Green in a concrete jungle

Updated: 29 September, 2020 10:38 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

To coincide with the UN hosting its biodiversity summit tomorrow, a map that shows the variety of flora and fauna in Mumbai will be released

Chakravarty took a month to create the biodiversity map
Chakravarty took a month to create the biodiversity map

According to the United Nations, 75 per cent of our planet's land surface has been significantly altered by human actions. It's eye-opening for a moment but forgotten later. To address environmental damage, the UN will host a biodiversity summit tomorrow, but the day will also see the release of a new map that shows how much biodiversity our own city has. That said, it needs protection.

Helmed by citizen's collective Mumbai's Ministry of Magic in partnership with Civis, a tech company, and Waatavaran, a climate non-profit, the campaign Biodiversity by the Bay aims to create a larger climate movement fuelled by young Mumbaikars. As part of this, the map, illustrated by Rohan Chakravarty, will be released.

Rohan Chakravarty
Rohan Chakravarty

Putting the spotlight on indigenous communities, it displays intertidal wildlife hotspots and fauna, state symbols such as the yellow-footed green pigeon (the state bird), important mangroves and wetlands, and species that are endangered, vulnerable or threatened, as well as those discovered in Mumbai like Aarey's Lychas aareyensis.

"I wanted to create a perception in people's minds that this is something that belongs to them, and give them a sense of ownership, knowledge and pride. Illustrations resonate with young minds, who of late have been at the forefront of movements like Save Mollem in Goa," shares Chakravarty.

Post the release of the map, next month, noted personalities will be sharing why biodiversity is important to them. The collective had also floated a letter with their requests to the State Environment Department and got a response from State cabinet minister of tourism and environment Aditya Thackeray. About it, Sonali Bhasin, a member of Mumbai's Ministry of Magic and strategist with Purpose Climate Lab shares, "He mentioned how the department was also working on most of the issues, which is great because it only gives us the motivation to continue our work."

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First Published: 29 September, 2020 10:11 IST

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