The city of Jammu in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is a tourist’s delight, with its scenic beauty, and beautiful temples and shrines. Located on both banks of the River Tawi, approximately 600 km from the national capital of Delhi, the city is located at a lower altitude in comparison to other towns and cities of the Union Territory. It is an economic hub in the region and also one of the fastest growing cities in northern India. It goes without saying that economic and urbanisation pressures are playing havoc with the city’s ecosystems, with issues such as degradation, pollution and dumping of waste, posing huge challenges for the local government.
To support sustainable urban development, ICLEI South Asia has assisted the Jammu and Kashmir Biodiversity Council to develop the City Biodiversity Index (CBI) that will help the city of Jammu to measure the ecological footprint and benchmark biodiversity conservation efforts. The city became the 9th smart city in the country to have developed the CBI, which is the only biodiversity index designed specifically for monitoring and evaluating biodiversity in cities. The CBI has been developed under SECURE Himalaya project, supported by UNDP- GEF- MoEFCC. The CBI report was released on the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity, on 22nd May 2022, by the Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Manoj Sinha.
In order to communicate the significance and need to conserve urban biodiversity, ICLEI South Asia has developed the Illustrated Natural Asset Map under the INTERACT-Bio project funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) Additionally, an Urban Systems Gap Analysis report, which is the first step towards the preparation of a Climate Resilient City Action Plan, has been prepared. This report, developed by ICLEI South Asia in collaboration with the Department of Ecology, Environment, and Remote Sensing, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, with support from the UNDP, was released by Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Mr. Manoj Sinha and Chief Secretary Mr. A.K. Mehta on World Environment Day 2022.