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In the News: Bio-diversity mission on rails flagged off

In the News: Bio-diversity mission on rails flagged off

It is playing a role in creating awareness about India’s bio-diversity

From The Hindu, 28 July 2014: “This is no ordinary train,” said Union Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar on Monday as he flagged off the third phase of the Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS) at the Safdarjung railway station here.

A flagship venture of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Railways, the exhibition on wheels has been playing a role in creating awareness about India’s biodiversity, an official statement said.

Mr. Javadekar underscored the need to sustain India’s biodiversity in the present times and about 30 lakh students are expected to view it in 20 States. It will travel for 194 days and stop at 57 places before ending its journey on February 4 in Gandhinagar. The statement said the train was the brand ambassador of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in Hyderabad in 2012 and it was stationed there to showcase India’s natural riches.

The train has set quite a few records and milestones and it is perhaps the world’s most visited train exhibition. Within India, it has gone to the highest rail track possible for broad gauge.

Of the 16 coaches, eight are dedicated to showcasing bio-geographical zones of India through a variety of interactive exhibits, short films and videos.

The remaining coaches have exhibits on climate change, energy and water conservation and other issues.

Mr. Javadekar said an advertising campaign would be initiated to sensitise and educate people on the nuances of the rich biodiversity of the country. India with 2.5 per cent of the earth’s land mass and 17 per cent of the world’s population, had eight per cent of the world’s biodiversity.

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