Call for Nominations: India Biodiversity Awards

Call for Nominations: India Biodiversity Awards
UN UNDER SECRETARY GENERAL REBECA GRYNSPAN AND SMT. JAYANTHI NATARAJAN, MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA PRESENT THE INDIA BIODIVERSITY AWARDS IN THE CATEGORY OF PROTECTED AREA TO PERIYAR TIGER RESERVE. RECEIVING THE AWARD ON BEHALF OF THE RESERVE ARE HYDROSE MEERAN, CHAIRMAN, CONFEDERATION OF ECO-DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES (LEFT) AND SANJAYAN KUMAR, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, PERIYAR TIGER RESERVE (RIGHT). [PHOTO: UNDP INDIA]

India has a rich heritage of biodiversity that provides ecological, economic, social, cultural, spiritual, educational, scientific and aesthetic services to millions of people. The country is committed to protect this globally significant biodiversity, and has vast experience in natural resource conservation with diverse models of biodiversity management in operation, ranging from officially-managed protected areas to community-led conservation. However, the valuable work done by biodiversity managers at the grassroots has remained unsung, even as the value of biodiversity itself has begun to be widely recognized. For that reason, national recognition of these outstanding biodiversity management cases will not only provide an additional impetus to them, but also spread awareness for an improved ecosystem management.

Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, and the United Nations Development Programme, India are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the Second India Biodiversity Awards, which will recognize efforts that embody outstanding governance models of biodiversity management. The Awards will be presented on 22 May 2014 on the occasion of the International Day of Biological Diversity in New Delhi. 


Two nominations in each of the following four categories will be selected for the Award:

  • Community stewardship – Community-led biodiversity management by autonomous community institutions including community conserved areas, sacred groves, species specific conservation efforts by civil society organizations and communities, etc.

  • Decentralized governance – Biodiversity management by local self-governments and local level statutory institutions including Panchayati Raj Institutions, Biodiversity Management Committees, institutions managing community forests under the Forest Rights Act, etc.

  • Co-management – Biodiversity management by joint forest management committees, eco-development committees and similar government-supported community institutions.

  • Protected Areas – Effective and innovative management practices by management agencies of protected areas, community reserves and conservation reserves.

Each of the four recipients of the India Biodiversity Awards will receive a cash prize of INR 100,000 and the runners up will receive a cash prize of INR 50,000 along with a citation.

Eligibility Criteria

It is understood that many local institutions working towards biodiversity management may not be able to apply for the awards themselves, and therefore agencies working with these institutions are encouraged to apply for the awards on their behalf. However, it is to be noted that the Awards will be given to the local institutions themselves, and not to the agencies that are supporting these institutions. In order to be eligible for the Award, nominees must be institutions based in India and must be engaged in the nominated biodiversity management activities for at least three years.

Institutions eligible for the Awards under each of the four categories are as follows:

Community stewardship 

Formal or informal community-based institutions, such as village committees, traditional Adivasi/community institutions, communities protecting community conserved areas, self-help groups, watershed management committees, sacred groves and ponds management groups, village clubs, self-initiated forest protection groups and other related groups, species specific conservation efforts by communities or communities in collaboration with civil society or other agencies etc.

Decentralized governance

Local-governance institutions having legal mandate on conservation of natural resources, for example, panchayats at all levels – village, block and district, as well as gram sabhas, autonomous district councils, village-level biodiversity management committees under the Biodiversity Act, communities managing community forests under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest-Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act  2006, van panchayats, village forest committees, and other related institutions.

Co-management 

Institutions that do not have a legal backing but are formal or informal in nature like joint forest management committees, eco-development committees, and other government-supported institutions etc.

Protected Areas 

Protected area management agencies, such as the national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, community reserves and conservation reserves, and other related agencies.

Screening Process

A condensed nomination template, available online, will have to be filled by nominees/nominators, entailing limited Key Information Areas (KIAs). These nominations will then be scrutinized by a technical committee, and subsequently, the five best nominations under each of the four categories will be long-listed on the basis of the evaluation criteria and the supporting documents (if any).

Validation and Selection Process

The 20 long-listed nominations (five from each category) will then be sent a detailed template, containing exhaustive KIAs, for a precise assessment of the respective governance models. In each category, the top three nominees will be shortlisted (12 in all) on the basis of marks for field validation. Finally, the technical committee would select two nominees under each category that would then be awarded the first prize and the runner-up prize for the best governance model under the respective category.

Awarding Winners

The eight finalists will be awarded cash, a memento, and citations at the India Biodiversity Awards ceremony to be held on 22 May 2014.

Jury

A Jury comprising eminent experts on different aspects of biodiversity management will guide the selection process for the Awards and select the winners.

How to Nominate

Nominations for the India Biodiversity Awards may be submitted directly by the institution engaged in biodiversity management; or with prior informed consent of the institution, by a supporting organization, or by any third party that is familiar with the activities and achievements of the nominee. In case the local institutions are not able to find any support in filling the application, they can request the helpdesk for support. Awards will be given to the nominated institution alone. Nominations should preferably be submitted in English. 

Nomination form is given here. Please download, fill and submit the form online. For any query related to the nominations, please contact- 

Helpdesk for GoI–UNDP Awards
S-6, 2nd Floor, Green Park Extension
New Delhi - 110016
Tel: +91 9711497264
E-mail: biodiversityawards@nrmcindia.co.in

Completed nominations (only in the downloaded form) should be submitted by e-mail at biodiversityawards@nrmcindia.co.in

Shortlisted entries from the nominations received will undergo a verification process which will require nominees and/or nominators to provide additional information/materials.

Closing Date for Receiving Nominations

Completed nomination forms must be received latest by midnight on 09 February 2014.