GAInBiNet Millennium goals and traditional knowledge for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation 17th to 25th April, 2013 New Delhi

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Qu

The International German Alumni Summer school “Millennium goals and traditional knowledge for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation” was successfully conducted from the 17th to 25th April, 2013, at the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. It was jointly organized by the Department of Conservation Biology and the Section for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Forestry (SeTSAF) of the Georg-August University, Goettingen and the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
The main topics of Alumni Summer school referred to the targets of the UN Millennium developing goals like conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
Our Alumni Summer School served an interdisciplinary brainstorming activity towards the valuation of local ecological knowledge, promotion of biodiversity and appraisal of sustainable biodiversity management in the face of competition for land and socio-economic development.
The participants represented various Universities from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, Mongolia and Kenya.
Georg August University of Goettingen was represented by Dr.Jolanta Slowik, Biology faculty, Department of Conservation Biology and Prof. Elke Pawelzik from the faculty of Agriculture, Department of Crop Sciences, Quality of Plant Products.
The authorities of JNU University and invited experts from other Indian Universities and officials from the DAAD and GIZ office showed a great interest in our meeting.

This alumni capacity-building conference definitely contributed to enhance the role of German Alumni in the Indian society by demonstration of their quality and importance for sustainable development to government policy makers, NGOs, educational and research institutes and other private sectors for sustainable management of natural resources and at the same time this forum fostered the significance of biodiversity protection.
Simultaneously German Alumni were mobilized, in spite of economic crisis and other obstacles, in an effort to work out practically feasible methods to realize the Millennium goals in their respective countries while dealing with such a complex issues like biodiversity loss and sustainability.
The subjects presented by the resource persons and discussed by contributors were all very significant, useful and valuable for the professional development of the participants particularly in terms of biodiversity conservation. The sharing of experiences and expertise on biodiversity and nature conservation initiatives and practices of the participants gave so much encouragement to join hands and make concrete efforts to conserve biodiversity through collaboration and networking. Both, the role of indigenous, ecological knowledge in sustainable development and use of natural resources and the necessity of safeguarding this knowledge for the next generation in spite of globalization was underlined.
An alumnus networking was another important objective of this summer school with an aim to expand this network into a more global structure through integration of the existing and newly established regional German alumni networks, thereby cross-cutting from regional to global level.
During the Summer School, the Indian Alumni Club and GAFooN (German Alumni Food Network) were incorporated into the existing German Alumni networks like SEAG (Southeast Asia German Alumni Network) and its sub-network BIODICS-AlNeT (Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Network) and the GAInBiNeT (German Alumni International Biodiversity Network).
An excursion to the Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve was conducted as the part of the field work activities, where the participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with some aspects of nature conservation like management plans for Ranthambore National Park, tiger conservation issues including man-animal conflict and role of local communities in participatory wildlife conservation.
The visit to the UNESCO heritage site, Taj Mahal, social meetings and performances by local dance artists and admiration of Kathputli, an ancient Rajasthani puppet tradition demonstrated by local artists were very instructive and created as well very friendly, familiar and warm atmosphere.
The Alumni Summer School was really a great success and pleasure for all of us and we would like to express our appreciation towards the organizer, participants and especially to DAAD sponsor.