”

Commenting on this initiative, Dr Deepak Apte, Director, BNHS said, “Sálim Ali Bird Count is one initiative which connects every common man walking on the street to the world of birds. This presents an opportunity to not only involve common people in bird watching, but also make them ambassadors for bird watching. We are very happy to revive Sálim Ali Bird Count and aim to scale it up further on the pan-India level through our existing network.” (http://bnhs.org/…/fil…/Salim_Ali_Bird_Count_Results_2(1).pdf)

I have no idea what is the problem with people use technologically advanced tools instead of notebooks. Our intention is to disseminate knowledge to all, making it easily available; not to restrict its access by making them difficult to find and retrieve.

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