GHMC press conference ahead of city biodiversity summit


A press conference and curtain raiser for the city and subnational biodiversity summit Cities for Life on 15 and 16 October was held by the commissioner of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), M T Krishna Babu and the GHMC mayor, Mohammad Majid Hussain at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre two days before the summit, which is expected to draw over 400 participants from over 100 cities, representing every major region of the world.


This­­ will give governments “greater responsibility” said the mayor, adding that Cities for Life will be a platform for Indian and international mayors to share good biodiversity measures and showcase their efforts in preserving native species. The commissioner introduced the summit by saying ‘the main focus of Cities for Life is cities and biodiversity’ and that it was a privilege for Hyderabad to be hosting this summit.


One landmark initiative highlighted at the press conference was the launch of the Hyderabad Biodiversity Index. “Hyderabad is the first Indian city that has ventured to assess its level of biodiversity, and now we know where we stand”, said the commissioner. Scoring a 33 on the 98-point biodiversity index, the commissioner vowed to coordinate with ICLEI, ICRISAT, Osmania University, the Botanical Survey of India and others to improve Hyderabad’s standing in the Biodiversity Index. Out of a total of 14 cities worldwide who have measured their level of biodiversity, Brussels has so far gained the highest value, with 55.


Another initiative that stood out is the GHMC’s involvement in safeguarding and preserving Hyderabad’s lakes under the National Lakes Conservation Plan. The city has already developed master plans for about 180 lakes with the aim to divert sewerage away from them and protect the life forms these water bodies host.


A declaration for cities to consolidate support towards enhanced urban biodiversity management and conservation will take place on 17 October, as part of a high-level summit led by the mayor. 



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